Dealers of spare parts at Abossey Okai in Accra have told Citi Business News they are in talks with government to scrap the import levy on imported spare parts.The traders were thrown in a fix when it emerged that they may not enjoy any tax cuts due to the rules and regulations regarding the ECOWAS common external tariff.
There were agitations from importers on Monday, April 3, 2017 after news broke that the spare parts dealers may not enjoy tax cuts as promised by government in the 2017 budget statement at least not during the tenure of this government.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta during the budget statement asserted that the spare parts dealers will be exempted from taxes at the ports.
But Citi Business News’ checks reveal that the traders may not have the cuts because Ghana signed onto the ECOWAS common external tariff policy last year.
A review of the tariff can only be made after a minimum of five years.
But the spare parts dealers tell Citi Business News despite the development, they are confident government will still go ahead and implement the tax cuts.
Financial Secretary of the Association, Nana Kwabena Peprah said they are in talks with government on the issue.
“We have given out our list that this law will cover and we are waiting for the government to respond to it and implement it.”
Nana Peprah further said he spends about Ghc5,000 on import levy alone on goods worth Ghc20,000; that figure is minus other taxes he has to pay at the ports before he is able to clear his goods.
Despite government’s delay in clearing some of his costs at the ports, he explains that the only reason it is being delayed is because both parties are looking at how best the move will be of benefit to the two groups.
“We pay five thousand cedis on import duty alone then we pay VAT among others, but we will still push it. We are a sovereign state, these are laws governing all the blocks so we will force the government to implement the law and then use it as a bargaining power,” he said.
An executive member of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah is also confident government will soon implement the tax cuts to the relief of the importers.
“We are quite positive that this decision is not just a say. The ECOWAS treaty will not affect government’s decisions. It will inure to the benefit of everyone, not just those in the spare parts business because we are all consumers and it should be our prayer that it works out. I know and I’m convinced it will work out,”he stressed.
Meanwhile, Citi Business News’ checks also reveal that some dealers have already reduced the prices of some of their wares even before the implementation of the tax cuts.
(By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee)