Government to cut down import tariffs by 50% starting from April 4, 2019

Government to cut down import tariffs by 50% starting from April 4, 2019

Vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia has, in an economic management team townhall meeting, indicated that the government is halving import tariffs by 50% by Thursday, April 4, 2019.

At the economic management team townhall meeting of April 3, 2019, vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia promised that the government is cutting down import tariffs by 50%, starting from Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Delving into specifics, Bawumia said the import value for cars will also be reduced by 30%.

In a report sighted by YEN.com.gh, the vice-president said:"To reduce the incidence of smuggling and enhance revenue, the benchmark delivery values of import will be reduced by 50%. However for vehicles, the reduction will be 30 percent."

This decision by government comes in the wake of pressure from groups such the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), who have called on government to review the high taxes and duties on imported items.

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Ghana's economy is heavily reliant on imports from trading partners, with the country perennially struggling to tackle trade deficits.

Bawumia expressed concern over what he called exorbitant port charges, saying: “Many port charges are a percentage of the value of the goods and this makes them exorbitant and highly justifiable.

Why should the cost of scanning a container, a vehicle examination fee, a network charge be a percentage of the value of goods in the container?”

“We have a very archaic practice when importers are unable to pay their duties, their cars and commodities are confiscated and auctioned off very cheaply. Often much less than the duty owed.

For importers, the choice is clear that there is an increasing diversion of trade away from Tema Port and the smuggling of many items into Ghana is very tempting."

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The vice-president also added that contrary to the assessment of the members of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), the fundamentals of the Ghanaian economy have gotten better since 2017.

The point of this rejection of the NDC's position comes from a famous maxim of Bawumia prior to the general elections of 2016.

The vice-president is known to have popularised the saying that "if the fundamentals of the economy are weak, the exchange rate will expose you".

Ghana's cedi is currently struggling against other major trading currencies.

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Source: Yen.com.gh

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