Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ghana: Shortages loom as traders close shops to protest economic hardship

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

There could be shortages of some goods in Ghana in the coming weeks as traders close down shops.

The distress action is an initiative of the Ghana Union of Traders Association(GUTA) to protest government’s handling of the country’s current economic challenges.

According to GUTA the depreciation of the local currency the cedi has eroded the capital of its members and is severely hampering their operations.

A dollar is currently trading at GH¢10, inflation is almost at 32% and the policy rate is currently at 22%.

The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng told reporters that the government must address their concerns to salvage the ailing economy.

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“The Monetary Policy Rate is 22% meaning that Commercial Lending Rate is over 35%, VAT Standard Rate of 19.25% instead of flat rate of 4%. The huge influx of foreigners in the retail business against our investment loss,” Obeng said.

He added that the government must avoid reviewing “any system to increase duties on importing Second-hand clothing. Listen to the concerns of car dealers. Withdraw compulsory maritime insurance policy, we don’t think you should blame us for the high prices of goods in the market. The activities of the black market are also a matter of concern”.

Obeng said a swift reaction from government with the input of all stakeholders will be timely.

“These have gotten out of hand and need immediate solutions before things get out of hand. We have decided to close all shops from Monday to officially register our displeasure to the government.”

Ghana’s economy is currently in dire straits with worsening public debt, rising inflation, skyrocketing fuel prices, and cedi depreciation, among others.

Latest figures released by the Bank of Ghana put Ghana’s total public debt stock, as of June 2022, at USS 54.4 billion (GH¢393.4 billion).

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