Business News of Friday, 24 February 2017
The business community in Ghana has served notice it will not take excuses from the new government in the event that President Akufo- Addo fails to fulfil campaign promises he made during the 2016 electioneering period.
Two of the associations, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the Ghana Young Entrepreneurs which gave the red light also indicated their readiness to organise series of demonstrations as a way to mount pressure on the Nana Addo-led government to live up to its pledges.
Speaking on the Gold Power Drive Thursday with Samuel Eshun, spokesperson for GUTA, Joseph Paddy said the association would not accept excuses from President Akufo-Addo if he does not reduce taxes which according to him are crippling businesses.
“We would hold President Akufo-Addo by his words because as a leader you don’t just speak in a vacuum. Before you speak you think about it, you thought through it, you said it, we didn’t impose it on you so you must fulfil it,” Joseph Paddy said.
He added: “The business community is expecting you to do what you said no matter how bad it is because before he (president Akufo-Addo) came to power he knew the true state of the nation. It is not time for excuses, we will not take excuses,” he reiterated.
Present Akufo-Addo promised to seize some taxes he referred to as nuisance to lessen the burden of business operators.
Joseph Paddy insistsµ the president, delivering his first state of the nation address this week, failed to assure the business community of his readiness to honour his promises.
“Business morale has gone down so we were expecting that the president would come up with something to boost up the morale of the business community. We were against the high cost of doing business in terms of taxes. That was the reason we were against the previous government so we were thinking he (Nana Akufo-Addo) would say something about his promises but we would wait for the budget,” he explained.
Some of the promises the President made to the business community includes:
- One dam one village
- Reduce electricity tariff
- Reduce water bill
- One district one factory
- Reduce corporate tax to 20%
- Charge a flat rate of 3.5 percent from SME instead of 17.5 percent VAT
- Remove import duties on raw materials and machinery for production
- Abolish the Special Import Levy
- Abolish the 17.5% VAT on imported medicines not produced in the country
- Abolish the 17.5% VAT on Financial Services
- Abolish the 5% VAT on Real Estate sales
- Abolish the 17.5% VAT on domestic airline tickets