Rice millers call for swift implementation of reversal of 50% discount on benchmark values

The Rice Millers Association says the reversal of the benchmark values is important to growing the country’s local industry and enabling it to thrive.

The association had long advocated for a reversal of the discounts, saying such a move will help in improving the fortunes of the local rice industry.

According to the Rice Millers Association, the implementation of the 50 per cent benchmark policy over the last two years has led to the shutdown of a number of local rice mills.

The convener of the group, Yaw Adu-Poku, stressed that the new policy would create the right environment to boost indigenous products.

“In Ghana, we have a problem, it is basically a consumer-based society so whatever we have here is imported. And to make it even worse, the government says ‘I’m going to give concession to goods that are already enjoying some concession,” he said.

“How do the locals compete with such a situation? The goods that are coming in, most of them are enjoying concessions from their mother country and then the Government of Ghana also saying ‘let’s make it affordable?’” he asked.

This is on the back of the President’s directive to suspend the planned implementation of the reversal of the benchmark value discounts.

President Akufo-Addo directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend the reversal of the policy to enable broader consultation adding that, the move will help all players understand the policy before it is rolled out.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), last week, deferred the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark values to Monday, January 17, 2022.

The authority explains that the transitional arrangements are to ensure a smooth implementation. It is also to allow a storage free period for vessels that discharged on December 31, 2021 to go through clearance without being affected by the reversal of the policy.

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