The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has debunked claims and threats of a 50% hike in the prices of goods on the markets if the government goes ahead with the implementation of the reversal of discounts on benchmark values at the ports.
The remarks follow consistent claims by the Ghana Union of Traders Association and the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana to the effect that, prices of imported goods that will be affected by the policy reversal will increase significantly.
The reversal of the discounts on benchmark values which is expected to affect some 43 items has been resisted by sections of the trading community and comes almost 3 years after the government reduced the benchmark values or delivery values of imports, by 50%, except for vehicles which were reduced by 30%, all in an effort to reduce the menace of smuggling and make the country’s ports more competitive and attractive.
The reversal, if implemented, will affect items including, sugar, poultry, pasta, palm oil, roofing sheets, toilet paper, facial tissue and towels, chocolates, Portland cement, and mosquito coils. Other items also include vehicles, ceramic tiles, aluminium products, cartons, textiles, fruit juices, among others.
The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Dr. Joseph Obeng, who has been campaigning alongside other groups in the trading community against the reversal of discounts on benchmark values, has in the past warned of prices of goods rising by as much as 50%.
But according to the CEO of AGI Seth Twum-Akwaboah, the price of goods should not increase beyond 10 percent with the implementation of the reversal.
“Information going round about a likely high surge in prices if the policy is implemented is false. Prices on the market if the reversal takes effect should not go up by more than 10%. In other words, if the price of the product on the market was GH¢10, and the importer decides not to absorb the added cost, we should only expect the price to rise to GH¢11. So why are we deceiving ourselves that prices are going to double, leading to people being worried.”