Govt sets up c’ttee to resolve impasse between GUTA and foreign retailers

A committee to resolve the impasse between the Ghana Traders Union Association (GUTA) and foreign retailers operating in the country has been set up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Chaired by the Chief Director of the Ministry, its mandate is to, among other things, ensure that peace prevailed among Ghanaian retailers and their foreign counterparts, as well as submit their recommendations to the Presidency.

The Technical Advisor on Domestic Trade at the Ministry, Mr Ntim Donkor, disclosed this yesterday at the inauguration of the Tenants of Makola Shopping Mall Association (TOMSMA) in Accra.

There has been tension between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders in recent time.

Shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Kumasi and some parts of Accra were shut down by GUTA last year for illegally engaging in retail business which was exclusively reserved for Ghanaians.

Mr Donkor said the committee after series of meetings with leadership of GUTA and representatives of the foreign traders had been briefing the minister, Mr Alan John Kyerematen, on the outcomes.

He expressed the hope that the recommendations by the committee would resolve all grievances, and urged traders to exercise peace and harmony in order not to violate the peaceful coexistence between Ghana and other countries.  

The President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng, mentioned  import duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) as some of the high levies that needed to be reviewed to bring relief to traders.

He said the leadership of GUTA have had several meetings with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to reduce the huge tax imposed on goods and services.

He said although taxes were the responsibility of traders to promote developments, the incessant increment was hindering Ghanaian businesses.

The General Secretary of TOMSMA, Frederick Amonoo, also complained about the huge amount members had to pay to occupy the Makola Mall facilities, stressing that the huge amount of rent had become a major challenge to them.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN

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