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Monday, October 23, 2017

The 2016 budget simply failed to meet the critical needs of local industries – that is to say it had no initiatives for tackling the long-standing challenges in the business environment. That’s the verdict of the Association of Ghana Industries, AGI.

Economists and other stakeholders have already expressed similar sentiments but admit such an austere budget is to be expected especially in such an election year. The AGI is unhappy the budget did not address major issues hampering the growth of local industries.

AGI President, James Asare-Agyei outlined to Joy Business some of the initiatives they were expecting to see in the 2016 Budget.

“For example we have called for the need to actually set up a Stimulus Fund for industry. We have been very specific that we need to look at about 1billion Ghana cedi stimulus fund that would really be able to help industry. This will be a strategic intervention for some key companies that are export-oriented. We did not see something like that. We also expected to see a lot more pragmatic approach to addressing the energy issues even though there were mention of some things being done by government to add up to generations capacity,” he said.

It has already emerged that businesses would have to brace themselves for some more taxes from next year. These were not spelt out in the 2016 budget but the Finance Minister has denied they are new taxes.

But Mr. Asare Agyei says the AGI cannot take on any more taxes especially under the current difficult business environment.

“Any additional taxe that will burden our industry further is not welcome. We are not looking forward to more taxes because we are already burdened with so many taxes thus a multiplicity of taxes and hence it’s very important that nothing is done to disturb the already worrisome industrial environment,” he added