JOHN KUMAH CHASTISES NDC FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS ON BENCHMARK REVERSAL.
Dr John Kumah, a deputy Minister for Finance has expressed surprise at the double standards the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is displaying in the reversal of benchmark values on selected imported products by Government.
He says the act by the NDC is only meant to deceive Ghanaians as if they were those who cared for them.
According the Deputy Minister, in 2019 when government imposed the benchmark on these products the NDC were same who criticised the NPP for that.
Surprisingly, the Minister says they are same speaking against the reversal of the same policy they spoke in favour in 2019.
Thos portal publishes in full the views of the Deputy Minister underneath.
DR JOHN KUMAH (MP) WRITES.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) recently held a press conference to chide the government for reversing a benchmark value rebate policy implemented in 2019. Government discounted the benchmark value for selected imported general goods by 50%; whiles imported vehicles were discounted by 30%. The idea then was to enhance the competitiveness of Ghana ports in the West African region as the many flagships under the National Industrial Revitalisation Programme took shape. In line with the 2022 budget statement, this policy has been reversed effective 4th January 2022.
However, according to the NDC, the benchmark value discount reversal policy, in their words, is “draconian” and reflect the “insensitivity” of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to the plight of Ghanaians.
The views, as expressed by the NDC, are regrettable and pedestrian. Perhaps, if the NDC had done a little research, it would have unearthed the countless benefits that government and local businesses would accrue for reversing this policy. Moreover, the thrust of NDC’s presser appears shallow, ill-informed, and inconsistent with its 2020 Manifesto “Edwuma Pa Plan”, where they promised to prioritise local production for rapid industrialisation, job creation and entrepreneurship.
It is also important to state that the benchmark value discount policy of 50% on selected imported general goods and 30% on imported vehicles is the creation of the NPP government and not the NDC. Isn’t it strange that the NDC party, who in their 8-years in power, never saw the need for such a policy to suddenly emerge as defenders of the policy? Why didn’t the NDC government, when the Country was ensnared with Dumsor, implement a benchmark value policy to cushion Ghanaians and importers? Does the NDC appreciate the rationale for the policy in the first place? Certainty, gauging from their presser, one will not be wrong to suggest the NDC does not appreciate the dynamics of economic management. Under the NDC’s reign, local production received very little attention, exacerbating the Country’s dependence on imported products. Yet, they were so insensitive that it never bordered to reduce taxes and charges at the ports to ease the burden of suffering Ghanaians at the time.
Throughout Ghana’s history, various governments have strived to promote local production and have implemented policies to reduce the Country’s dependence on foreign economies. The policy of import-substitution is one classic example. The FX cost to government for the importation of some goods which can be produced locally is something all political actors should be concerned about. The NPP government has shown clearly that its priority is to support local businesses to be able to produce many of these products and ultimately reduce the FX burden occasioned by the huge imports.
Response to the fallacies of the NDC on the economy.
Though this statement is not intended to respond to the many factual inaccuracies of the NDC in their presser, it is important not to overlook them. Indeed, the sterling performance of the Nana Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government is there for all to see. The strong rebound in growth which is projected at 4.9% for 2021, is a testame