The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has announced its intention to establish a social contract with presidential contenders in the upcoming 2024 elections.
This agreement will be anchored on the candidates’ economic agendas and manifesto pledges.
Dr. Joseph Obeng, President of GUTA, emphasised that this decision aims to ensure that the business community and the Ghanaian populace hold the future president accountable for their promises.
“We will subject the policies and commitments of political parties and individual aspirants to a credibility litmus test and hold them accountable. As such, we will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them ahead of the 2024 elections,” he said.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on February 8, following a presentation by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential candidate, Dr. Obeng highlighted a growing receptiveness among candidates to the needs of the business sector.
He noted that this observation stemmed from their involvement in the National Economic Summit led by Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, as well as Dr Bawumia’s elucidation of his vision for Ghana.
“We want the politicians to understand that this year’s election will not follow the usual pattern. We will meticulously assess their policies to evaluate their impact on businesses, particularly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs),” Dr Obeng emphasised.
Echoing the sentiments of the business community, Dr. Obeng underscored the importance of policies conducive to business growth, revenue generation through taxation, and youth employment.
He urged all political parties and aspirants to engage extensively with GUTA and consider their inputs during the formulation of their manifestos.
Addressing specific policy proposals, Dr. Bawumia outlined intentions to repeal the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy), Emission Tax, and the 15% Value Added Tax on electricity if elected president.
He also discussed plans for implementing a flat tax for individuals and SMEs, simplifying the corporate tax system, and introducing a VAT regime to facilitate tax payments and promote a business-friendly environment.
Commenting on these proposals, Dr Obeng expressed optimism about their potential impact, particularly the flat tax, which he believes will enhance tax compliance and bolster government revenue.
He encouraged Dr Bawumia to leverage his position to expedite the implementation of these policies, emphasizing that some solutions could be swiftly enacted to address pressing economic concerns.
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