The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has recommended to government the need to impose special taxes on selected imports for which the country has comparative advantage in order to protect critical local industries.
This is aimed at reducing the excessive influx of imports of certain products, which are equally produced in Ghana.
The recommendation comes on the heels of the IEA Business Confidence Survey meant to bring to the attention of policy makers, key obstacles and challenges confronting businesses with the aim of brokering consensus on key policy reforms to as to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
The top five business constraints identified included high cost of raw materials, high taxes and government charges, high utility charges, high cost of credit, and low/insufficient domestic demand.
On the issue of high cost of credit, the institute calls on the government to make financial savings attractive to reduce cost of funds to the banks.
A senior fellow of the Institute, Dr. Eric Osei-Assibey advised that, one of the things that the banks themselves can do to mobilize enough savings, is to make savings a little more attractive.
“They have to close the gap between the savings and lending rate, to make savings more attractive,” he said.
“This is because, often there are alternative ways that people can save. So if they don’t find this as an alternative store of value, definitely they won’t put their monies in.”
The survey sampled businesses from 3 key sectors of the economy; agriculture, industry and services.
Companies were selected based on their relative contribution to GDP across the four key industrial regions namely; Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern and Western.
The response rate for the survey represents over 85 percent of the targeted sample of 200 businesses.
By Joshua W. Amlanu