GUTA President Hails Port Taxes Reform

Dr. Joseph Obeng


President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng, has expressed his joy at the speech delivered by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia which tends to do away with a number of taxes should he get elected as president in the 2024 elections.

Speaking to a JoyNews reporter at the end of Dr. Bawumia’s speech, Dr. Obeng could not hide his excitement about what the Vice President articulated in his speech about traders and importers.

“I am overly excited. This is exactly what I wanted to hear and I heard it. It means that they have been listening to whatever pleas that we have been doing, the communication that we do with you, on TV and all that, are being listened to,” Dr. Obeng said.

“It’s all about the adopting compliance as a tool of revenue collection in his administration, and it’s going to simplify the collection system, that’s why he is talking about flat rate, and that is even going to make duty payments flat rated, starting with spare parts,” he indicated.

“Why can’t I be excited if after all these years, a bill is going to be adopted, so we are very excited at the fact that he said invigilation should be the thing of the past in his administration, it means that he has also listened to our pleas of the invigilation by VAT, and that being in government now, I believe he is talking to GRA to stop that exercise,” he posited.

He also spoke on the proposed five years post-clearance audit highlighted by Vice President Bawumia in his speech, and said it would go a long way to help GUTA members in their businesses.

“So what he is saying is that, he is going to expand the tax net, he said that, because that’s why he started with the TIN (Tax Identification Number), and that has captured a lot of capable taxpayers who are outside the tax net, that’s what he’s going to use to make taxes affordable so that everybody will pay,” Dr. Obeng stressed in the interview.

Dr. Joseph Obeng believes this is going to take away all the leakages in the tax system, and supports what they have trumped over and over that “when the duty is flat, it means nobody is going to take advantage, the Custom Officer or the agent or even the trader because everybody knows that this is the flat rate that everybody will have to pay.”

“In case he (Bawumia) wins power and he adopts this, because we know that this is feasible, this is workable, it’s not rocket science, this thing that we said is what other countries have done and are being highly competitive in the market,” he said.

He pointed out that Ghanaian traders, especially importers, are not competitive because of the numerous bottlenecks in the tax administration at the ports.

“We are very uncompetitive because of the high rate of duties that we pay. He might have recognised that and says that he is going to simplify things for us, he is going to make things flat rated for us, so that affordability and then expand the tax net, this is all that we have been saying all this time, and so it’s very good that a leader should listen to his people, that’s all democracy is about, and I am overly excited,” he told the reporter.

He urged all political parties to emulate the example of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to know the needs of business people and structure their policies around that.

Dr. Joseph Obeng expressed confidence in Dr. Bawumia, stressing that if he is elected as president, he will roll out these important tax reforms at the ports.

A Daily Guide Report