GRA explains benchmark value reduction policy

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says the government’s benchmark value reduction policy covers all kinds of imported goods and products.

It therefore asked traders and importers to disregard false reports circulating on social media that not all goods would be affected by the reduction in benchmark values.

Commissioner-General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, was speaking yesterday in Accra when he toured and interacted with importers and traders at Abossey Okai and Makola markets.

The tour and interactions, were also to enable the management of GRA familiarise themselves with the operational challenges of importers.

It further formed part of activities of the GRA’s 2nd tax and good governance week celebrations.

Mr Nti noted that the authority would soon engage importers on the prices of goods to help in determining the bench mark values to be agreed on.

The initiatives, according to him was to address smuggling which mostly went through the Aflao Border and negatively impacted on revenues from the ports.

“Government has been fair to importers and traders. We also request that you issue the VAT receipts and avoid practices that rob the government of much-needed revenue,” he added.

An executive member of Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, Siaw Ampadu, said that the group would not shield any member who engaged in smuggling or corrupt practices that affected government negatively.

The group, he said would prefer if government pegged the dollar rate for about three months to enable the importers and traders plan their activities.

Additionally, he called for the establishment of a grievance centre which would help in facilitating quick resolutions to the concerns of importers at the various ports.

Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, addressing a Town Hall Meeting in Accra last week, announced a slash of benchmark values for all imports by 50 per cent, except duties on vehicles, which would be cut by 30 per cent.

It was part of reforms at the country’s ports aimed at reducing the incidence of smuggling at the ports, enhancing revenue mobilisation and making Ghana’s ports competitive.

The reduction was also in response to calls by importers on the government to reduce import duties.

Photo caption: Mr Nti (second from right) in a discussion with some of the importers


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