Ghana government urged to protect local industries with import tariffs and other anti-dumping measures

An industrialist has called on government to institute high import tariffs and other anti-dumping measures to protect local industries.

According Mr. T.P. Patnaik, Chief Executive Officer, Rider Steel Ghana Limited, producers of iron rods and steel products, anyone who went through the pain of establishing an industry to employ people and pay taxes, was a dutiful citizen or investor whose interest must be protected by the state.

He told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that local industrialists and entrepreneurs were absorbing the many jobless persons who could not find a place in the government sector thus mitigating the impact of joblessness and its attendant socio economic problems.

“The cheapest way of making money is to build a warehouse and import goods. You employ a few people to help out with deliveries and book keeping but then you will be creating jobs abroad and denying locals income and comfort,” he said.

He said Ghana’s local industries had the capacity to produce many items of economic and social significance and that many investors were only waiting to add on if the right environment was created for industries to flourish as they should.

“I am not saying that we should not do imports. We should import what we cannot produce now and make those that we produce to be expensive to be imported. Those who cherish the foreign version of what we produce locally should be ready to pay a high price for it,” he said.

According to him, local industries were unable to compete with foreign ones due to factors such as production capacity and access to cheap funding hence the need to protect “local industries which were doing their very best under the circumstances to serve the national interest.”

He asked government to remove duties on imported scrap which would augment local sources for the production of steel products locally.

Mr Patnaik called on government to pave the way for scrap collectors to pick accident wreckages which rather create problems for motorists on highways and inner city corners.

“We can help clean up our highways and cities littered with wreckages. We need them and they are nuisance to the public so the public would be happy to see these things off the roads. We are creating a solution for a lingering problem,” he informed.

Source: GNA

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