Multiple barriers, taxes affecting cattle trade – Research

A research conducted on the business of the Bolgatanga Cattle Dealers Association in the Upper East Region has revealed that multiple taxes and levies are undermining their business in the Region and beyond.

The Bolgatanga Cattle Dealers Association (BOCADA) with Funding from Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) conducted the research carried out by a service provider of BUSAC, Mr Richard Ananga.

It was aimed at developing responses and proposals for an effective dialogue with duty bearers to introduce a “One-Stop Tax or Revenue Payment Point” where cattle dealers can make payments and produce the receipt at each security barrier to reduce time and money spent at the various barriers.

According to the findings, the multiple barriers and multiple tax system in place affect cattle traders and the nation as a whole.

“It reduces the income of the traders, delays movement and promotes cheating, bribery, corruption,’ it states. “It also leads to mortality among the animals before their arrival at their final destinations,” it says.

The research stated that cattle dealers pay averagely GH¢20, GH¢15 and GH¢10 on the various capacities of cargo trucks at every barrier. This means on the average, a cattle dealer transporting a fully loaded truck from Paga to Kumasi pays GH¢720, GH¢540 and GH¢360 on the respective trucks.

The taxes and levies, the research says are fixed by Police and Customs officials at checkpoints but and no receipts are issued for payments.

“There is an increasing demand by cattle dealers for the implementation of a one stop tax system to ensure the smooth passage of cattle to the Southern parts of Ghana to avert the numerous drawbacks that are posed by the current system,” it stresses.

Government should introduce “a one-stop payment system” for cattle dealers to pay and reproduce the receipt at each security or revenue check point to avoid the delays and exploitations.

The research also reveals that Veterinary slips, Income tax receipts and Council receipts are the common requirements from the Police and Customs officials for the transportation of cattle from the region to Southern Ghana.

It, however, says that apart from tax collection the officials prevent smuggling and overloading while ensuring that the necessary documentation for the animals is correct.

It recommends that the revenue collection authorities adopt a participatory approach in determining the tax rate for cattle dealers to ensure convenience and compliance at the barriers.

It also recommends that Cattle Dealers avoid under invoicing and bribing their way through the barriers but ensure that they acquire all the necessary documentation before traveling with their animals.

“Cattle dealers and other livestock dealers should strengthen their associations to ensure that their members acquire all the necessary documents before embarking on a journey, “it says. “They should also protect their members from being cheated, harassed or processed for unlawfully court.

The findings indicate that Cattle and other livestock are estimated to contribute about nine per cent to the nation’s agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is also a source of income for many rural households in the Region.

Government, the research notes, should pay much attention to the sector towards improving upon the living standards of the people, especially those from the northern parts of the country.

The main sources of supply of cattle include Kasena-Nankana East and, Kasena-Nankana West Districts, Bolga Municipal, Talensi-Nabdam, Bongo, Bawku, Builsa, West Mamprusi and Burkina Faso. Accra and Kumasi are the main market sources for the dealer.

Source: GNA

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