Textile dealers at the Makola Market have appealed to the government to as a matter of urgency halt the activities of the Local Textile Designers Task Force who break into their shops and seize their goods.
Mrs Grace Mensah, the Spokesperson of the textile dealers, told the GNA in an interview that members of the Task Force break into their shops and seize as many cloths as they could get with the claim that the designs belong to local manufacturers.
She described as unfair the practice where the Customs Officers and the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) at entry points allow them to pay heavy duties on the imported textiles only for those same fabrics to be seized at the points of sale.
Mrs Mensah argued that if the prints are illegal their importation should be banned but they should not be allowed into the country for duties to be paid on them.
“The goods should be seized at the entry points and not in our shops after we have paid duty on them,” she stressed.
Mrs Mensah suggested that local manufacturers should leave samples of their designs with the security agencies at the borders to serve as reference for the traders when they are bringing in their goods to prevent them from importing them.
She also suggested that prohibited designs should be made as calendars and sold to them so that they could easily identify the local designs from the foreign ones.
Madam Agnes Otute, a 62-year-old textiles dealer, told the GNA, in tears, that just recently the task force members confiscated 95 pieces of her wax prints valued more than GH¢5,000, claiming the designs were for the local manufacturers.
She said sometimes the identity of the members of the Task Force was unknown, adding that thieves could sometimes take advantage of the situation to loot them.
Mad Otute said they were breadwinners of their families, paying schools fees while some were single parents and appealed to the government to rectify the situation as the daily harassment from the Task Force was inhibiting their cordial working environment.