The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has commended the government for its decision to reverse the 50 percent benchmark value policy on imported products, saying it would boost local production.
It said the policy had made imported products cheaper than the local ones and the review announced in the 2022 budget would provide a level playing field and help producers to be competitive.
“We commend government for taking the bold decision to reverse the discount on the benchmark values on selected products which was introduced in April 2019, in spite of the massive pressures from our colleagues who import finished products into the country,” AGI's outgoing President, Dr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi said.
Addressing the 61st annual general meeting of the Association in Accra on the theme: “Repositioning local industry to leverage AfCFTA,” Dr Adu-Gyamfi noted that many producers were badly affected by the policy.
“A lot of manufacturing companies have been hit by this policy which is threatening their growth and competitiveness of the sector.
That is why we are particularly appreciative of the government's bold action to reverse the policy on selected products. It is important to emphasise that the policy has not been totally scrapped, it is only a review on selected products which are produced locally.”
Dr. Adu-Gyamfi advised the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) to support local manufacturers.
“We urge our colleagues from Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) to cooperate with us and resort to dealing in Ghanaian made products to supply their customers instead of attacking local manufacturers,” he added.
Among other things, AGI also commended the government for extending the zero VAT regime for domestic textile makers but was unhappy at the decision to leave the straight Levy unchanged.