Trade Minister issues stern warning to importers

Business News of Saturday, 20 August 2016

Source: GNA

2016-08-20

Spio 05.11Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Trade and Industry Minister, has cautioned importers to desist from making false declaration of goods, cleared at the ports.

He said in as much as the government was eager to create a business-friendly environment, anything illegal that denied the state vital revenue for socio-economic development would not be accepted.

The Minister described as deeply disturbing the situation where about 65 per cent of importers engaged in the unhealthy practice.

He was responding to concerns of the business community about the cumbersome process, delays and high cost of clearing goods at the ports at a forum held in Kumasi.

This formed part of his three-day official visit to the Ashanti Region to learn at first hand challenges facing businesses and discuss the way forward.

It brought together members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI) and the Poultry Farmers Association.

Mr. Spio-Garbrah said his ministry, the port authorities and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had taken steps to straighten things to make clearing of goods quicker.

He asked that business operators’ upheld the values of honesty, trust and transparency, noting that, many banks were disinterested in granting loans to some of them because of their poor creditworthiness.

He gave the assurance that government would continue to protect the local industries and promote patronage of made in Ghana products.

Mr. John Alexander Ackon, the Regional Minister, indicated that a vibrant private sector would help to give jobs and create wealth for the people.

That was why every effort would be made to address problems facing the sector to enable it to operate efficiently and optimally.

He encouraged local businesses to make use of technology especially the internet to penetrate the international market.

Mrs. Afua Gyamfuaa Owusu-Akyaw, Chairperson of the Ashanti/Brong-Ahafo AGI, complained about the high electricity tariff and over-taxation and said these were crippling their operations.

She therefore appealed to the government to act swiftly to review the power tariff and reduce the taxes.

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