Thursday, 30 May

VAT on imported books, other gov't policies force 40% book price hike

According to him, the books cost a total sum of GH₵320 million and have still not been settled

From June 2024, Ghanaians will pay 40 more for books, as the Ghana Publishers Association (GPA) has announced a price hike thanks to value added tax on imported books and some other government policies which the group says are inimical to the industry.

At a press conference on Tuesday, 14 May 2014, the Association’s President, Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, urged the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority to engage the association on the industry.

“We have innovative and progressive measures that will improve the business environment in the industry and potentially make Ghana the printing hub of West Africa. If we are all thinking about Ghana, then dialogue and consultations would have to be the anchor of the government’s relationship with businesses," he said.

“Until such conversation is initiated, we have no options but to increase the prices of books. Starting from June, prices will go up between 30 to 40 %. This decision was not easy to make considering the difficult challenges businesses and the citizens are faced with,” added Mr Yamoah.

“We therefore seek the understanding of Ghanaians as we have to protect our businesses from collapse.”

He raised qualms about the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).

“Parliament must work with industry to find a place to anchor the assessment process. NaCCA should focus on its primary role of developing a curriculum for the country and monitoring its compliance," he proposed.

“We cannot work with an organisation that has openly declared its intention to support a particular publisher, encourage the Ministry of Education to produce its textbooks, and use all state power and resources allocated for the implementation of its mandate for such a self-serving agenda,” he noted.

Mr Yamoah revealed that the Education Ministry has been unable to pay for textbooks ordered from its members under the standard-based curriculum.

According to him, the books cost a total sum of GH₵320 million and have still not been settled.

“For the Ministry to proceed to commission a publisher to develop textbooks for the common core programme when books it ordered on credit 2.5 years ago have not been paid?"

“What would be the rationale for the Ministry of Education instead of fulfilling its objective to allocate complete set of required textbooks to pupils (1:1) under the standard-based curriculum would go ahead to negotiate for the supply of textbooks under the common core programme?” he asked.