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13.04.2010 Editorial

Unacceptable Option

By Daily Guide
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Last Thursday we editorialized on the now dwindling revenue accruing to the state from the main collection agency, a situation which puts a strain on government's ability to provide amenities for the citizenry.

The revenue collection agencies such as the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) have, as a result of this, been flayed and enjoined by President John Evans Atta Mills to do more to reverse the trend.

The President frowned and poured out his heart about the situation and we think that an alternative means of improving the status quo should be the ideal thing to do now.

Every President, when faced with such an anomaly, would be hard pushed for options to reverse the unacceptable order.

A number of options are available for reversing the unfortunate trend, one of which is to motivate the revenue collection agencies to go beyond their current level.

Another means of increasing the revenue flow is to impose high tariffs on seized contraband goods, especially counterfeit ones which is the subject of today's commentary. This has proved worthwhile in augmenting the state kitty over the years and it would be amazing if we decide, today, to marginalize or even throw it overboard through what stands out as a queer option- destroying through burning.

It sounds ironic that such an alternative would be adopted in place of the imposition of punitive tariffs or even outright seizure by CEPS.

We appreciate the shortcomings of the seizure and auction option but for us, it makes more sense than burning same and denying the state what amount could have been realized.

At a meeting a few days ago, representatives of a number of stakeholders such as CEPS, Police, textile producers and a host of others took a decision to burn counterfeit textiles seized upon their entry into the country.

We acknowledge the worries of the stakeholders and the effects such goods have on the local textile industry and employment, but we do not feel comfortable with the burning option.

The effects of such goods are too obvious to be thrown overboard and so it is not our intention to pour cold water over the burning concern of the stakeholders, but to rather put forth the disadvantages of this weird decision.

Considering the zero advantages this option would have on the state's kitty, we would rather the stakeholders take another look at their decision.

We think that at the end of the day, it would be realized that burning such counterfeit stuff would not deter those engaged in it from continuing in this path and we mean it.

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana

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