Accra, Dec 2, GNA- Members of the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana on Thursday commended Vice President John Dramani Mahama for pledging the Government’s support to review the proposed abolition of the bonded warehouse system for rice and sugar.
“We have petitioned government to allow the bonded warehouse system to operate since our neighbouring countries are still implementing it and we are happy that the Vice President has promptly announced that government will review it for importers.”
These were contained in a statement signed by Mr John Awuni, a member of the FABAG and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra. The statement said, “Should the government go ahead to abolish the system as was contained in the 2011 National Budget Statement, it would collapse the businesses of small-scale companies and create high unemployment level as such companies would be compelled to lay off their workers.” The bonded warehouse system which was introduced by Sir Robert Walpole in England in 1733, to give financial respite to importers and manufacturers, is practiced by both developed and developing countries in order to allow the traders some period of time to settle their tax obligations to government.
It also gives them the opportunity to store their goods to maintain a sustainable supply of such goods before paying the necessary taxes. Ghana businesses had over the years benefited from the facility, until Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning during his presentation of the 2011 National Budget statement in November this year announced that government would abolish it. Following the announcement, members of FABAG petitioned the Finance Minister and the Presidency to at least review and reduce the grace period instead of abolishing it totally.
They mentioned lost of jobs, unemployment and shortage of commodities as some of the repercussions the abolition would have on the country. On Monday, November 29, Vice President Mahama during an agricultural forum, announced that government would review some of the portions of the system. “We are delighted by your announcement and hope that government will really do something positive on the issue to safeguard the nation against any hardships,” the statement concluded. 2 Dec. 10