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27.07.2009 Business & Finance

Tax review on imported food items soon

By Times Online
Vice President John Dramani MahamaVice President John Dramani Mahama
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The government will soon review taxes and duties on imported food items in order to create a fair competing ground for local farmers; Vice-President John Mahama has announced.

He said it is the wish of government to drastically reduce its expenditure on food imports especially "in the area of foods that we have a comparative advantage to produce".

The Vice-President was addressing the 20th National Marketing Performance Awards ceremony organised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing-Ghana (CIMG) in Accra on Saturday.

He attributed the difficulties being faced by local businesses to "government's reckless handling of the economy".

He said small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) were overwhelmed by the current adverse economic environment and faced default with their banks through no fault of theirs.

"This adversity has been due to the global recession but primarily due largely to the lack of prudence in management of the economy in the 2006-2008 period," he noted and said much of the progress made by the sector was in danger of being reversed.

He assured the local industry of government's commitment to maintain fiscal discipline in expenditure to ensure a stable and predictable environment for the private sector to thrive.

That notwithstanding, he asked local entrepreneurs to rise to the occasion through skills development.

"We often focus on credit as the only bottleneck in the growth of our business. But we have serious problems with research into consumer behaviour and market place trends," he said and warned that until such issues are addressed, "no amount of credit would do our businesses any good."

He commended CIMG for keeping the sanctity of the award selection process for 20 years without any scandal, adding, "CIMG has consistently, year after year kept alive this noble objective of recognizing excellence within corporate Ghana."

The president of CIMG, Josephine Okutu, appealed to government to adopt appropriate policies that would protect the economy against the shocks of the global financial crisis.

She said unlike in the previous years, the institute was unable to award the ICT and Retail Company of the year (2008) awards due to the failure of the nominated companies to meet the required criteria for the awards.

Mrs. Okutu said the CIMG has been reviewing the award process over the years and has introduced the 'Marketing Practitioner of the Year Award'.

In all, 25 personalities and organisations were given awards for their performance and contribution to the marketing profession in the past year.

The Marketing Man of the Year 2008 award went to Kwame Acheampong Kyei, Chairman of GLICO group of companies while Mrs. Norkor Dua, Managing Director of Lowe Lintas, won the Marketing Woman of the year award.

Other winners were George Andah, Chief Marketing Officer of MTN as the Marketing Practitioner of thy year; Obaa Mbo (TV Africa) as the TV programme of the year; Joy FM's Super Morning Show was adjudged the Radio Programme of the year while Multi Media won the Media Organisation of the year Award.

Kasapa Voice Message Service and Wrong Line adverts won respectively, the Radio and Television adverts of the year.

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