Mobile Phone Dealers Cry � Over 20% Tax Increase

Mobile Phones and Accessories Dealers Association has appealed to government to withdraw the 20 percent import tax on mobile handsets and accessories introduced recently. According to the Association, the implementation of the 20 percent tax on mobile phones and accessories had imposed untold hardship on its member and led to the collapse of many businesses in the country. Government recently introduced 20 percent import tax on phones and accessories, which attracted public criticism. Joseph Osei Agyemang, Chairman of the Association, who was addressing a press conference in Accra, said they anticipated the untold hardship the implementation of the tax would impose on businesses and cautioned government accordingly but it ignored the advice. He said the policy had led to the smuggling of products into the country, which had affected the generation of revenue for the State. Mr. Agyemang said, �As government prepares 2015 budget statement, we, mobile phone and accessories dealers, would like to appeal to the policy makers to take into consideration and cancel the implementation of the 20 percent tariffs and its attendant taxes, which in all come to 43 percent.� �This appeal is necessitated by the fact that most of our people are gradually losing their jobs because they cannot cope with the high cost of doing business in the country. �We do not want to escape paying taxes towards building a better Ghana but we would like to indicate that the policy does not have the potential to deliver for the intended purpose,� he said. The Association declared its support for the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in its fight against the operation of foreigners in retail market. Mr. Agyemang said, �In our case, our brothers from Nigeria have entered the local market and are doing what they are not permitted to do under the laws of Ghana. We therefore appeal to government to enforce the laws.� He also called on government to expedite action on the deployment of the taskforce to remove foreigners from the local markets, stating that the deadline government gave the foreigners has elapsed but no action has been taken.� Mr. Agyemang urged government to consider using the local currency, cedi in the determination of the tax component payable at the entry points so that projections could be made by the stakeholders.