A Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Michael Okyere Baafi, has said the government will suspend the ongoing invigilation by the Ghana Revenue Authority that has resulted in protests and the closure of businesses.
While the deputy Minister said the invigilation was “really helping us as far as domestic revenue” was concerned, Mr. Baafi said these would count as concessions for businesses.
Some GRA officers could be seen monitoring sales at some businesses and events, leading to some agitation from businesses because of the intensified revenue collection efforts.
“They wanted us to suspend it over the last three days, so we have agreed to suspend it, so we believe that now, GUTA will go back and open their shops for us to continue the negotiations,” he said.
Mr. Baafi was speaking during the grant contract signing ceremony of the sectoral expansion of the COVID-19 response grant programme.
With the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) currently locking up shops because of forex challenges, among others, the government also said it will maintain a fixed exchange rate at the ports for the next three months.
The GRA last week closed some shops for failing to integrate their value-added tax (VAT) invoices into the authority’s newly deployed E-VAT Invoicing system as a measure to help it block revenue loopholes.
Fifty companies were selected to be linked to this E-VAT Invoicing system that will certify all invoices and give real-time reporting of sales.
Traders in Adum in the Ashanti Region also closed their shops to protest what they called the GRA’s uneven vigilance and implementation of the VAT policies.
Traders mandated to charge VAT on their products felt they were losing out to retailers who were not in compliance.