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Tax Stamps For Ghana Textiles - President   
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The moratorium placed on the Anti-Piracy Taskforce established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to clampdown on the activities of traders who deal in pirated textiles will be lifted at the end of the first quarter of this year.

President John Dramani Mahama announced this at a press conference at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

During Christmas, the Taskforce, made up of personnel from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Police Service, stormed the Makola Market in Accra and seized about 1,035 pieces of pirated and fake wax prints from traders.

Some of the traders were arrested after a scuffle ensued.

President Mahama said cracking down on traders during Christmas was bad timing, adding that suspension of the activities of the anti-piracy taskforce was to enable the ministry engage in extensive discussion with all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He added that government would use the three-month period to embark on educational programmes for market women on the negative effects of piracy.

He was not happy that officials at the country’s border take bribes and allow pirated textiles into the country for unsuspecting traders to buy such textiles only for the taskforce to seize them.

President Mahama announced plans to introduce tax stamps on locally manufactured textiles for easy identification.

He said traders have expressed their willingness to work with government to deal with piracy. During the week, over 700 textile workers said their jobs remain threatened due to seeming government inaction over piracy of textiles.

The workers indicated their readiness to hit the streets of Accra to press home their demand for the reinstatement of the anti-piracy taskforce on textile.

The Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union in December last year embarked on a similar protest to register their displeasure with government’s decision to suspend the work of the taskforce.

Speaking in an interview with The Finder, General Secretary of Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), Mr Abraham Koomson said employers in the textile sector were frustrated over what they saw to be government’s inability to act decisively over the matter.

“Their jobs are threatened and the ministry is not doing anything to solve the problems that the manufacturers are complaining of so the employees have notified the union of their intention to embark on series of actions,” he said.

Even though the workers form part of the union, they feel they have to take their destinies into their own hands.

He disclosed that the federation was in full support of the workers, adding that leaders of the federation were meeting over the issue.

“The textile workers have the moral support of the federation, saying that "the way things are going, they (employers) cannot cope with it," he said.

Mr Koomson cited high taxes, lack of available markets and high utility tariffs as some of the challenges facing the textile, garment and leather industry.

He however could not state the date for the intended demonstration, but he was confident the protest will send their message clearly to government.
Source: Finder

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