Members of the Mobile Phones and Accessories Dealers Association (MPADA) have welcomed government’s decision to remove import duties on smart phones.
The dealers last October appealed to government, through the Ministry of Finance, to scrap the 20 percent import tax on mobile handsets and accessories.
Finance Minister Seth Terkper last Wednesday said government, as part of moves to bridge the digital divide in the country, would remove import duties on smart phones when he presented the 2015 Budget to parliament last week.
Chief Executive Officer of the Telecoms Chamber, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo notes;
We are confident the black market for smart phones in the country will be dealt a significant blow with government’s plan to remove import duties on mobile devices. “The companies that are registered to do this business [deal in smart phones]; who want to play by the rules, who want to pay their taxes, who hire people, they cannot compete against the black market”,
With significantly low import duties across the sub region, some traders take advantage to import thousands of handsets from China and elsewhere through neighboring countries, such as Nigeria and Togo, and sell them at very low prices — undercutting prices on the market.
The Telecoms Chamber believes this will make prices of the device competitive in Ghana and help deal with the black market challenge.
The move seems to be in response to a petiton by phone dealers to the Finance Ministry.
In October some importers of mobile phones and accessories presented a petition to the Ministry, citing increasing tax evasion through smugging of the handsets as one the negative impact the tax on mobile phones.
The policy which was presented to the legislators under a certificate of urgency should take effect soon.
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