GRA Denies scraping Of 50% Benchmark Imports Value At Ports

The Ghana Revenue Authority has responded to revelations that the government has asked it to cease implementation of the 50% slash in benchmark values at the country’s ports, saying the information that was leaked to that effect is not what it seems.
A release signed by Assistant Commissioner Florence Asante of the Public Affairs Department said the alleged suspension of the policy is a miscommunication of a suggestion that the GRA had made to the Government but that Government had not approved of that suggestion.
“…the benchmark value (discount policy) continues to be implemented as originally announced by His Excellency the Vice President, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia,” the release said.
The government had come under flak after it emerged that the GRA and the Ministry of Finance had allegedly agreed to secretly cease the implementation of the 50% slash in benchmark values at the port.
The reports annoyed the Importers and Exporters Association which vowed to punish the NPP government during the 2020 election.
It also stood out the Vice President as a liar.
However, according to the GRA, the policy is hurting the country’s revenue generation and that the Authority only presented an analysis of the dent to Government with hopes that the policy will be reversed.
Florence Asante’s statement claimed that the leaked document revealing the alleged intent to secretly stop the implementation of the policy was just a case document from the GRA to the government arguing for the cessation of the implementation of the policy but that Government refused to accept the GRA’s suggestion.
“…the said documents with the list of items at both the heading and subheading levels of the HS code is an internal document analysing the impact of the discount policy on our revenue collection with regards to those items as well as the impact on local industries, public health safety and the environment,” she said.
“The internal analysis was not approved by the Central Government and is thus inapplicable,” the statement said.
In other words, the GRA implies that the implementation of the policy is hurting the country’s revenue but that the Government has decided that it would rather tolerate the revenue shortfalls than incur the anger of the people.
Already many are viewing the GRA’s claims as concoctions to make the Government look good. This is because the original communication between the GRA and the Ministry of Finance appeared to be based on a concurrence that the policy be stopped.


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