Hasty Reversal Of Benchmark Value Will Bring Untold Hardships – TAGG


Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) has kicked against the sudden reversal of the benchmark values by an extra 30% in addition to existing 50%, saying the hasty decision by government will bring untold hardship to the trading population and to Ghanaians as a whole.

Addressing a Press Conference at its office in Accra yesterday, both the President and General Secretary of TAGG, Kwadwo Amoateng and Nana Poku indicated that the reversal of the benchmark value which took effect yesterday, March 1, 2022 came at the time when the Commissioner in charge of Customs was engaging various trade groups across the country.

“Engagement was still on going and not completed with the Kumasi branch of TAGG when the Deputy Minister of Finance came out with a conclusive decision by government on 23rd February 2022 to reverse the benchmark values by an extra 30%,” they indicated.

According to the Group, the Deputy Minister of Finance’s action was contrary to the consensus that was reached at these meetings, saying that “This means that government is reversing 80% of the benchmark values for import duties from 1st March 2022. This is unacceptable to TAGG as a trade union.  This decision will bring untold hardship to our members and to the good people of Ghana.”

According to Nana Poku, the traders will have no option but to drastically increase the prices of goods and services, which may affect inflation and bring the standard of living of the ordinary Ghanaian to an all-time low.

He explained that Government has decided to engage various trade organizations to solicit their views on the best way to implement its policy on the reversal of the benchmark values on import duties.

TAGG, he averred, was one of the trade union organizations called upon to assist the government on this task and that during these engagement sessions with government, the consensus was that the reversal of the benchmark values should be incremental in order to help the traders adjust and prevent a sudden hike in prices of goods and services.

He said: “It was maintained that government should increase the benchmark reversals a little at a time over an extended period.”

He expressed the disappointment of the Group in the lack of co-ordination and communication between the Ministry of Finance and Customs and in the overall outcome of the engagement sessions they had with government.

“We expected the deputy minister to wait for all the engagement sessions to be completed and analyzed before such a conclusive decision is made. This evinces a complete and utter disregard of our time, opinions and suggestions as traders and this has undermined government’s attempt at consensus building. We are dismayed and do not understand why the government machinery is in such a disarray.”

The President of TAGG, Mr. Kwadwo Amoateng in an interview after the Press Conference indicated that TAGG remains unperturbed by this decision by the government to reverse the benchmark values and hence urged all their members to increase the prices of their goods and services by 80% just as the government has done.

He also called on the Vice-President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia to arrest the rise of the dollar against the Cedi as he promised, stressing that the flight of the dollar is adversely affecting trading activities in the country.

“It seems the dollar has managed to escape the jail you purported to put it in and the Cedi is dying while traders are crying. Unless government puts in place some drastic measures to arrest the rise of the dollar against the cedi, traders will be forced to increase prices in tandem with the rise of the dollar,” he said.

Mr. Kwadwo Amoateng also called on Ghanaians to lace up their boots and get ready for the drastic hikes in goods and services across the country.

“Fellow Ghanaians, note that these price hikes are not the fault of the trader but that of the current administration who have refused to heed the cries of its people,” he stressed.



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