GUTA Commends Govt For Suspending Benchmark Value Reversal

Dr Joseph Obeng

THE GHANA Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has welcomed Government’s suspension of the implementation of the benchmarks policy reversal for broader consultations.

GUTA, a representative of traders’ associations in Ghana, said many of its members were excited about the news.

President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, said the livelihoods of its members largely depended on the policy, and that the new government position would go a long way to protect their sources of income.

“If you see the happiness that greeted this, it means that people’s livelihoods actually depends on the maintenance of this benchmark policy rather than the reversal, so we thank government for listening to our pleas,” he said.

Dr. Obeng further expressed optimism about the wider consultations expected to be made.

President Akufo-Addo on Saturday directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to stay the roll-out of the benchmark value reversal policy to allow for broader stakeholder engagement.

The President gave a deadline of January 17 for all consultations to conclude.

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

But the implementation of the policy was fraught with many challenges leading to calls by stakeholders including GUTA and the Ghana Importers and Exporters Association for its suspension.

Freight forwarders have also made similar calls.

Meanwhile, the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has said that the January 17 deadline given is not enough for wider consultations to be done.

Its Executive Secretary, Sampson Asaki Awingobit, said, “I am looking forward to hearing the President actually suspending the programme and allowing for wider consultations…. The January 17 deadline is too short a time for this to be done.”