Government lacks ideas on how to benefit from foreigners trading in Ghana – GUTA president
President of the Ghana Traders Association Dr Joseph Obeng has revealed the troubles businesses are going through in Ghana due to the current state of the economy.
The GUTA president in backing the decision of the Adum traders to close down their shops to protest the hardships facing their businesses said, “This is the worst period to do business. Our capital is dwindling and being eroded if we do not fast track the process to solve the situation”.
On what could solve the exchange rate issue, Dr Obeng preferred on Citi TV on Wednesday, 12th October 2022 that the government’s one district one factory initiative should be revamped and intensified to soar up production.
Addressing the issue of excessive importation, Dr Obeng admitted saying “I am not happy with the excessive importation and there is a way to control it though but if the government’s balance of trade surplus is not working then there is a leakage”.
He revealed that imports at the heart of the locals constitute only 15% and the Chinese are the ones just dumping goods into the system. He advised the government to drive towards industrialization.
On the laws regarding foreigners trading in the country, Dr Obeng said “We make the laws so easy so they just go to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and then start shipping here”.
This to him does not allow the government to regulate the foreign traders well in order to benefit from them. He said that for the government to benefit, “Such traders should be made to bring their monies here. Keep it at the bank of Ghana and use it to work”.
Dr Obeng also advocated that the loophole in the tax collection system be addressed to ensure compliance, as he indicated that what is getting the traders frustrated is that “the tax system does not ensure compliance and those who comply have now become victims. We drew the Ghana Revenue Authority’s attention and they said we had a genuine concern so they would contact the Finance Ministry to address the problem”.
He also underscored the need for GRA to be innovative with its tax collection system while reiterating that “it needs to be simplified to ensure compliance”.