George Ofori speaking at the press conference
Traders across the country will from today begin a three-day strike to force government to address their grievances.
According to them, government has refused to review the high taxes which are collapsing their businesses.
All businesses and shops will be closed down from today, Monday, February 29 to Wednesday, March 2 2016.
At a recent 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 because of government’s failure to address their concerns.
“After lamenting over the various taxes, fees and other policies that are collapsing our businesses for almost a month, 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 called on all importers to instruct their agents not to pay duties to clear their goods from the ports of entry during the strike.
President of GUTA said the leadership of the joint Private Business Consultative forum would meet again on Thursday, March 3, 2016 to evaluate the situation and decide on the next line of action.
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