Withdraw obnoxious import restrictions LI- NDC to govt

The National Democratic Congress NDC has called on President Akufo-Addo to immediately cause the withdrawal of a regulation seeking to restrict the importation of rice, fruit juice, margarine, cement, fish, sugar and 16 other “strategic products”.

Trade Minister, Kobina Tahir Hammond, who is pushing this regulation hopes it will help the cedi appreciate as well as help grow local industries. Per the proposed regulation, any person seeking to import the selected products will require permission from the Trade Minister.

Meanwhile, the opposition party says the draft document currently before Parliament if passed, will lead to corruption among government appointees.

Addressing journalists during the party’s ‘Moment of Truth Series’ in Accra on December 6, Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson described the regulation as a bad policy that must be withdrawn immediately.

The Minority Leader stated that restricting importation will fuel inflation in the country which will lead to the worsening of the burden of Ghanaians. To him, the government cannot restrict the importation of goods when there are no ready substitutes.

“If they had created domestic production for some of these items, I would have no issue. But clearly, we know they want to restrict sugar but we do not have a sugar processing plant,” he said.

He said they are not against any legal line aim at protecting local businesses but expressed worry that with the development, traders might not get the license to import products if they do not have ties with the New Patriotic Party.

He also called on the government to withdraw the regulations immediately and broaden its engagement with all key stakeholders.

“Already, importers and the business community have amply demonstrated how these regulations lack broad consultation and consensus. We therefore call on government to withdraw these regulations immediately and broaden its engagement with all key stakeholders.

Ghana | Atinkaonline | Priscilla Harrison


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