The Ghana Union of Traders Associations, (GUTA) has expressed resentment at what they described as unbearable harassment of members of the association by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
According to GUTA, officers of the Ghana Revenue Authority have been meting out unfair treatments to its members both at the port and outside the port.
The Ashanti Region branch of GUTA in an earlier press conference disclosed that traders in the region have been subjected to constant harassment and intimidation by the GRA after their goods have passed through due clearing processes at the port and released to them.
“The GRA cannot assign any cogent reason for the harassment of the traders in the Ashanti Region apart from the usual flimsy explanation that: Ashanti Region contributes only about 12% of the national revenue,” they said.
In a subsequent press briefing held by the national executives of the association on Wednesday, the group said the importers are being followed by officials from the GRA to conduct further clearing processes after the goods have already been cleared by at the port. They say the traders are then compelled to pay further charges to the officials.
President of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations, Dr. Joseph Obeng at the press briefing noted that it has come to their “notice with great concern about the activities of the GRA which has formed various Task Force that rampantly intercept released cargos after the cargos have passed through all clearing processes and the procedures at the port in the name of enforcing tax compliance as if they don’t even trust their own systems of clearance at the port; this happens more to cargos going to the Ashanti Region.”
Dr. Obeng said GUTA has no problem with the GRA ensuring due diligence at the port and collect necessary tax before cargos are released, but “will no longer tolerate any act of intercepting” their cargos after leaving the port.
They have therefore charged all members of the association to resist any attempt the GRA to check their cargos after it has been thoroughly cleared at the port whiles assuring them of their support for the any who will fall victim to the “unbearable harassment” by any officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority.