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29.01.2009 General News

Govt urged to maintain low tax on food

By The Statesman

The Executive Director of Eakaza Limited Khaled Saleh, has reminded government of the need to maintain the recent mitigation measures it implemented to help reduce the price of certain imported food products.

This, he said would keep the price of food stable in Ghana in the heat of the global food crises and financial turmoil.

Mr Saleh also called on government to come out with clear cut measures that would help both local and foreign investors to go into rice cultivation locally.

Measures needed from government include a good land administration system that will allow people have easy access to land and tax relief for companies that are making effort to modernize agriculture in the country.

Speaking in an interview with The Statesman, Mr Saleh said his company concluded a deal to invest heavily in the country's rice sector to minimize the high import of rice into the country.

However certain issues related to land restricted their operations. He said in spite of the difficulties they were not perturbed at all and believe that government would create the needed environment for them to realize the set target.

Mr Khaled Saleh described Ghana"s rice market as very competitive with lots of companies importing rice at a very low rate.  He also called on government to be vigilant and check rice smugglers who evade tax when importing rice into the country to save the industry and the nation's economy

Mr Saleh noted that even though government"s mitigation measures on commodity tariffs affected their operations, initially, it should be made to stay to enable them serve Ghanaians and meet their needs.

Since its inception a few years ago, Eakaza Company has been engaged in distribution of cereals and other commodities, while encouraging farmers to add value to made in Ghana products.

 It has also been engaged in manufacturing, distribution and provision of service in some key sectors of the country's economy.