Hundreds of spare parts dealers at the Abossey Okai enclave in Accra have taken to the streets to jubilate over the decision by the New Patriotic Party government to scrap duties on imported spare parts.
The sellers lauded government for the decision which they say will ease the difficulties they face in importing their items into the country.
“I am happy [President] Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has listened to our prayers. We thank him very much,” a man who identified himself as Kofi Ansah told Joy News Thursday.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced the abolishing of about eight taxes and re-adjustment of four in 2017 by the government – a decision that is expected to improve the climate of doing business in the country.
The taxes include;
(a) Abolish one percent special import levy,
(b) Abolish 17.5 VAT on financial sevices
(c) Abolish 17.5% VAT on selected imported medicines
(d) Initiate steps to remove import duties on raw materials and machinery
(e) Abolish 17.5 VAT on domestic airline tickets
(f) Abolish 5% VAT on real estates
(g) Abolish excise duty on petroleum
(h) Reduce special petroluem tax rate from 17.5% to 15%
(i) Abolish duties on importation of spare parts.
(j) Abolish levies imposed on Kayayei’s by local authorities
(k) Replace the 17.5 VAT on Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) traders to a flat rate of 3.5 percent
(l) Reduce National Electrification levy
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed worry over the decision, saying it will worsen the predicaments of Ghanaians.
Former Deputy Finance Minister, Casiel Ato Forson told Joy News the tax cuts announced by government are deceptive because they do not address the challenges facing the country.
“Taxes are sometimes introduced for the purpose of shaping policy,” he said, adding the scrapping of duties on imported spare parts is not consistent with the arrangement that importing of old vehicles have to attract huge taxes.
He explained the health implication of government’s decision cannot be overemphasised since many substandard spare parts would be brought into the country.
But the dealers, many of whom buy their products from China, Dubai and Turkey, said the cuts would boost their business to serve the needs of their customers.
“We are in the business and we know the challenges we are facing because of the duties imposed on the importation of spare parts,” Kofi Ansah added.