AGI fights government over benchmark value discount suspension

The Association of Ghana Industries AGI are fighting the Government over a decision to suspend the planned reversal of the benchmark value discount introduced to cushion Importers at the port.

Leadership of AGI has warned of a possible collapse of indigenous manufacturing companies if the government go ahead with the 50% Benchmark Value reduction on imported products.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta during the 2022 budget presentation announced the reversal of 50% Benchmark Value which was implemented to support Ghanaians over price hikes.

The announcement met the wrath of some groups in the country including the Automobile Dealers Union, Ghana Union of Traders GUTA among others, with the groups arguing that the move will inversely affect their business.

Following the agitations, president Akuffo Addo on Sunday January 9,2022,reportedly  directed the Ghana  Revenue Authority GRA to halt the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark values.

The move according the president will help all players understand the policy before it is finally rolled out.

The government has however given a deadline of January 17, 2022 for all consultations to be concluded.

Speaking to Captain Koda, host of Kumasi based OTEC FM’s Social program “Nyansapo ” on Monday January 10, 2022, the Chairman of AGI, Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regions Kwasi Nyamekye the influx of imports at low cost is Collapsing local manufacturing businesses.

“Locally produced products including those for which Ghanaian industries already has local production capacity have been under serious threat from imports “he cried.

He hinted that most of their members are laying off their workers due to the high competition from low foreign products and urged the government to create enabling environment for Ghanaian manufacturers.

About benchmark value reduction

The benchmark value, which is the amount taxable on imports, was reduced by 50 percent for some goods.

The import value for cars was also reduced by 30 percent.

The government’s hope was that easing the import regime would make Ghana’s ports competitive by increasing the volume of transactions and increasing revenue generated at the ports.

Source: Ghana/ Agyenim Boateng

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