National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has stated that government’s imposition of the benchmark reversal policy on suffering Ghanaians is a tactic to create a non-existent picture of a sound economy.

According to him, the policy on imported goods was introduced to shore up government’s revenue after government’s economic mismanagement and reckless spending.

“After five years of economic mismanagements and reckless election-driven spending which has taken the country back to its HIPC base, the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia (NPP) government has decided to punish the already-burdened Ghanaian people with more hardships for their own recklessness and economic mismanagement,” he stressed.

He added that the policy is also a means “to convince the investor community for more and more borrowing.”

“This is why all manner of crippling taxes and killer revenue measures such as the reversal of benchmark value discounts are now being imposed on Ghanaians to shore up government’s revenue just to create an artificial picture of a sound economy in order to convince the investor community on more and more borrowing,” he added.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Mr Gyamfi noted that the reversal of benchmark values will only worsen the living conditions of Ghanaians in the country.

According to him, the current nature of the reversal policy on imported goods contradicts the Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia’s comment that “government decided to introduce discounted benchmark values in order to facilitate more trade volumes, make our ports more competitive, reduce smuggling and increase government revenues from the Ports.”

“We in the NDC are left in no doubt whatsoever that this latest decision by Government to reverse discounts on benchmark values of imported goods, further accentuates Dr. Bawumia’s place as the most deceitful politician in Ghana’s history,” he accused.

Mr Gyamfi further dismissed claims that the reversal of the discounts was aimed at curbing imports and shoring up revenues at the port which he says has consistently witnessed increases in the last few years.

His comment comes after government, through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced that effective Tuesday, January 4, 2022, Benchmark values will be reversed for some 43 selected items.

The reversal is expected to affect some selected items from all the three categories on which the reversal was applied.

Meanwhile, Government has suspended the benchmark review reversal until Thursday, January 6, 2022.

A credible source at the Ghana Revenue Authority revealed to JoyNews, and checks at the ports show that agents are clearing their goods with the old charges.

It is unclear what informed the sudden change of plan and the implementation of the old charges at the ports.

However, interest groups like GUTA say it could be due to the agitation and pushback they have demonstrated since the announcement of the reversal of the benchmark and system breakdown at the ports on Tuesdays, the day the policy was expected to have kicked in.

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