By Seth Ayiah
The Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA, has rejected the two-day suspension of the reversal of the implementation of the benchmark values on selected imported commodities by the government. It has therefore called on the government to as a matter of urgency stay the implementation of the reversal in the reduction of the benchmark values and meet with stakeholders. Speaking to GBC News’ Seth Eyiah, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, said the reduction in the benchmark values helped to sustain prices of goods on the local market when global commodity prices kept increasing.
He, therefore, described as false and malicious the assertion that traders did not reduce prices of commodities. The GUTA President said the reduction in the benchmark values was to resolve a challenge which led to reduction or stayed prices of some imported commodities which otherwise would have gone up following the outbreak of Covid-19. Dr. Obeng said members of the trading public have begun agitating as the reversal is going to put another layer of cost on their operations.
”GUTA and other stakeholders are ready to dialogue with the government as the benchmark values affect hundreds of products and not the 40 being bandied about”.
On AGI kicking against the reduction in the benchmark values, the President of GUTA said AGI enjoys a lot of tax reliefs yet produce at a higher cost thereby making goods produced locally expensive. Dr. Obeng, therefore, advised AGI to discuss with government areas that their members have a comparative advantage to be supported to produce in large quantities at a cheaper cost.