The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has ordered its members to stop paying Business Operation Permit (BOP) fees to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) until further notice.
GUTA said the KMA had increased the permit fee (Store Licence), by over 200 per cent, a situation they find unacceptable.
GUTA explained that the annual fee, which previously was GHS200, now ranges from GHS500 to GHS1,500 depending on the location of one’s business within the Kumasi metropolis.
Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of GUTA, Albert Mensah told Class News’ regional correspondent, Elisha Adarkwah that they are at the negotiation table with the KMA after they reported the matter to the Regional Minister.
He said the KMA had argued at the meeting with the Regional Minister that the current amount of the BOP has not been increased.
According to him, the KMA was, however, ordered by the Minister at the meeting, to stop collecting the tax until the matter is resolved; and provide old receipts paid by the traders to substantiate the claims before the assembly is given the greenlight to continue its collections.
Irrespective of the Minister’s directive, Mr Mensah said tax collectors from the KMA have been going round harassing its members for the BOP and closing some stores for non-payment.
Mr Mensah urged members of GUTA to stop paying the BOP until further notice and pleaded with the KMA to stop harassing and closing down stores until the ongoing negotiation is over.