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Government Suspends Controversial L.I. To Restrict Importation Of Selected Items2 min read

Government Suspends Controversial L.I. To Restrict Importation Of Selected Items<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">2</span> min read</span>


Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has confirmed that government has suspended the controversial Legislative Instrument (L.I) seeking to restrict the importation of at least 22 items.

The L.l. had already faced three rejections in Parliament with the Minority and other stakeholders asking the government to make alterations into it before its passage.

The Import Restriction Bill was to make importers of the 22 items that fall under it seek licenses from a committee which was to be set by the Trade and Industry minister before embarking on it.

Among the Minority’s reasons for blocking the L.I. three times in Parliament include the violation of international trade practices, adding that the policy would give too much powers to the minister, and could potentially breed corruption.

Kobina Tahir Hammond, the minister in charge, has struggled to get the L.I. laid in the House.

Speaking with journalists in Parliament Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Information Minister said further consultations are required to get the Bill in proper shape before it is returned to Parliament.

“There is the need to get everyone rallying around it because it will ensure that the local production of these items are boosted,” the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP said, adding, that “the idea is to ensure that the outstanding stakeholders get an opportunity to have their views expressed and considered.”

Many business associations and the Trades Union Congress, have all spoken against the promulgation of the law, pointing out what they said were obvious deficiencies, while the government, led by the Trades and Industry Minister, KT Hammond, and Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, insisted, it was in the best interest of the nation.

The Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), and a good number of advocacy groups kicked against the passage of the bill which so divided parliament and at one time got Speaker Alban Bagbin and Ablekuma West MP, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful into a discomforting banter.

The 22 selected strategic goods are rice, Guts, bladders and stomach of animals, Poultry, Animal and Vegetable Oil, Margarine and Fruit Juices.

The rest are; Soft Drink, Mineral Water, Noodles and Pasta, Ceramic Tiles, Corrugated Paper and Paper Board, Mosquito Coil and Insecticides, Soaps and Detergents, Motor Cars, Iron and Steel, Cement, Polymers (Plastics and Plastic Products), Fish, Sugar, Clothing and Apparel, Biscuits and Canned Tomatoes.