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Benchmark value: Prices of goods to increase – GUTA cautions

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GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng

GUTA cautions that prices of items will increase as a benchmark value.

According to the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the government’s instruction

to reverse the 50% benchmark value on imports starting on Tuesday,

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January 4 is a disappointment to them.

If the regulation goes into force tomorrow, the group has warned that prices would rise.

 

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A drop in the Benchmark Value: Increased prices of items

 

According to a statement released by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) this morning (January 3),

the order reverses a previous decrease in import values for 43 specific commodities.

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You’ll find anything from grains to biscuits to pharmaceuticals to aluminum finishes to shampoos to

tomato sauce to ceramic tiles to machines to home delivery value automobiles among the items available.

 

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This year, the government implemented a benchmark policy, in line with the WCO‘s goal of reviewing

the valuation database on an annual basis.

A risk management technique, selected commodities were benchmarked to current global prices under

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the program. This reflected the genuine market dynamics of certain commodities.

 

Other considerations included safeguarding local businesses while also protecting public health,

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the environment, and other safety-related concerns.

 

GUTA reacted to Benchmark Value

 

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In an interview with Accra-based Joynews, GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng said

that the order will have a negative impact on the lives of Ghanaians and encouraged

the government to reconsider its decision.

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As a result of COVID, firms were clinging to the benchmark value as the last

thing they had to hang onto, he added.

 

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According to GUTA’s First Vice President, Clement Boateng, the strategy has not

been well thought through in light of Ghana’s present economic situation.

 

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His message to customers was one of impending price increases, and he exhorted them to prepare for the worst.

Because of the directive’s impending implementation, he said, customers can expect price hikes.

 

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“The reversal of the benchmark value is not acceptable, and we believe that it will have a

detrimental effect on enterprises,” he said.

That this turn around has been brought about by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) lobbying,

but we believe that they lack the ability to manufacture what has taken off,” we say.

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After all, “we believe that GUTA has an unfinished business with the government, therefore we will

continue to engage the administration and see what can be done,” said the head of the organization.

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Final Words

Importers and Exporters Association Executive Secretary, Samson Asaki Awingobit,

also said that the government’s decision was not made at the correct moment given

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the country’s present economic difficulties.

 

“I’m certain that this isn’t the proper moment. How many individuals were hired and

paid well between 2019 and 2021, given that the government is the major employer?,”

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he inquired.

 

Importers play an important part in the country’s growth, and the government should involve

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them in order to find the best solution.

 

If our importers decide to stop importing products in the second quarter, we’ll find

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out where the country goes.” The nation would face a serious food crisis

since it imports most of the goods it needs, he warned.

 

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Education

Government spent GH¢40.4 billion on education between 2017 and 2020 – President Akufo-Addo

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“EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION INCREASED BY 95% IN MY TIME” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

President of Ghana. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

“So great has this government’s commitment to education been that public expenditure on education has almost doubled from twenty billion, seven hundred million cedis (GH¢20.7 billion) between 2013 and 2016, that is in the Mahama era, to forty billion, four hundred million cedis (GH¢40.4 billion) between 2017 and 2020, that is in the Akufo-Addo era, representing an increase of some ninety five percent (95%).”

These were the words of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 4th January 2022, when he delivered a speech at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi.

Addressing the gathering at the event, President Akufo-Addo noted that GNAT is what it is today because of the work of its past and current membership and leadership, and he assured that, under his administration, the work undertaken by the membership and leadership of the Association will not be in vain.

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The President, thus, used the opportunity to thank all teachers in the country for the work they did, and continue to do, in ensuring that the education of Ghanaian children, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been truncated.

“Continuous assessment, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have all been written by thousands and thousands of students, under your care and guidance, in conditions of safety and orderliness, and without incident. The nation is extremely appreciative of these acts of selflessness and patriotism,” he said

According to President Akufo-Addo, his vision of a modern, competitive, Ghanaian economy, spearheaded by indigenous entrepreneurs, with productive employment for the great majority of its citizens, requires skilled economic actors, and to get there, the nation needs an educated workforce.

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“Through the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, we are ensuring that value is being added to the intellect of every Ghanaian child. This is our surest way of succeeding in adding value to the Ghanaian economy, thereby helping to create acceptable, well-paying jobs for the young people of our country,” he said.

The President continued, “For us, in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a group of well trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy and nation”.

Outlining the many initiatives implemented by Government since 2017, he stated that his government has restored, since coming into office five years ago, and continues to pay, teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.

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“In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries over the last five (5) years, my government is, for the first time in our nation’s history, paying a professional allowance to teachers. We have abolished the three (3) months’ pay policy for teachers, we have cleared the arrears, and promotions due teachers have also been effected,” he said.

He stressed that to prevent undue delays in promotion of qualified teachers, Government will, in 2022, improve on the conduct of the aptitude test instituted by the Ghana Education Service, leveraging on lessons learnt from the one conducted in 2021.

Affordable Housing for Teachers

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“Government is also committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers all across the nation. The current initiative will involve the provision of housing for both mortgage and rental. I am fully aware that one challenge facing teacher ownership of homes beyond finance is their inability to purchase homes where they intend to retire,” he said.

Through a subsidised loan programme, President Akufo-Addo indicated that teachers will be provided an opportunity to own houses in desired locations in various parts of the country, stating that the Ministry of Education is working with the National Service Scheme on this.

In addition, the Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with teacher unions to provide more housing opportunities for teachers.

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“Within the next two years, it is proposed that ten thousand (10,000) housing units on affordable terms will be developed for teachers across the country. This, as we all know, is the tip of the iceberg, but it is a good beginning,” he added.

Touching on the vexed issue of laptops for teachers, President Akufo-Addo was glad the supply of laptops was appreciated by teachers, and promised that the other related matters of concern will be addressed.

“Good relations between GNAT and my government are matters of importance to me, and I will do my best to promote such relations,” he added.

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Source: The Presidency

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