The government of Ghana has granted tax waivers to local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to aid in the massive production of hand sanitizers as part of efforts to fight the novel coronavirus in the country.
Some supermarkets and various shops in Ghana begun selling hand sanitizers at outrageous prices following the announcement of some confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country weeks ago. Various shops increased the prices of the sanitizers by astronomical margins of almost a hundred percent to a thousand percent and over.
For instance, hand sanitizers that were sold previously at about GHC3.50 are now sold at GHC75 or GHC80 and due to the excess demand, consumers of the products have no choice than to buy them at those ridiculous prices.
The government, explaining the rationale behind the tax waiver said the move was necessitated to make sanitizers accessible to people at a cheaper rate since the product run out of stock and was being sold at a high cost.
As a result of that, the Ministry of Finance has waived the Value Added Tax on alcohol and two other ingredients for the production of hand sanitizers.
This has also prompted the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to expedite the approval of applications for medical products from all pharmaceutical companies needed to fight the pandemic.
This means local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are expected to produce enough sanitizers for public use from today, March 23.