Dr. Ayim Darke

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has hinted it will not hesitate to take legal action to halt the implementation of the Emission Levy for manufacturing firms in Ghana. President of the Association, Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, said if the government fails to back the levy with scientific terms in terms of the measurement on the various industries and its effect, it will kick against its implementation.

“If you cannot justify it by scientific measures, in terms of how the measuring of environmental emissions is done within factories, then we will go to court for interpretation”, the AGI President revealed. The President of the Ghana Association of Industries disclosed this on PM EXPRESS BUSINESS EDITION on February 8, 2024, with host George Wiafe.

Dr. Ayim-Darke added that “For us, if this is not backed by science and the government uses force to implement this, then we will take the necessary measures to protect the interest of our members”. The President of AGI maintained that “if a cement factory produces 50,000 metric tonnes and another produces 30,000 metric tonnes a day, how do you measure it?”

Background

The government announced the implementation of the Emissions Levy Act, of 2023 (Act 1112). This is one of several measures to help improve the revenue situation and Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio. The law imposes a levy of GH¢100 per tonne on carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from the electricity producers, as a statutory incidence. However, weeks after parliamentary approval and presidential assent, the Ghana Revenue Authority is yet to implement the tax.

The president of the AGI said his outfit is committed to engaging the government on their concerns.  The AGI is one of several business interest groups that have raised questions about the new set of taxes that the Government is implementing to improve Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio.

AGI and government tax measures

The President of AGI rejected arguments that it has not done enough to engage the government on members’ concerns with respect to the recent tax measures. Dr. Ayim-Darke however expressed his outfit’s commitment to ensure that the interests of industries are protected.

He added that “We should not forget there has been a lot of progress in some areas when it comes to taxes. So we have not gone to sleep when it comes to supporting industries and protecting their interest”. “We can talk about several instances where we have engaged the government and it has stepped back on some of these  tax measures”, he added

Supporting Ghanaian industries

The AGI president also made a strong case for the government to consider introducing its policy to restrict the importation of some items and commodities. According to him, there is no country around the world that has not taken measures to support its industries. The government recently was forced to suspend import restrictions, after some opposition from some interest groups and concerns that it could hurt the economy. However, Dr Ayim-Darke said the decision to open up the economy because of free market policies is not helping Ghana. He however rejected arguments that industries are struggling because they have failed to be competitive.

Stabilising Cedi and IMF programme

The AGI president maintained that it is very important everything is done to stabilise the cedi because of its impact on the cost of doing business in the country. “Opening up the economy without any measures to help stabilise the economy will not help when it comes to stabilising the cedi”, he added. On the IMF programme, Dr Ayim-Darke said securing the programme has helped in unlocking some inflows that the various industries were struggling in the past to secure from their partners outside the country. “These firms outside the country are now more willing to engage us because of this development”.

Source: Joy Business

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