Budget review must include tax reliefs for businesses

The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has advised the government to consider introducing tax reliefs in the mid-year budget which is due for presentation to Parliament this month.

The chamber explained that reliefs in the form of eliminating some of the taxes that fell in the category of nuisance taxes such as COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy would help to lighten the burden on businesses and the citizenry.

To enable it to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionalities, the government introduced tougher tax measures in the 2023 Budget.

However, the chamber said that those measures were currently having a grave impact on the operations of local businesses in the country.

The President of the chamber, Clement Osei-Amoako, was speaking at a three-day Chamber Bazaar in Accra on the theme: “Harnessing business potentials through trade fairs and exhibitions”.  

More than 50 local firms were present to showcase their products, services and innovative ideas to a diverse audience at the bazaar.

Some of the firms included Extra Fashion, Salem Upholstery, African Diamond Cable Company Limited, Amalena Children’s Haven, T.T Brothers Limited, and Home Foods and Cannery Limited.

It was meant to promote the consumption and patronage of made-in-Ghana products, services and wares.


The president further urged the government to respond to the relative improvements in some major macro-economic indicators by abolishing taxes that were harmful to the growth of businesses.

“While reforms such as tightening monetary policy, raising taxes and implementing automatic adjustments to utility tariffs, among others, were intended to rectify fiscal imbalances and promote economic stability, they have resulted in higher operational costs for businesses operating in the country,” he said.

Mr Osei-Amoako claimed that many local businesses were collapsing, while others were relocating in response to those challenges.

He, therefore, said that it was crucial for the government to swiftly reconsider its tax policies and streamline the structure to ensure fairness and justification to support growth of businesses.

The president further said that by creating a favourable business environment, the government would unlock the true potential of the private sector and drive resilient economic growth and prosperity in the country.

Mr Osei-Amoako said the chamber remained committed to fulfilling its legislative mandate of promoting and protecting the commercial and industrial interests of the country.

He said over the years, the chamber had provided targeted business support services and opportunities for its members and the business community.

The Deputy Chief Commercial Officer of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Benjamin Asiam, said that private sector initiatives such as the bazaar enhanced public efforts to bring firms closer to the market and buyers.

He said the significance of such initiatives was evidenced in the drive to harness the full benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Mr Asiam added that under the AfCFTA guided trade programmes, eight countries had already started active trading.

The countries are Ghana, Kenya, Cameroun, Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Rwanda and Tanzania, which are trading in ceramics, palm oil, car batteries, coffee and other products.

Strategic partnerships

The Head of Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ghana Export-Import Bank, Bright Evans Darko, commended the chamber for holding the exhibition to promote made-in-Ghana products and services.

He said the bank was committed to providing strategic partnerships to promote locally made products.

SOURCE: GraphicOnline

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