The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has indicated that the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government did not meet its expectations.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta was in Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, and laid the 2024 Budget Statement before the House.
Although the Minister announced 8 tax reliefs to benefit local businesses, Dr. Joseph Obeng who is President of GUTA has disclosed that it will not be significant to impact businesses positively.
Speaking to Joy FM on Thursday, November 16, the GUTA President said the 2024 Budget will rather impact the businesses of its members negatively.
“This 2024 Budget is going to impact businesses negatively. In the broader picture, our demands were not met. The cost of doing business is high. The cost of clearing goods at the port is exorbitantly high.
“There are so many nuisance taxes. We believe most of the taxes should be pruned down,” Dr. Joseph Obeng said.
He bemoaned that currently in Ghana, “When we import our goods into Ghana we expect that people from Togo will come and buy, but now people leave Ghana, go to Togo, and buy from them.”
The GUTA President in an appeal to government said it should move away from taxation and focus on local production.
In his presentation of the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, Ken Ofori-Atta announced a decision by government to extend the zero rate of VAT on locally manufactured African prints for two more years.
He also announced a decision by government to waive import duties on the import of electric vehicles for public transportation for a period of year years.
Other tax reliefs in the budget include a zero rate VAT on locally produced sanitary pads, import duty waivers for raw materials for the local manufacture of sanitary pads, grant exemptions on the importation of agricultural machinery equipment and inputs and medical consumables, raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as a VAT flat rate of 5 percent to replace the 15 percent standard VAT rate on all commercial properties will be introduced to simplify administration.