Business News of Friday, 21 August 2020
Restrictions on movement of goods and people imposed by governments around the world to contain spread of the Coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected revenue generated from international trade, as figures published by the Bank of Ghana show a drastic decline of import duty in the first quarter of the year.
The First Quarter Bulletin report shows taxes generated from international trade recorded GH¢829.7million, lower than the budget target of GH¢1.2billion, and still lower than GH¢1.4billion recorded in same period of 2019.
Total import duty realised was 34 percent below target, and recorded a year on year decline in growth of 42.5 percent.
At the beginning of the year, when the coronavirus took centre-stage in the world, countries starting from China began implementing lockdown measures and restrictions on movement of people, which essentially closed down their factories. Since China is Ghana’s biggest international trading partner, most importers couldn’t receive their consignments as planned in the first quarter.
Then in mid-March, when Ghana recorded its first case of the pandemic, government imposed restrictions on travel outside the country’s borders – a ban that remains in force till date – making it impossible for traders in the import business to also travel and bring in goods; hence the resulting effect on revenue generated from taxes on international trade.
It is however