NASPAWAP sends SOS message to govt to stabilise exchange rate

The National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASPAWAP) have called on government to as a matter of urgency take strategic steps to stabilise the cedi against major foreign trading currencies.

According to it, the present exchange rate was having a heavy toll on producers who rely heavily on imported materials in the production and packaging of sachet and bottled water in the country.

President of NASPAWAP, Mr Magnus Nunoo in a statement copied to the Ghanaian Times said, if government failed to address the challenge, producers would have no option than to pass on the skyrocketing cost of production to the public.

“If government does not attend to the call by a week from today, we will have no option than to pass on the cost to the public and possible shutdown of production and distribution for a week across the country,” he warned.

The statement noted that from plastic pallets used in the manufacturing of polythene films to pet bottle performs for packaging, fuel for distribution of water to the market centres and consumers to electricity cost among other administrative costs, water producers were at the losing end of business.

“Obviously, per the last price announced in September is nothing to even meet the break even cost of the packaged water industry. As a result, the industry is accumulating debt in its operations to levels that is no more sustainable,” it noted.

The NASPAWAP recommended to government to take urgent steps to reduce taxes on the packaging materials for the industry, review the import and customs duty formula for the raw materials imported for the packaged water industry and freeze payment of VAT, Excise tax and other taxes on the packaged water industry.

It further asked that government charges and fees for the packaged water industry are froze and if possible, utilities as well as taxes on reusable jar bottles used for the dispensing machines are completely removed.

“We call on the Bank of Ghana to be circumspect in the adjustment of the policy rate which is increasing the cost of borrowing from the banks to the businesses,” the statement said.

The NASPAWAP urged the public, civil society organisations and other key stakeholders to support calls by the packaged water industry to keep it afloat.

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