The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says it strongly opposes the proposed implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity charges and the imposition of an emission levy, due to the detrimental economic consequences it will have on businesses operating in Ghana.

According to GUTA, it firmly believes that the introduction of these additional costs will burden businesses, exacerbating the already high cost of doing business in the country.

“The proposed VAT on electricity charges will directly impact businesses, particularly those heavily reliant on electricity for their operations. Such businesses will face increased financial strain, which could potentially lead to reduced production capacity, layoffs, and even business closures and ultimately impede economic progress and dampen job creation opportunities'” GUTA said in a statement signed by its President, Dr. Joseph Obeng.

It added: “Furthermore, the implementation of the emission levy will further compound challenges in terms of double taxation and lack of electric vehicles infrastructure like charging stations and reliable source of power. Ghana already collects energy taxes, including petroleum tax on gasoline, diesel, kerosene and LPG.”

GUTA therefore urged the government to reconsider these measures and engage in thorough consultations with key stakeholders, including the business community, before implementing any new taxation policies.

“It is crucial that the voices and concerns of businesses are heard and taken into account to ensure policies that do not hinder economic growth and investment,” the statement noted.

GUTA encouraged the government to explore alternative means of revenue generation that do not place undue burdens on businesses,