Akufo-Addo directs GRA to suspend reversal of benchmark value policy for broader engagement

President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has directed the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to pull the breaks on the implementation of the reversal of discounts on benchmark values.

According to reports from Accra-based Asaase Radio, the President’s directive is to create more room for broader stakeholder consultations on the subject. The decision is also to enable the concerns of traders to be adequately heard, before a final decision is taken on the matter.

Indications from Asaase Radio further reveal that the consultations have begun in earnest, with a consensus to be reached by January 17, 2021.

On January 2, 2022, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) issued a directive which stated that from January 4, 2022, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority will begin the effective implementation of the reversal of discounts on some specified category of goods.

Following this development, scores of aggrieved individuals decried the policy and called on government to rescind the decision accordingly. In this regard, the opposition National Democratic Congress organized a press conference addressed by the party’s National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, and called on the GRA to reverse its decision.

“Any policy that seeks to increase import duties and ultimately the prices of goods, will lead to more hardships in the country. The sensible thing for government to do under the circumstances if they are genuinely minded to support AGI and boost local production is to reduce the cost of doing business and the factors of production by stabilizing the Ghana cedi, reducing the tax burden on businesses and by ensuring that businesses have access to cheaper credit, low utility tariffs and subsidized inputs. This is the surest and sustainable way of boosting local production without necessarily increasing the level of hardships in the country.

In conclusion, we wish to make the point, that Ghanaians have had enough of the deception and callousness of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government.

The NDC holds the view, that this is not the time for more taxes and draconian revenue measures such as the reversal of benchmark value discounts. We share in the view expoused by GUTA that the GRA withdraws the statement announcing this measure which will only go a long way to stifle the already burdened businesses in the country”, Mr. Sammy Gyamfi said.

In an apparent reaction to the disagreement with the policy by stakeholders, government has directed its reversal for the concerns of traders to be “sufficiently considered before a decision on implementation and its timing is finally taken”; Asaase Radio reports.


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