The Ghana Plastic Manufacturers’ Associa­tion(GPMA) has called on the government to immediately suspend the newly imposed 5 per cent exercise tax on all locally manufactured plastic products, as members are currently facing high production costs.

According to them, about 92 per cent of industries and businesses rely heavily on plastic packaging and plastic products, which the tax would inevitably cause a widespread increase in consumer prices.

During a press conference held in Accra yesterday, Mr Ebbo Botwe, the President of the As­sociation, emphasised that the tax would have an impact on various items such as plastic chairs and tables, data pipes, water tanks, ice chests, conduit pipes, electri­cal fittings, jerrycans, and other products.

This, he said, would create ob­stacles for the local manufacturing industry to effectively compete with imported.

“Indeed, for the current total plastic manufacture we do in Gha­na, these aforementioned prod­ucts and so many other products which we call flexible plastic, just make about 21 percent of our total production.

About 79 per cent of produc­tion goes into rigid plastics. This is a perception which has gone on for a long time, such that, at the mention of plastic, it’s all about shopping bags and pure water sachet, which is a wrong notion which needs to be corrected henceforth,” hehighlighted.

Mr Botwe said that surprising­lythe Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) which collects tax on behalf of the government did not inform the Association before its implementation, stressing that such behaviour does not favour the business communities.

He further said that considering the challenges confronting the Association, two plastic manu­facturers were currently running simulation projects in Togo to consider a potential relocation of their production to Togo and export the finished product to Ghana.

“Already at December 31, 2023, the 10 per cent Environmental Excise tax has accrued more than GH¢1.976 billion since its incep­tion in 2011. All this money is supposed to be in the Consolidat­ed Fund to tackle waste, but to the best of our knowledge, not even a single pesewa has been disbursed, so where from this new tax to burden our plight,” MrBotwela­mented.

“Already some manufactur­ing companies have suspended production and put workers on wholesale leave due to the high foreign exchange rates, the high benchmark values and high open­ing overhead costs.

So, after deeper consultation with our partners such as the Na­tional Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers, Ghana Union of Traders Association, Association of Ghana Industries and Food and Beverage of Gha­na, we urged the government to suspend the 5 per cent excise tax,” Mr Botwe said.

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