The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Ghana is urging Parliament and the Ministry of Finance, for a downward revision of the Excise Duty rates to boost investor interest, protect jobs, and ensure constant and steady revenue flows to the government.
It is also humbling calling for broader consultation of the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2022 with industry and other stakeholders to resolve pertinent issues before Parliament resumes sitting.
The Excise Duty (Amendments) Bill is presently before Parliament.
In a statement by its Executive Secretary, Simon Madjie, AmCham said it members have significant investments and provide thousands of jobs across several sectors, and thus the Chamber is ready to engage authorities to find a middle ground on these issues to ensure Ghana remains a favorite destination for investors.
“The American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana, has always appreciated the government’s efforts to raise more revenue domestically. But as I have indicated in my New Year statement, it is imperative that the government consider the impact these proposed measures will have on the cost of production, distribution, and sale of products. Some of the rate increments in the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act 2022 will hurt businesses”.
For instance, Mr. Madjie said the proposed 20% rate on mineral water from the previous 17.5% will lead to an increase in the cost of production, which the companies will ultimately pass on to the consumer, which could lead to a decline in sales.
“Also, the proposed imposition of excise duty (20 per centum of the ex-factory price)- ‘sugar tax’ on sweetened beverages in addition to the already existing 17.5% (to be increased to 20% per the amendment) on non-alcoholic beverages will inversely impact the business of companies operating in that sector. This will lead to an astronomical increase in the cost of production, especially for companies producing both mineral water and sweetened beverages”, Mr. Madjie said.
These increments, coupled with the country’s current economic situation, he pointed out will overburden companies leading to some businesses having to make the difficult decision of laying off some workers.
He concluded that “we accept that the government must increase revenue and improve the health of the citizenry, but it is also in the interest of the government to protect jobs as well”.
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