Government reviews benchmark discount on imports

Rice And Food Imports
Ghana To Cut Us$1b Rice And Food Imports

The government has suspended the 50 per cent benchmark values on selected general goods and the 30 per cent on vehicles to make the measure more efficient and targeted.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who announced this on Wednesday in Accra when he presented the 2022 budget to Parliament, said the move was consistent with the government policy to promote local industry and improve foreign exchange earnings.

He said the Government was committed to a programme of turning enterprising traders into manufacturers of widgets, tools and other machinery necessary as inputs for industrial growth.

The government has also reviewed the Value Added Tax (VAT) Flat Rate of three per cent of the sale price of goods was introduced on the supply of goods by wholesalers and retailers.

The review will limit the Flat Rate to only retailers and provide a simplified system for small scale enterprises to make local goods with imported substitutes competitive.

To ensure the objective of the review is achieved, Mr Ofori-Atta said the rate would be applied to retailers with annual turnover not exceeding GH¢500,000.

All other retailers and wholesalers will be charged the standard rate, he said.

The Minister said in 2019, VAT relief was provided on African prints for textile manufacturers to enable them to resuscitate their operations and provide affordable textiles to the market.

That policy, he said, had succeeded in stabilising the industry and formed the basis for a modest increase in production.

He said the companies had also maintained their prices over the period, making the cost of local prints affordable.

Additionally, the companies had been able to keep their employees and made some investments in the industry as a result of the Policy.

The minister said to consolidate the gains and expand production in the industry, the government had decided to extend the Relief for a further two years.

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