… but GIPC boss says stakeholder consultations delaying implementation
A few days after players in the beverage industry hailed the effects of the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) excise tax stamp on the curbing of counterfeit products, players in the textiles and garment industry have launched a fresh campaign for the implementation of the textile tax stamp policy which has been on hold for more than a year since the policy was drafted.
The government and stakeholders in the textile and garment industry agreed on a road map for the implementation of policy interventions against the importation of fake textile products and other unfair practices that have stifled the growth of local companies in the sector but this implementation is yet to see the light of day.
Marketing Director of Ghana Textiles Printing (GTP), Stephen Badu –speaking at the first Garments and Textiles Investment Meeting held by the Ghana Investment and Promotion Council (GIPC) to highlight the potential of the sector and invite investments– said the earlier the textile tax stamp policy is implemented the better for industry.
He added that many players in the sector are folding up due to the infiltration of fake textiles and unfair trade practices. He noted the implementation of the waiver of VAT on local manufactured textiles is helping to a large extent but the tax stamp would be a major compliment.
“There are three or four initiatives that the ministry has proposed, one has taken off, the others are yet to take off. We believe if all these initiatives take off, it is going to help the local textiles and manufacturing industry to really compete effectively in the global market. One of them is the waving of VAT for the local manufactured textiles. This started in 2019, and I can tell you it has been great. It has really helped us to keep up with the game.
The other policy we are waiting to see implemented is the textile tax stamp. We are working very hard with the government to introduce textile stamps onto our industry. One of the biggest problems we have is that many of the textiles on the market are smuggled into the country. So, no taxes are paid.
The government loses tax and because they are smuggled into the country, they are able to sell at prices that are very low and that makes us look expensive. The idea behind the textiles stamp is that If you do not pay your taxes you don’t get the stamp. Ones you pay your taxes you are giving your stamp to put on your products and anyone that goes to the market can tell which textiles have been smuggled and which ones have not been smuggled. We have done some meetings but we are yet to see it implemented.”
Meanwhile the Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Yoofi Grant in an interview with the B&FT said that, government is very much aware of the benefit that the implementation would have on the industry but there is the need to have thorough stakeholder consultation on the policy before the roll out to prevent any hitches.
“Like many new policies that you bring in, there is a lot of education that you need to do, there is a lot of consensus building that you also need to do. Very often people don’t know about it, so you have to go out there to explain to them and execute it.
It is going to happen, it’s like a single window entry point for textiles to make sure that we don’t facilitate smuggling along our borders, if you want to bring it in, there’s a place you take it to. So, all these are going to be activated in the market,” Mr. Grant explained.