TAGG Warns GRA Over Taskforce Extortion

Source The Ghana Report

The Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG), a trade organization aiming to help its members use trade as a means to raise living standards, create jobs and improve people’s lives has urged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to caution its task forces over the incessant extortion of traders and importers at both the Tema and Takoradi ports.

Addressing journalists at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the group, Nana Poku, stated that the GRA Custom and Domestic division has established several task forces under the directives of the Commissioner General which has encouraged the extortion of money from traders to enrich themselves in the name of alleged port intrusion of duties and tax invasion which is untrue.

“The COVID-19 impacts are in the process of easing on traders, and the GRA commissioner general, as well as the customs commissioner, now appears to be growing frustrations among traders and importers in the current economic situation,” he added.

Speaking on the challenges of the introduction of the paperless system, Nana Poku stated that the system introduced by the government has increased the constant harassment of traders and importers by a task force from the customer division of the Authority.

He said the GRA had the foresight to introduce paperless processes to fast track duty payment at the ports to remove the human interface when transacting businesses.

“However, our traders have been harassed and made to pay money to customs and the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) task force that uses the ignorance of traders and importers to extort money from them after clearing their containers from the port,” Mr. Poku said.

He thus called on the government to as a matter of urgency try and address the issue at the ports as many businesses are on the verge of collapsing while neighbouring countries have been experiencing an overflow of cargo as a result of flexible import duties for global trade at the ports.

In this regard, the group has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to set up a committee to convene a stakeholder’s engagement to discuss the concerns raised.

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