Business News of Thursday, 26 February 2015
The business community in Ghana on Wednesday called on President John Dramani Mahama to intervene, as a matter of urgency, to address the numerous taxes that are collapsing their businesses.
They mentioned some of the taxes as the increment of Value Added Tax from 12.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent, the introduction of 17.5 per cent financial service tax, special two per cent levies on imports and one per cent of destination inspection agencies levies as debilitating and discouraging.
Mr George Kweku-Ofori, President of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), made this call on behalf of a joint private sector business forum at a news conference in Accra.
The other members of the forum were; Institute of Freight Forwarders, Food and Beverages Association of Ghana, Pharmaceutical Association, Ghana Automobile Dealers Association, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana among others.
Mr Ofori said apart from the high utility tariffs that were imposed on businesses, the depreciation of the cedi and high interest rates at banks and financial institutions were becoming inimical to business.
He said the situation had compelled various companies to lay off hundreds of workers worsening the unemployment problem in the country, and if President Mahama does not intervene, the accolade of ‘private sector as an engine of growth’ would become an international joke.
The President of GUTA said Ghana’s position as a preferred destination for investment was fast fading off as neighbouring countries were now attracting investors more than Ghana due to high taxes.
He called on the Food and Drugs Authority and Ghana Standards Authority to cancel the impending implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (G-CAP) as it would worsen the plight of the business community.
The group announced that they would, on March 4, stage a demonstration to press home their demands for better treatment in the business sector.