AGI wants taxes on sanitary pads removed
THE Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has advised government to abolish duties on imported raw materials used for production of sanitary pads by local manufacturers.
It also urged government to do away with taxes imposed on locally manufactured sanitary pads and instead impose higher duties and taxes on imported sanitary pads.
According to the association, that was the only way to reduce prizes of sanitary pads in the country and make it more affordable for the poor in particular.
"The sanitary pads our women and girls use in the country come in two forms, locally produced ones and the imported ones. We have adequate capacity to locally produce all the sanitary pads we need in the country and even export," the Chief Executive Officer of AGI, Seth Twum Akwaboah, said at the Annual General Meeting of the Greater Accra regional branch of the association in Accra yesterday.
He said the association was not against tax exemptions on sanitary pads. Instead he said local manufacturers must be spared any taxes while imported sanitary pads should be taxed to ensure local manufacturers adequately produce for the country at affordable prices.
Mr Akwaboah said the association has petitioned major stakeholders in the country including the presidency and Speaker of Parliament to find possible solutions to the high cost of sanitary pads in the country.
Issues including affordability of sanitary pad has generated a lot of talk within society.
Many NGOs have called on the government to abolish taxes on the pads to make it easier for more girls and women, particularly those in the rural areas of the country, to purchase.
The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the association, Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo for his part, advocated the removal of the 17.5 per cent excise duty on mineral water because it was against the ECOWAS directive on taxing non-alcoholic beverages and made Ghana an outlier in the sub-region.
"Our industries are faced with another burden of a 2.5 per cent increment in VAT, effective this year 2023. The growth and sustainability levy ranging from one per cent to five per cent on profit before tax is also another cost.”
The Deputy CEO of the Ghana Freezones Authority (GFZA), Kate Abbeo, noted that her outfit would deepen an engagement with AGI to ensure they derive the needed benefits from exporting their products.
She revealed that 33.5 per cent of companies licensed by the GFZA were local companies, stressing that the authority was keen to ensure that such companies run efficiently to make them produce enough for the local market and for the export market.
The CEO of the Africa Trade Academy, Dode Seidu, called on industry players to sign up to the Afcta platform to ensure their products and goods were well patronised on the continent.
The President of the AGI, Dr Kwesi Ayim Darke, called for more engagements with stakeholders to get Ghana out of the present economic challenges.