An industrialist and importer has urged government to consider the industrial limitations and needs of Ghana when imposing import duties and levies.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the performance of Ghana’s economy, Mr Charanjeet Sethi, Chairman of Sethi Group of Companies, said import duties are too high and many need to be revised downward since the ordinary man would ultimately bear the burden.
‘Economies thrive on public and individual spending so when there is little to spend because of high prices then, there is trouble,’ he said.
Mr Sethi said, ‘There are so many items that we need in many areas of our national life but we do not make them here so when importers pay such high duties before clearing them, they will pass those charges to the poor man who is trying to create relative comfort for his family.’
According to him, charges on imported building materials for instance contribute more than fifty per cent of the cost on the open market.
He asked government to encourage individuals to build their own houses since the nation’s resources cannot support social housing schemes.
‘Total local production of building materials are not enough to ensure reasonable prices hence the need to import. The apparent sign of this problem is the high rents which go a long way to thrown family budgets out of gear.’
According to him, every economy’s building blocks starts with the family’s disposal income and their financial wellbeing hence the need to watch the ‘little things that make the bigger things.’