Ato Forson’s spare parts rubbish dump comments insensitive – Suame dealers

Former Deputy Finance Minister, Ato Forson’s comments following the removal of taxes on spare parts has angered some spare parts dealers at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi.

They are threatening a demonstration against him if he does not retract and apologise to them.

The Member of Parliament for Ejumako suggested the abolishing of import duty on spare parts would soon make the country a dumping ground for over-aged vehicles and parts.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta last week announced government’s decision to abolish eight taxes and reduce four others, many of which were introduced by the previous government.

According to him, many of the taxes were nuisance taxes, the removal of which will ease the difficulties they imposed on Ghanaians.

He explained the measures would help drive the job creation agenda of government, lessen hardship of Ghanaians and secure a business-friendly environment in the country.

Reading the first budget of the new government in Parliament Thursday, the Minister said despite the doubts of political opponents, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is committed to following through with its 2016 campaign promises.

The taxes the Minister listed to be abolished and reduced include;

(a) Abolish one percent special import levy,

(b) Abolish 17.5 VAT on financial services

(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 petroleum 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

But the decision of the government to abolish the import duty tax on spare parts has been faulted by former Deputy Minister of Finance, Ato Forson.

He argues that the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government did not introduce such taxes to generate revenue but also to check the importation of over-aged vehicles into the country.

He is reported to have also said that about 70 to 80 percent of the spare parts sold at Abbosey Okai in Accra are over-aged vehicle parts.

“This initiative by the government, therefore, would rather exacerbate its importation”, he said describing the budget as fraud meant to deceive Ghanaians.

However, spare parts dealers in the Suame Magazine enclave say his comments smacks of insensitivity to the plight of spare parts dealers in the country.

They pointed out that the removal of taxes will rather create a level playing field between them and dealers in neighbouring countries.

National Vice Chairman Garages, Odeneho Nana Oppong tells Luv News the removal of taxes on spare parts is God-sent.

Spare parts dealers at the Suame Magazine have a long-standing feud with their Nigerian counterparts over unfair pricing of products.

Some members of the Suame Spare parts Dealers Association say the removal of taxes will fix the problem.