The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, says calls for price control of goods was needless as price increment was caused by the current inflation and cedi to dollar rate.
According to him, it was unfair for government to put blames on the trading community as taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT) had increased from three per cent to about 19 per cent.
“The inflation we are suffering was as a result of accumulation of cost. If we are committed to fighting price increment, we have to look at the price build up all the way from the fuel we buy and the duties that we pay,” he explained.
He disclosed this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday.
He added that government should consider procuring their own goods if they “want to implement a price control.”
Dr Obeng explained that traders would not shy from making a little profit on goods purchased as some were purchased with micro-finance loans.
“For us we will ply our business legitimately and we will not be ashamed to make a little profit to take care of our children or break even because most of the business we do, we are losing,” he added.
Dr Obeng described the government’s pilot programme “Planting for Food and Job market” as unsustainable and it should be stopped as it would incur losses for the traders.
“This means we have failed. We need to add value to what we have and process, package and store the products,” he emphasised.
The GUTA President charged the government to adopt sustainable measures to store and shore upfood supply in the country.
He also appealed to the government to create avenues to get the goods from the hinterlands to the district capitals for the traders to purchase in order to reduce the cost of goods in the market.
It could be recalled that the President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo two weeks ago announced some 12 measures that the government was taking to reduce the ongoing economic hardships.
Among the measures, announced by the President included the reviewing of the standards required for importation, prioritising imports into the country, as well as reviewing the management of the country’s foreign exchange reserves, in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, tooth picks, paste, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE