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Review tax on phone handsets – Credit dealers

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Cell phonesThe Association of Independent Mobile Phone and Credit Dealers (ASIMODE) has called on the government to review the 20 per cent import duty on mobile handsets imported into the country.

A statement made available to Ghana News Agency on Wednesday by ASIMODE said the tax which was regressive might signal a challenging investment environment likely to worsen the plight of mobile phone importers and dealers.

“Many of our members who are engaging in the importation of these products are already struggling with start up costs and unexpected liabilities, and Government must therefore come out with a tax credit to help offset these    challenges to enable them remain in business,” it noted.

The statement said: “As stakeholders, we were not consulted in anything nor did we have the least opportunity to participate in any discussion or make necessary inputs in the said Customs and Excise Amendment Bill for such a policy review which has a direct repercussion on our businesses.

According to the statement the expenses to be associated with purchasing a handset could represent a high barrier to entry into the mobile market for many poorer Ghanaians if the taxation was allowed.

It however, said the mobile retail space was struggling since the market had largely reached saturation with the vast majority of consumers already owning mobile handsets and the pressure was on dealers to continually push them to upgrade and renew.

The statement added that, the prospects for independent importers and retailers were fairly bleak and as such, government must consider scrapping the tax imposition since it had the potential of bringing about economic displacement”.

Source: GNA

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