The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated that in the following weeks, government will introduce a policy that will ensure that exchange rate changes at the ports are capped at a stable rate, subject to changes between three to six months intervals.
Dr. Bawumia made this known at the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition 2018, held in Accra on Tuesday. He noted that Government is concerned about issues raised by importers on the consistent weekly changes in the exchange rates that affect their operations.
He assured that government will continue to implement measures to reduce the cost of doing business at the ports, adding that, “one of the best approaches is to digitize the economy”.
In response to this announcement, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi lauded the move by government, saying “this will help importers to plan ahead in terms of duties to be paid”.
In the second half of this years, new measures were designed to streamline operations at the ports to reduce the number of agencies undertaking joint inspections from 16 to 3.
This forms part of moves to drive the country’s digital agenda and also purge corrupt practices from the system, fueled by the old paper-system.
In relation to this, the Vice President announced in July that government is working towards introducing the first port duty rule by the end of the year.
The rule will allow neighbouring Custom authorities to have presence in Ghana’s ports to allow the free movement of goods and the proper monitoring of port activities. It will also provide an avenue for payments of duty on goods destined for Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to avoid smuggling.
By Joshua W. Amlanu