2.5 % increase in VAT will worsen cost of doing business – GUTA

The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has said the 2.5 per cent increment in the Value Added Tax (VAT) proposed in the 2023 budget, will further worsen the plight of doing businesses in the country.

He said chunk of businesses were currently collapsing following the complete phasing out of the benchmark value system at ports, hence the tax when approved by parliament would witness astronomical increment in prices of goods and services.

“The monitory policy rate which had gone up about five times this year, as well as the lending rate which is also around 42 per cent is reasons why cost of doing businesses in the country had become very expensive in the country,” he said.

Dr Obeng said this yesterday at the 2nd anniversary of the David Douglas Leadership Awards and launch of the Legends House magazine in Accra.

This year’s award on the theme “The role of leadership in nation development” honoured about 30 stakeholders for their tremendous achievement in area of corporate governance, industry, commerce, and media among others.

Dr Obeng appealed to Members of Parliament to rescind the increment to help reduce the financial burden of the public.

He said the exchange rate of the dollar which stood at GHC6.2 in the beginning of the year, was now around GHC15.2, a situation he said, had contributed significantly in the collapse of businesses.

“For Instance, if a trader’s capital used to be GH₡620,000 and able to buy $100,000 now that trader is only able to buy $45,000; meaning the trader’s capital had eroded by 60 per cent,” he said.

The Charge d’ Affairs at the Liberia Embassy in Ghana, Mr Alieu M. Massaquol, said Africa could be a major player in decision-making processes of the international politics, provided leaders design strategic engagement for sustainable development and restoration of self-awareness.

He said the Russia invasion of Ukraine which had contributed to the economic hardship in some Africans countries, should compel African leaders to combine their resources in order to restore the economic situation in the continent.

“It is time to get rid of what is foreign and take what is African. It is time to lay a solid foundation for self-awareness and specify our objectives for development.

We must understand that abandoning our heritage is a curse on generations to come, let rise up and build Africa together,” Mr Massaquol said.

The Founder of the David Douglas Leadership Awards, Mr David Douglas Tengey, said the award scheme would continue to put consorted actions together to improve the living standard of the youth through programmes such as training, coaching and mentoring.


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