- About 65% of textiles on market smuggled in
- Implementation of import restrictions on textile begins September 1.
- Task force on textiles to operate in market and retail spaces
The Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen has revealed that in 2016, the country recorded only a single textile container declared as coming through the ports of entry.
He made this revelation at the joint press conference on the happenings in the textiles industry on last Wednesday.
Currently, the combined production of the four local textile companies operating in the country does not exceed 40 million yards of print annually, out of the 120 million yards demand.
This reflects the high level of smuggling of textiles into the country and loss of revenue to government.
Hence, this has led to government implementing certain measures to mitigate the current challenges bedeviling the industry.
These include the impending implementation of import restrictions on textile prints into the country expected to begin on September 1, 2018.
The minister explained that the reason for the transition period of three months is to ensure that all smuggled goods in the country are cleared out of the market.
Kyerematen disclosed that secondly, from the beginning of June 1, the Ministry of Finance will start engaging all the industry players on the introduction of tax stamps in the textile sector.
“We believe that apart from making sure that government also earns the revenue that it deserves from the textile trade, it will also be one of the most significant measures introduced for us to be able to regulate the trade in this sector, particularly in the market and retail sectors.”
The third counter measure is that, the already existing task force on textiles, which currently operates only at the entry points around the country, will now be able to operate within the market and retail spaces.
Kyerematen explained that these measures will prevent retailers from complaining of harassment by the taskforce when smuggled goods without tax stamps are seized, as they have hitherto been doing.
He announced government’s intention to support to the local industry.
“Within a period of one month, all the three or four companies will have access to the stimulus financing,” Kyerematen revealed
Concerning the stimulus package Volta Star’s is almost ready to be issued.
This package is worth between GHS 17.5 million to GHS 22 million.
By Joshua W. Amlanu