The Welfare Officer of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Benjamin Yeboah has warned authorities of a major disadvantage they will face on their decision to reverse the 50% reduction in the benchmark values.
According to him, the purpose for implementing the 50% reduction will be defeated by the reversal, hence, affecting the country’s economic growth.
He reasoned that the 50% reduction has gone a long way to ensure compliance by importers at the various points of entry and with this reversed, some importers might resort to smuggling.
Speaking in an interview on Happy 98.9 FM’s Happy Morning Show, the businessman said, “Compliance is not by putting more security personnel at the borders but by putting in place tax exemptions like the 50% reduction in the benchmark values. If these are removed, then smuggling and other illegalities will resume.”
He added that if smuggling and compliance issues become prevalent at the various points of entry, the government will lose revenue generated from the ports and borders.
On his authority, it still does not make sense to him that the government will decide to reverse the 50% reduction in the benchmark values at this point in time when their businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benchmark values are reference values that Customs uses in determining values which could be imposed on imports meant for clearance at the country’s ports.
The 50% benchmark value reduction was done to reduce the incidence of smuggling and enhance revenue at the country’s ports.