The National Democratic Congress’ Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, has lauded the President’s directive for the suspension of the implementation of the reversal of the 50 percent benchmark value on certain imports.
“Kudos to GUTA, the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana and all those who stood against the callous decision by government to reverse benchmark value discounts on imports,” Mr. Gyamfi said in a post on Facebook.
“Together, we have averted what was going to be one of the most draconian and devastating economic policies in Ghana’s history. We have demonstrated that the power of the people is powerful than the people in power.”
Mr. Gyamfi however said, “until this draconian policy is totally dropped by government, we must rest not.”
The President in his directive to the Ghana Revenue Authority gave a deadline of January 17 for all consultations to conclude.
He expects the consultations to help all stakeholders understand the policy before it is rolled out.
The reversal would affect 43 items including rice, poultry, sugar, palm oil, toilet paper, mosquito coils, machetes, and vehicles.
The government introduced the benchmark policy in 2019 to benchmark certain commodities against world prices as a risk management tool.
It also factored in the protection of health, the environment, and security, as well as the protection of local industries.
The reversal of the policy was backed by the Association of Ghana Industries, who expect the local manufacturing industries to benefit from the higher cost of imports.
But Ghana Union of Traders Associations called on its members to oppose the development, arguing that importers have had to contend with increases in exchange rates, the cost of freight, among others.
The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana also expressed fears that businesses in Ghana would be negatively impacted by the reversal.