Importers and Exporters forecasts shortage of commodities in Ghanaian markets by July

  Thu, 20 Apr 2023
Commodity News Importers and Exporters forecasts shortage of commodities in Ghanaian markets by July

Mr. Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG), has forecasted that if container traffic at Ghana's ports and local manufacturing does not improve, there may be a scarcity of commodities by July 2023.

Mr. Asaki emphasized that "by July 2023, if we don't take care, there will be a shortage of goods in Ghana."

He made the forecast while addressing the "Perspective of Importers and Exporters on the Three Newly Approved Taxes" issue on the Ghana News Agency-Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Discussions Platform.

He explained that due to high charges on the clearance of imported products, many individual importers and organizations have either ceased importing or reduced the volume they import, resulting in a significant decrease in cargo activity at Ghana's seaports.

He predicted that due to high taxes and the high cost of doing business, the country will face certain shortages of necessary items due to the incapacity of local manufacturing enterprises and industries to produce more to cover the gap produced by the decline in importation.

Mr. Asaki went on to say that when such a scarcity develops, prices will rise, resulting in a high cost of living for ordinary people.

He stated that Ghana's imports were more commercial in nature and that as a result of the containerization of imported goods, some individuals became involved in the importation of essential commodities alongside large import businesses.

According to him, the multiple tariffs, fees, and penalties, particularly the implementation of the reversal of the subsidy on benchmark values, have forced them to stop importing, while the enterprises have also cut the number of containers they import significantly.

As a result, he urged the President to postpone the implementation of three revenue bills: the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022, the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill 2022, and the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2022.

The IEAG's Executive Secretary stated that applying the levies will result in a further decline in imports as well as a negative impact on domestic output, causing tremendous misery for the citizens.

He asked for broad dialogue on the next steps, claiming that this was the first time that all business organizations had come together with one voice to firmly oppose the imposition of a tax.

For example, he claimed that most of the time there would be conflicts among such organizations, adding that when the government attempted to reverse the benchmark value subsidy, while his organization and others were opposed, the Association of Ghana Industries was in favour.

He emphasized that "for once, we are all together calling on the President to delay its implementation now that the government has failed to listen to our plea not to assent to it, the laudable option is to delay its implementation."

—CDA Consult || Contributor