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24.01.2006 Politics

Parliament urged to expedite action passage of Co-operative Bill


Koforidua, Jan. 24, GNA - The General Manager of the Ghana Co-operative Distillers Association (GCDA), Mr Sam. B. Adzaklo, has called on Parliament to expedite action on the passage of the Co-operative Bill to enable co-operative societies contribute more towards national development.

According to him, the early passage of the Bill would re-engineer the co-operative movement and remove the bad nuts in the system. Mr Adzaklo was speaking after a Koforidua High Court ruled in favour of the GCDA as the body which could authorize purchasers of "akpeteshie" to convey same to retailing points under the law instead of a group of splinter "akpeteshie" distilling societies. Mr Adzaklo noted that the division of the co-operative distillers front since 2002 was causing the government to lose several millions of cedis in income taxes, excise duties, VAT and other levies by the district assemblies.

According to him, the Association had, until the four-year-old litigation, employed hundreds of staff for whom it paid their salaries and Social Security Fund contributions as well as undertaking viable projects.

He said the GCDA used alcoholmeters to test the products of members before releasing them to the market to ensure good quality standard to protect the lives of consumers, saying, however, "we seriously doubt that this is being done by the many splinter groups." Mr Adzaklo called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to mount a campaign to check on the payment of taxes by the splinter "akpeteshie" distilling groups springing up, especially in the Eastern Region. According to him, there were currently about 17 of such splinter distilling societies in the region, mostly in the East Akim, Suhum and West Akim districts which, he alleged, did not issue VAT-approved waybills.

He appealed to the security agencies to be vigilant along the highways in the inspection of the waybills of "akpeteshie" being conveyed to arrest defaulters. Jan. 24, 06