The executive secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Sampson Asaki Awingobit has blamed the low volumes of imports into the country on fiscal policies implemented by the government.
Mr. Awingobit said there have been laudable investments and an improvement in the clearing period of goods which should have resulted in a large volume of imports, but that has not been the case due to the government’s retrogressive fiscal and port policies.
On the back of a leaked memo from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to stakeholders inviting them to a meeting on the low volumes of imports, Mr. Awingobit lamented the high duties importers have to pay before clearing their goods which he said has nothing to do with the GPHA but the government and its unfriendly decisions.
“A drop in imports in the country is not because of the GPHA, it is a result of the government’s fiscal policies including the total reversal of the benchmark values that have quadrupled the funds needed to import into the country. For example, for someone who used to pay a prefab container for GH¢80,000, today, that person will be paying over GH¢250,000, and by the time the person would have finished paying his duty and charges, he would have paid GH¢300,000 just for one container. The benchmark values have a negative impact on the duty and also the depreciation of the Cedi against the Dollar.
“Again, the increase in Value Added Tax in the 2023 budget has also increased the cost of doing business,” Mr. Awingobit added.
Source : citinewsroom