Introduce measures to cushion industries in 2023 budget - AGI urges govt
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has urged the government to introduce measures that will cushion industries against the prevailing economic challenges in the 2023 budget.
It said it expected the budget to totally reverse reductions in the benchmark value policy, impose a discount on the importation of raw materials meant for manufacturing and review the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime.
According to the AGI, its proposals formed part of agreements between the association and the government ahead of the 2023 budget preparation.
It also stressed the need for businesses to be innovative in order to overcome the challenges.
These were contained in a speech read on behalf of the President of the AGI, Dr Humphrey Kwesi Ayim-Darke, by the Treasurer, Raphael Kojo Ayittey, at the Accra Regional Annual Meeting of the association yesterday.
It was on the theme: “Leveraging private/public collaboration to accelerate sustainable industrial development – Focus on funding sources and opportunities."
More than 500 people participated in the meeting, at which businesses shared concerns on how the economic challenges were impacting their operations and other matters.
Dr Ayim-Darke said much as the AGI needed the government’s intervention, it was time for industry players to also take their destiny into their own hands and drive towards growth.
“We cannot relent at this point and say the local currency is depreciating, fuel prices are increasing and interest rates are rising.
“I want to reiterate that there is hope for the future, but we need to be strong and not allow anything to bring us down,” he added.
The Accra Regional Chairman of the AGI, Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, attributed the economic challenges to the COVID-19 pandemic and the raging war between Russia and Ukraine, which he said had had some negative consequences on businesses and trade globally.
“For the past two years, we have consistently chosen the theme: “Financing sources available for industries post-COVID-19”, and we have not deviated. We will continue to unveil alternative funding sources for industries, especially SMEs,” he said.
“We are all making sure our industries navigate through the economic difficulties, especially in the midst of the high cost of the dollar, the multiplicity of taxes, the rising cost of goods and services and its impact on the cost of production,” he added.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Krowor, Joshua Bortey, called on the people to take pride in their national heritage by consciously patronising made-in-Ghana products and services.
He said that would help boost the economy and make it vibrant to support businesses.