Restricting Anti-Textiles Piracy Taskforce to Borders Necessary – Ahenkorah
A Deputy Trade Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah, has defended the government’s decision to focus the efforts of Anti-Textiles Piracy Taskforce’s on policing mainly Ghana’s borders.
He said this was a more prudent option because it was an attempt to cut off pirated textiles before they entered the countries borders.
Mr Ahenkorah was speaking on Eyewitness News ahead of a demonstration by the Coalition for Ghana Textile workers who are protesting the shift in the focus of government’s anti-piracy task force.
Local textile dealers have consistently complained that the unchecked importation of textiles into the country was hurting the local textile industry because imported textiles were cheaper.
The coalition wants the taskforce, been operational since 2010, working in the market areas to capture retailers of the pirated textiles instead of the restrictions to just the borders.
But the Deputy Minister retorted that the government could not continue a failing strategy.
“They have been in the marketplace ever since this task force was set up in 2010 and the results are the same. Why do you want to keep on doing the same thing and expect different results?”
He said the government was in the interim going to limit the operations of the task-force to the eastern corridor route and also target “suspicions warehouses within the capital or anywhere in Ghana.”
“That way we will be able to capture the problem from the roots instead of starting from the top because if you go to the market and start harassing peasant traders, people with a capital of GHc 5,000 or GHc 10,000 who are on the back end and have received the cloth from these smugglers… for me, you haven’t solved the problem.”
In the long term, Mr Ahenkorah said his ministry was working with the Ghana Revenue Authority to bring all textile companies under the tax stamp programme to fish out the smuggled textiles.
The government is also “thinking of a single corridor policy where all cloths entering this country will go through a particular point,” he added.
But in the meantime, he said: “if we can cut the problem from that side, we will ensure that the thing doesn’t even get to the market at all.”