Consumers across the country may soon face a reduction in the availability of essential commodities packaged in plastic, including bottled and sachet water.

This comes as the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association, representing local industry players, has issued a week ultimatum to the government to demand the immediate suspension of a newly imposed 5% excise tax on locally produced plastic products.

The Association maintains that If their demands are not met, manufacturers are prepared to shut down production for seven days to voice their discontent.

Speaking at a press conference, the President of the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers, Association, Ebbo Botwe stressed the urgency for the government to reconsider its position as he called for renewed engagement with all stakeholders to prevent the potential economic fallout from this planned production shutdown.

“We are appealing to the vice president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumuia to intervene in this matter because the effect of this consumer tax will really affect the masses, the common man, the common woman will suffer extreme hardship.

“In conclusion, we ask GRA to stop the harassment of plastic manufacturers and we give the Ministry of Finance one week to respond to our request or we shall have no option but for all plastic manufacturers to shut down production for at least one week and of course, we’ll send home over 30,00 workers.

For his part, the President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) Dr Joseph Obeng impressed on finding innovative ways to meet its tax obligation rather than burdening local industries.

“The government is being insensitive to the business community. Let’s defer the implementation of the excise tax. The time is not right and it’s not fair around this time where businesses are suffering from the effects of exchange rates and we are very much aware of this.

“This is not the time to impose another tax when so many taxes have already been imposed on us, are we saying we do not care about the state of businesses?”
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