Traders who deal in beverages and related products in Kumasi are predicting dwindling sales and collapse of businesses in the coming months with the passage of three major revenue bills by Parliament on Friday, March 31.
The Excise duty amendment bill which is part of these tax bills will impose 20 percent on sweetened beverages and other products.
Wholesalers and retailers who are already lamenting hikes in the prices of these products say the passage of the tax bills will push many out of business.
A wholesaler who deals in beverage drinks and mineral water, Janet Akomeah told Citi News the only option to try and save their businesses is to pass the cost onto the customers.
“A lot of the customers complain about the price increases and some will come in and be saying that we are increasing the prices anyhow, but it is not our fault because the prices have also changed from our suppliers, and so we also need to adjust our prices to make some profit. We need more funds to be able to restock our shops and the only thing we can do now is to manage.
“There are wholesalers who may be having old stock and be selling at a relatively lesser price but if you go and take new stock and increase the price accordingly, the customers will complain that you have increased your price while others are selling at a lesser price, but it is not our fault and if things don’t change, a time will soon come that we will have to stop the business.”
The Ashanti Business Owners Association also shared in the plight of the traders and insisted the tax laws will affect livelihoods.
The Executive Secretary of the Ashanti Business Owners Association, Charles Appiah Kubi said it is disappointing that Parliament went ahead and passed the bills at the expense of the suffering Ghanaian business.