AGI to government: Don’t backtrack with implementation of reversal of benchmark values

The AGI has urged the government not to backtrack on its decision to reverse the benchmark values on some imported goods

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has urged the government to remain unwavering in its decision to implement the reversal of the benchmark value discount policy. 

The AGI argued that maintaining the policy at its current form would lead to the collapse of local industries and job losses.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo directed the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend its planned implementation of the government’s policy directive on the reversal of the reduction of values of imports on selected items, known as “benchmark values” to allow for wider consultations.

However, AGI said the government should remain focused on its Industrial Transformation Agenda and unwavering in its decision to implement the reversal of the benchmark discount policy.

A statement signed by Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, president of the AGI said, “Manufacturers are finding it difficult to retain their employees, with such influx of imports at cheap prices displacing their products on the market. The benchmark discount policy in its current form could worsen the unemployment situation.”

The statement further noted that “industrialization is so central to Ghana’s economic liberation that we cannot afford to sacrifice our industrial initiatives for such short-term gains that serve the interest of few importers.”

Ready for dialogue

Meanwhile, AGI indicated that they will welcome stakeholder dialogue on the benchmark discount within the context of what is best for the country.

The government introduced the benchmark policy in 2019 in accordance with the World Customs Organization’s policy of regular review of valuation databases. Under the policy, certain commodities are benchmarked to prevailing world prices.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), in a statement dated 2 January 2022 and signed by Florence Asante, assistant commissioner for communication and public affairs, had announced that from Tuesday 4 January 2022, the Customs Division of the GRA would begin to implement the reversal.

But in a second statement dated 7 January 2022, the GRA postponed the implementation of the reversal to 17 January 2022 to allow a free storage period for vessels that discharged goods on 31 December 2021 to go through clearing and not be affected by the reversal of the policy.

Read the full statement below:

Nicholas Brown

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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