Gov’t to meet GUTA, 7 others over ongoing strike

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is expected to meet the leadership of the Joint Private Sector Business Consultative Forum over their strike on the recent hikes in utility tariffs and newly introduced taxes.

National Executive member of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah revealed that after their strike today, the association received invitation from the trade ministry for an emergency meeting over their agitation.

He spoke Monday on Adom FM’s “Burning Issues” programme hosted by Afia Pokua.

Hundreds of unionized traders in Accra began a three-day protest Monday over tax and tariff hikes. They say the new taxes are crippling their businesses.

The traders are also not happy with the ECOWAS Common External Tariff which took effect on February 1. The tariff seeks to promote the creation of a common market and open up the region for intra-Africa trade.

They closed down shops in the central business district, and have vowed to keep shops closed for all three days.

The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), Food and Beverages Importers Association, Ghana Automobile Distributors Association (GADA), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Freight Forwarders Association and the Customs Brokers Association of Ghana are the unions taking part in the 3 days industrial action.

He noted that the association and its members expect their meeting with the trade ministry to yield good result.

Benjamin Yeboah said the implementation of the numerous tariffs has become a headache for businesses since the government did not consult them properly

The GUTA National Executive member has urged GUTA members to stand in unity as they seek to salvage their businesses from the outrageous taxes by government.

Meanwhile, a Chief Revenue Officer at Customs, Dr. Godfred Okoe Appiah denied claims that government did not consult the various stakeholders over the ECOWAS Common External Tariff.

He explained that government, with the help of its stakeholders, educated the GUTA members about the benefits and purpose of the ECOWAS CET.

Dr. Okoe Appiah however promised that Customs will continue to engage key stakeholders about the tariff.

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