George Ofori speaking at the press conference
Traders across the country have threatened to close their shops for three days to force government to address their grievances.
The traders have complained bitterly about excessive taxes in the country which are collapsing their businesses.
According to them, government has refused to review the high taxes, hence their decision to close down all businesses and shops from Monday, February 29 to Wednesday, March 2 2016.
At a press conference organized in Accra by the Joint Private Sector Business Consultative Forum, George Ofori, President of the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) said the traders’ action has become necessary due to government’s failure to address their concerns.
“After almost a month that we lamented over the various taxes, fees and other policies that are collapsing our businesses, it is regrettable to say that government has failed to heed our call.
“We, of the trading fraternity in Ghana, can therefore not continue to operate under these very trying conditions that are collapsing our businesses and in some cases actually collapsed the businesses, he said.
Mr. Ofori said “we are also calling on all importers to instruct their agents not to pay duties to clear their goods from the ports of entry for the three days that our businesses and shops will remain closed.”
The president of GUTA said the leadership of the joint Private Business Consultative forum will meet again on Thursday, March 3, 2016 to evaluate the situation and decide on the next line of action.
He apologized to all their numerous clients and customers for the inconvenience that the impending action would cause them.
The joint Private Business Consultative forum comprises GUTA, Food and Beverages Importers Association of Ghana (FBIAG), Ghana Auto Mobile Dealers Association (GADA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) Customs Brokers Association of Ghana (CUBAG) and Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana.
GUTA recently enumerated some of the numerous taxes and levies that are charged at the ports.
These include import duty of between 10 and 20 percent, import VAT/NHIL – 17.5 percent, ECOWAS Levy – 0.5 percent, EDIFF – 0.5 percent, GCNet – 0.4 percent, GCNet VAT/NHIL 17.5 percent, Ghana Shippers’ Authority – GHS9, Income Tax in Imports – 1 percent, I.D.F (GHS5), Special Tax on Import – 2 percent, CUBAG – (GHS5) and CCVR – 1 percent.
By Cephas Larbi