Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party, has suggested that the insults and unpleasant tags attributed to the Akufo-Addo government are unwarranted and unjustifiable.
The private legal practitioner observed that despite the policies and initiatives implemented by the Akufo-Addo government that has put money in the pockets of Ghanaians, many people are unappreciative of their efforts because of the inability of the government to provide roads and other amenities.
Gabby Otchere-Darko intimated that the funds needed to embark on such capital projects that are craved for across the country are being lost by the State as an effect of the policies it has implemented to make Ghanaians comfortable.
The Government in the last two months, for instance, according to the leading NPP member, has saved importers about GH₵600 million following the introduction of the new benchmark policies introduced in April this year.
“Effectively, for the last two months alone, nearly GH₵600 million was the amount of revenue the state lost as a result of the benchmark discount policy,” he said.
“The effect is that the government is essentially giving importers a sizable discount on their purchase prices. The irony is that Government is not really receiving credit for this and rather receiving insults for not spending enough on roads, etc,” he added.
The government, effective April 4 2019, slashed down the benchmark values for all imports by 50 percent, except duties on vehicles, which were cut by 30 percent as part of reforms at the country’s ports to reduce the incidence of smuggling at the ports, enhance revenue mobilisation as well as make Ghana’s ports competitive.
In spite of the “gains” being made by importers, Mr Otchere-Darko says the government is not being given the needed recognition for its efforts but rather is being chastised for not doing enough to improve other sectors.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Otchere-Darko indicated that importers were able to save GH₵299 million in August and GH₵292 in July this year.
“Last month alone, the Ghana Government put back into the pockets of importers GH₵299 million that would have been revenue to the state if not for the 30 percent benchmark discount policy. In July, the amount was GH₵292 million.
Ghanaians may not be feeling the impact of these policies perhaps because the importers may not have passed on the reduction to the consumers and retailers, Gabby Otchere-Darko opined.
Whiles calling on importers to eschew tendencies of cheating the State, the legal practitioner stressed that the onus lies on each citizen to contribute to the development of the country.
“But have importers passed on the savings to retailers for them to pass them on to consumers by reducing prices of their wares? Have some rogue importers also stopped issuing fake invoices undervaluing their goods? If not, then it means we are also discounting by 30% invoices that are already under-valued,” he said.
“The destiny of Ghana is in all our hands, individually and collectively. Do your bit in your corner to fight the integrity deficit in how we roll,” he advocated.