Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament(MP) for Ejisu, John Kumah, has disclosed that there is no decision to scrap the reversal of the Benchmark value.
According to him, there will be further consultation with the traders as directed by the President to ensure that they reach a heartwarming decision with the agitated traders.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend the planned implementation of the reversal of the benchmark value discounts introduced to cushion Ghanaians against price hikes.
At a meeting with officials of the GRA and other stakeholders, the President gave a deadline of January 17 for all consultations to conclude.
The President says the move will help all players understand the policy before it is rolled out.
The GRA on January 4th announced the implementation of the policy despite stiff opposition from industry players.
But speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ programme, he explained that they will follow the president’s directive and have a consultative meeting with the trade union groups and ensure that they all have a common ground of interest.
That does not mean that the reversal of the benchmark value will be scrapped.
He further argued that the reversal of the benchmark value is to assist local industries to enable them produce more for local consumption and ease import on products.
This will also enable the private sector employ more Ghanaians thereby reducing the high unemployment rate in the country, he added.
About benchmark value reduction
The benchmark value, which is the amount taxable on imports, was reduced by 50 percent for some goods.
The import value for cars was also reduced by 30 percent.
The government’s hope was that easing the import regime would make Ghana’s ports competitive by increasing the volume of transactions and increasing revenue generated at the ports.
But as the government pushed its industrialisation drive, critics, like the Association of Ghana Industries, also called for a review of the benchmark value reduction policy.