By Richard Adorsu,
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Accra, Ghana- The Ministry of Finance says it is working to ensure that levies and charges placed on imports into Ghana are at par with others within the West African sub-region.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, explained that though Ghana is a signatory to several trade treaties, the government will be measured in setting rates and charges which will affect businesses.
He made the remarks on the sidelines of the commemoration of the World Customs Day in Ghana, on January 31, 2020.
“The immediate concern is how we get that negotiation right because we ought to be responsible members of the international community but at the same time; we are sensitive to our domestic imperatives. For example, for the Common External Tariffs, it is good ultimately for us as a region looking to improve industrialization and reducing imports,” Mr. Kwarteng said.
As part of measures to achieve this, the government in April last year, reviewed the benchmark values of all imports by fifty percent, and that of vehicles by thirty percent to curtail smuggling.
Mr. Kwarteng further indicated that he is hopeful continuous reviews should ease the cost of doing business in Ghana.
“But at the same time, depending on the regime you impose at your ports, the cost of living in the short run could go up. How the government responds to the legitimate concerns by the consuming public about the consequences of some of the things we do is a challenge and it must inform the kind of conversations we have as we seek to improve customs management,” he added.
In 2019, the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, exceeded its revenue target of GH¢43 billion although the Customs Unit of the Authority was unable to meet its own target for the period.
There have been measures to rectify this issue such as the introduction of the paperless ports system in September 2017.
1United Stats Dollar = 5.48 Ghanaian Cedi – February 01/ 2020
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent
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