The government has dropped hints about its intention to implement the tax stamp policy begining with Tobacco, Alcoholic and non-Alcoholic drinks, bottled water and textiles in January, next year.
A deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, who dropped the hint said the implementation of the tax stamps policy was not an imposition of additional tax by the government but a measure to protect genuine businesses from counterfeiters. It is also to ensure that more people and businesses honour their tax obligations.
Mr Kwarteng was speaking at the third workshop on local raw materials sourcing, organised by the Guinness Breweries Limited (GGBL) in Accra on Thursday.
Tax stamps are small stickers with security features, to be supplied by the government to some manufacturers and importers. The stamps are to be affixed to their products before they are released onto the market. These stamps, once seen on a product would provide significant guarantee that the products were authentic.
He added that manufacturers must take the initiative to get the right applicator for the tax stamp policy to commence successfully.
“We congratulate Guinness for taking a lead in sourcing local raw materials for their production over the years but we urge them to take the lead in finding the right applicator to support the government’s tax stamp policy” he said.
In a presentation at the workshop on the socio-economic assessment of the impact of GGBL’s local raw materials sourcing, a Lecturer at the Bureau of Integrated Rural Department (BIRD) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Prof. Paul Sarfo-Mensah said the government must sustain the tax exemptions extended to companies using local raw materials for their production because the project had impacted positively on the livelihood of farmers in the rural areas with an increase in their revenue.
“There has been significant improvement in the lives of small holder farmers in the rural areas, for instance, in the Lower West Akyem district, income increased by 126 per cent from the baseline till now,” he said.
Local raw materials sourcing
The Finance Director at GGBL, Teye Mkushi, in her closing remarks at the workshop hinted that GGBL is expected to increase the use of raw materials in its production from 50 percent presently to 70 percent in the next three years.
She said this would ensure that more local farmers benefited from the company’s policy of using local raw materials for its production to improve the livelihood of farmers, especially small holder ones.
The workshop was a stakeholders interaction on transforming Ghana’s agricultural supply chain for industry, as well as showcase the local sourcing agenda of GGBL.
Over the last five years, GGBL has steadily increased its usage of local raw materials, specifically sorghum, maize and cassava for the production of its premium brands after the government passed the Customs and Excise Act 855, an excise duty concession on a sliding scale for breweries using local raw materials for the manufacture of excisable goods.
GGBL’s vision was to generate long-term business value with sustainable, local raw materials that met quality standards and also impacted positively on communities.
Presently, the project has impacted over 25,000 farmers and families providing a sustainable source of livelihood, and expanded the revenue base whilst adding value across the chain.