Tax stamp on textiles will protect ailing industry – Deputy Minister

The introduction of tax stamp on textiles will protect the ailing textile industry and make it buoyant, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, has said.

He said some of the textile manufacturing companies such as Ghana Textile Manufacturing Company and Tema Textile Limited were on the verge of collapse, while Volta Star and Juapong Textiles Limited needed government support to survive.

Mr Ahenkorah stated this at a sensitisation programme for textile dealers and importers on the new tax stamp in here on Monday.

He said the textile industry which employed about 30,000 workers in the 1980s and 90s, currently employed only 3000 people.

“We have realised that the textile industry in Ghana is dying off gradually; only three companies including GTP Tex Styles and Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) are surviving. If we don’t do anything, sooner than later, they will also go down and collapse,” the Deputy Minister said.

He said the government was devising strategies to make Juapong Textile Limited and Volta Star, which produce loom and yarns buoyant, adding that the production of textiles in commercial quantities was seriously under threat of collapse.

Consequently, said the government after consultation with textile industry players, decided to introduce the tax stamp to combat piracy and counterfeiting to protect the industry and also rake in additional revenues for state.

“We will not wait for the textile companies to collapse; we need to stabilise them with the tax stamp strategy.  Indeed, the tax stamp has come to stay,” he stated.

He said the tax stamp was to ensure that only genuine wax prints were imported into the country and traded at the markets and that all imported textiles would be required to enter the country through a single dedicated corridor and affixed with the tax stamps.

He said currently the local textile producers could produce only 40 million (thirty per cent) of the 120 million yards of the cloth need of the country, and the remaining seventy per cent had to be imported to fill the gap.

The Queen Mother of Textile Dealers at the Takoradi Market, Perpetual Brobbey said the new tax stamp would save the local industry from unfair competition, adding that “counterfeiting and piracy were a disincentive to the   local industry”.

From Clement Adzei Boye, Takoradi

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