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AGI dissatisfied with recent benchmark discount value review

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has expressed dissatisfaction with the recent reduction of the 50 per cent benchmark discount value to 30 per cent for general goods and 10 per cent for vehicles, while consultation was still in progress.

A statement signed by Dr Humphrey Ayim Darke, AGI President, said the government’s revision did not offer solution or address the concerns of local manufacturers.

It said the review from 50 per cent to 30 per cent for general goods and 10 per cent for vehicles did not restore local manufacturers to the status quo, let alone competitiveness.

“While we acknowledge efforts by Government to address this distortion, we are very dissatisfied with this review. After bearing the brunt of this policy for over two years, it has been our expectation that the revision will spare us further stress,” the statement said.

“This will not achieve the desired impact and we consider this not adequate enough to ensure the competitiveness of our manufacturers. Indeed, we are disappointed,” it added.

The statement said AGI would like to see a reversal of the benchmark discount policy in a manner that did not constraint local industry, to sustain business operations.

“Our manufacturing sector constitutes a critical mass of our real economy and therefore it is important to retain the 50% benchmark discount for raw materials to help boost manufacturing and export capacity for the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” the statement said.

It said since Government had indicated a gradual reversal of the benchmark discount policy, AGI would like to see a road map with timelines for the process.

The statement said the government’s policies of this nature should be consistent with initiatives of industrialisation to create employment opportunities for the youth, especially where the Government was seeking to create one million jobs as well as address its revenue shortfalls.

“We expect to see a policy revision that motivates local production for growth of our economy and the development of our local supply chains. AGI believes that the revision of the benchmark discount policy will need to take cognisance of the overarching framework of Ghana’s industrial transformation agenda, the competitiveness of local industry and fair-trade
practices,” the statement added.

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