2022 Budget – Traders wants the 50% benchmark value policy maintained
Adnan Adams Mohammed
As the government is preparing to present the 2020 Economic Policies and Budget Statement next week, November 17, 2021, Ghanaian traders wants the government to maintain the 50% benchmark value policy.
The policy, introduced in 2018 was to save businesses, especially, trading from total collapse due to high import duties and high fees and charges at the port.
The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) in their pre-budget reading press statement indicated that, the policy has helped enormously in saving businesses.
“…it has helped reduced smuggling, as well as ensuring compliance and this enabled the government to exceed its revenue targets over the years”, the statement posited.
GUTA said currently, businesses are in serious distress and finding it difficult to operate, so any attempt to reverse the policy will spell doom to businesses in the country, especially trading, and will cause serious disaffection.
“In fact, the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused world commodity process to go up astronomically whiles freight charges have also gone up to cover over 650%, has exacerbated the situation,” the statement added.
GUTA, however, noted that it has no objection if the government decides to increase tax on non-essential goods such as alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and other related products that may be harmful to human health.
All things being equal, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has rescheduled to present the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government for the 2022 financial year on November 17, 2021,
This was announced in Parliament by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, last week during parliamentary sitting.
Earlier, the Finance Ministry had announced November 15 as the budget presentation date. The new date limits the number of days needed by parliamentarians to discuss the budget after it is presented. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs has therefore called on his colleagues to be judicious with time during discussion of the budget.
The budget, among other things, is expected to address some specific taxes and levies which have generated public attention and allocate funds for the various ministries and MMDAs for the year 2022.