The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana on Thursday called on the government to block loopholes in the Warehousing and Tax exemptions regime as it drains the nation of needed funds for development.
Mr Samson Asaki Awingobit, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana told the Ghana News Agency in Tema, that the association would support the government to block the loopholes but would resist attempts to remove 50 per cent benchmark value reduction on selected items.
He noted that the 50 per cent benchmark value reduction on essential commodities such as frozen chicken, edible oil, rice, among others, which the country lacked local capacity to produce would result in an artificial shortage of such commodities.
"We are still at a loss as to why Government thinks that, the 50 per cent scrap in benchmark values would address issues of smuggling of goods and also increase its revenue mobilization.
"When the real threat to the country's inability to address such challenges lies in the areas of warehousing, Goods in Transit, and Tax exemption policies which are being abused," Mr Awingobit stated.
He said the Association noticed attempts to scrap off 50 per cent in benchmark values on some selected products, and called on Government to address the challenges as it would not be in the interest of the state.
The Association noted that the move which would not only propel a hike in goods and services, would also hamper the business of importers.
"Why would government in the face of a COVID-19 pandemic which had already affected the business community, go ahead to scrap off 50 per cent on benchmark values which were introduced years ago to cushion importers as well as the trading community? He quizzed.
The Association therefore called on the Government through the Trade Ministry to ensure that the planned 50 per cent reduction in benchmark values on some selected items was shelved.