Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has hinted of withdrawing the law that bans the importation of salvaged vehicles into the country should he be voted into office.
Mahama says his next government will also scrap the proposed increment in the import duty for such vehicles.
The move, according to the former President is to ensure Ghanaians, whose livelihoods depend on that sector of the economy, continue to enjoy decent lives and revenues.
The Customs Amendment Act 2020 among other things, provides incentives for automobile manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturers Programme and prohibits the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and cars over ten years of age into the country.
It was passed by Parliament in March and is expected to be rolled out in November 2020.
The Minority in Parliament had insisted the new law is counterproductive and will lead to more job losses than new employment, hence it must be withdrawn.
Highlighting portions of the party’s manifesto on Monday, September 7, 2020, however, John Mahama indicated that the review of the amendment act is to protect the local automobile industry from collapse.
“We will review the Customs Amendment Act 2020 (Act 1014) to scrap the law banning the importation of salvage vehicles and the proposed implementation of a 35 per cent import duty rate. We are going to scrap it in order that salvaged cars are not banned and top duty rate government intends to impose on these vehicles does not happen. This is to safeguard the local automobile industry so that our people in Suame Magazine, Abossey Okai, Komkompe to continue to work to earn a decent living.”
Since the law was announced, car and spare parts dealers, clearing agents, and artisans have put pressure on government to reverse the decision.
But the government’s defence is for Ghanaians to focus on the revenue generation that the Customs Amendment Bill will bring rather than the losses it will incur.
The benefits it says largely outweigh the losses as the amendment will boost the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Programme which has so far attracted several car assembling plants into the country.