General News of Wednesday, 23 December 2015
The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has stated that the party will scrap taxes on raw materials for industries to thrive when voted into power in 2016.
Mr Akufo-Addo, who is seeking the mandate for the third time to be president has outlined economic growth as a key issue, which needs to be tackled, stressing that the party will embark on an industrialisation drive by creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“We want to stimulate industrialised activity. We have made the decision that import duties on raw materials for industrial manufacturing in Ghana are going to be abolished,” he stated emphatically.
He feels this will set Ghana on a transformational path towards “making the country’s industries competitive” on the global level.
Ultimately, the leader of the biggest opposition party holds the view that such interventions will encourage more domestic investments leading to an employment boom and improvement in the living standards of residents in the country.
The three-time flagbearer, who appeared on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme on Tuesday December 22, told the host, Paul Adom-Otchere that: “Our industries are not competing just with each other, but with foreign industries. Cost of capital to them is much cheaper and we want to create those same conditions here, so that people will have incentives and stimulus to invest.”
“Investment, expanding enterprises is the way we will be able to deal with unemployment and grow and expand our economy and ultimately lift up the living standards of our society,” he reiterated.
Akufo-Addo’s proposal resonates with concerns by some businessmen that import tax is one of the biggest challenges confronting them as far as the manufacturing sector is concerned.
Award-winning industrialist and CEO of B5 Plus Limited, Mr Mukesh Thakwani in an interview in September this year, said Ghanaian manufacturers can only compete on the international stage when government intervenes.
“Right now we have a problem with raw material import as we are paying 5% duty rate and 2% special levy. As a company providing employment for people, there should not be any special levy or tax for us to pay on our raw materials. We are competing with companies who are given such advantages at the international level,” he stated.
B5 Plus Limited is one of the biggest importers of steel which is manufactured into other products for export to several West African countries. Its main office is located in Tema, with a workforce of over 2,000 people.