Ghana Tax Regime Traders promise hell for government this month if......

The traders have decided to resume their series of strikes, coupled with planned demonstrations to increase pressure on government to review the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs.

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The Private Sector Business Joint Consultative Forum has intensified pressure on government to drive home demands for a review of what they describe as unfairly exorbitant taxes.

The traders have decided to resume their series of strikes, coupled with planned demonstrations to increase pressure on government to review the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs.

They are also asking for a reduction in the 17.5% Value Added Tax on businesses.

Executive Member of the Forum and the President of the Ghana Union of Traders' Association, George Kwaku Ofori told that the forum has resorted to a more intense approach after government failed to respond to their concerns last week.

“This month we will continue our agitations with  diverse strikes because government has since not responded to our concerns. We will also embark on a series of demonstrations to press home our demand. This month will be very hot for government if they do not respond to our concerns”  Kwaku Ofori said.

The Joint Forum embarked on a three- day strike last Monday, demanding that government responds to their concerns over the Common External Tariffs, but government did not budge. The traders felt particularly disappointed and deceived when government asked them to restrict their strike to Accra alone while government works on an amicable solution. However, Ghana Importers and Exporters Association, Samson Awingobite told Pulse Business last week that government has since not responded to their concerns.

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On the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs, the traders are asking government to reduce its import duties in  line with the stipulations of ECOWAS, as the CET has the aim to even out custom tariffs charged in ports in the West African Sub- region. However, the traders say government is adamant in reducing its tariffs in line with the stipulated tariffs under the CET.

According to Samson Awingobite, whereas the CET imposed 10% tariff on imported rice, the government is charging 25 in addition to other taxes of 23%. This means rice importers in Ghana are charged about 53%.

Awingobite also decried the 20% tariffs on bicycles. He said "A bicycle is the least any farmer can buy, increasing it by 20% means they will have to buy it now around 300-500 cedis which it should be so.


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