GUTA threatens to close stores due to cedi depreciation
In addition, all customs clearance agents were instructed to stop the clearance of goods at ports on that day.
Announcing this at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the group’s chairman, Dr. Joseph Obeng said that the continued rapid depreciation of the cedi, rising interest rates and high inflation rate, among others, had caused the collapse of many businesses in the country.
He said the effect of inflation had also significantly reduced consumers’ purchasing power, adding that consumers’ inability to buy more continued to affect business turnover, adding “we believe that ‘with the mandate and resources given to the government to run the country’s affairs, they can turn the economy around.
“As members of the business community, we are always ready to avail ourselves to assist the government in its quest to find solutions to these myriad problems,” he added.
The government, he said, urgently needs to inspire hope and confidence in the system, through appropriate policy guidance that would improve productivity.
Dr. Obeng further urged the government to focus on finding a way to control the excessive demand for foreign currency in the country.
He explained that one of the main causes of the excessive demand for foreign currency was the excessive importation into the country with the “dominant” influx of foreigners into the country’s business sector, whose national investment laws could be used to regulate the threat.
The GUTA Chairman also called on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to monitor and enforce its regulations on controlling dollar trading in the local market, while encouraging businesses to transact with traditional banks by relaxing stringent documentation requirements.
This, he said, would control black market activities.
“There should be a clear distinction between the bureau de change and what we call the black market since the bureaux de change are legitimate, we should do everything to streamline their business for the benefit of the country. Our businesses are collapsing, we can’t take it anymore,” he said.
Furthermore, Dr. Obeng dispelled rumors that traders were the cause of the rising cost of living in the country.
Among other things, he mentioned that the government must also ensure that the mandatory marine insurance policy is withdrawn and also review a system aimed at increasing duties on the import of used clothing.