GUTA calls for abolition of COVID-19 and Special Import Levies 

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has called for the abolition of the Covid-19 Levy and the Special Import Levy in the 2024 budget statement and economic policy.

According to GUTA ‘s President, Dr. Joseph Obeng, a cheap cost of doing business will boost productivity and enable the government to raise more of the money it wants.

“We are talking about the 1.0% COVID-19 levy to be removed. We also talk about the special import levy of 2% that has been imposed on us since the previous administration. We also are talking about the VAT [Value Added Tax], the complex nature of VAT,” he said.

The government implemented the Covid-19 Health Recovery charge in 2021 as a stand-alone charge that was applied to the gross value of taxable deliveries of goods and services that were rendered through the VAT Flat Rate Scheme and Standard Rate Scheme.

However, appeals have been made for the government to discontinue the one percent tax following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency.

Ahead of the 2024 Budget in November 2023, numerous groups including GUTA have tabled their concerns to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta before his presentation.

Mr. Ofori-Atta has also assured them their issues will be taken into consideration prior to the presentation.

“Over this period, we’ve met with AGI, GUTA, Chamber of Commerce, all of that to take in the views and predominantly it is a multiplicity of taxes that they have raised as a major concern that we have to look at.”

“So looking at the taxes, looking at access to capital, and the price of capital, I think they will be key issues to address for the private sector,” the Finance Minister said.

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