AGI Wants Benchmark Policy Reversal Implemented

Dr. Humphrey Kwesi Ayim-Darke

THE ASSOCIATION of Ghana Industries (AGI) has called on Government not to relent on the implementation of the benchmark values reversal policy introduced in 2019.

“AGI is urging the government not to backtrack on the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark discount values policy. We want the government to remain focused on its industrialisation and transformation agenda and unwavering in its decision to implement the much talked about policy reversal.

“While other countries are offering rebates to help their companies produce and export, Ghana is offering rebates that promote importation,” President of AGI, Dr. Humphrey Kwesi Ayim-Darke said.

Dr. Ayim-Darke said the government needs to remain focused on the implementation of the policy reversal.

“The AGI believes the benchmark discount policy in its current form runs contrary to government’s own agenda of industrialization. We can’t afford to sacrifice our industrial initiatives for short-term gains that serve the interest of a few finished product importers.

This policy is very regressive to the manufacturing space and will be most unfortunate if maintained in its current form,” he added.

This follows President Nana Akufo-Addo’s directive to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend the planned implementation of the policy reversal, for further consultations.

The president gave a deadline of January 17 for all consultations to conclude and a consensus reached.

As part of the government’s efforts towards promoting local production, discounts on benchmark values for some selected items that were announced in the 2022 budget were to be scrapped.

But the implementation of the policy has been fraught with many challenges, leading to calls by stakeholders including the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the Ghana Importers and Exporters Association for its suspension.

BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri