Next year budget must address textile industry challenges – GFL

By
Laudia Sawer, GNA

Tema, Nov. 09, GNA –
The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has said that the 2020 budget should
tackle the dire situation of the Ghanaian textile manufacturing industry are
facing.

Mr Abraham Koomson,
GFL Secretary General told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Tema on
expectations of the 2020 budget that government must implement practical
measures in the sector, to reduce the escalation of imported local branded
textiles and the flooding of the markets with smuggled products.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta,
Minister of Finance is expected to present the 2020 Budget Statement and
Economic Policy to Parliament on Thursday November 14, 2019.

Mr Koomson noted
that the excitement of leadership and members of the GFL was short-lived as a
policy announcement by President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo in the 2019 state
of the nation’s address to tackle such issues did not materialize as expected.

He said “the VAT
free period applied for almost one year without the complimentary measures to
holistically address the challenges facing the industry” and stressed that
“stakeholders of the textile sector want to see workable measures to address
the issue”.

He called for the
reactivation of Anti-piracy Taskforce to check smuggling at the point to
address smuggling of textiles into the country, a situation he said had
worsened due to the withdrawal of the taskforce from the markets.

The GFL also
recommended to government to implement a single-entry corridor policy as well
as resourcing of security agencies for effective enforcement of such policies.

Mr Koomson also
called for the extension of the zero VAT regime beyond three years due to the
prevalence of smuggling adding that the implementation of the Textile Import
Management System must also reflect to that effect.

“We also recognize
that the effectiveness of the Textile Import Management System is heavily
dependent on the effectiveness of the single entry corridor policy”, he added.

Giving evidence of
the effects of smuggling and unfair practices in the industry on local textile
manufacturing companies, he said currently, about 2,000 people were working in
the sector compared to the over 25,000 employees in the 1975, which was
equivalent to 27 per cent of the total manufacturing employment in Ghana.

He said, the
surviving textile companies, which he described as distressed were Akosombo
Textiles GTP, Printex Ghana Limited and Volta Star (Juapong Textiles Limited).

GNA

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