Reject import restrictions bill – Six business groups petition Parliament
Six business associations, which will be affected by the import restrictions bill, have submitted a petition to Parliament in opposition to the proposed legislative instrument.
The groups under the umbrella name, Joint Business Consultative Forum include the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG), and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI).
The bill, if passed, will restrict the importation of 22 products in the country.
Tempers flared up last Friday when the legislative instrument was laid in Parliament, with the Minority opposing it.
The Minority argued that the LI if passed, would benefit only a section of the New Patriotic Party members.
In a petition dated November 26, the business six associations argued that if passed, the L.I. will adversely affect the prices of goods, the free flow of goods, and could also cripple businesses.
The groups are therefore calling on Parliament to reject the bill.
“We vehemently oppose this LI and would appreciate its immediate rejection by Parliament to allow for proper consultations and dialogue to take place.”
“We strongly oppose this LI on the following grounds: The price of most products mentioned in the Ministry of Trade and Industry policy proposal will result in serious price hikes, as competition will be severely restricted.”
They stressed, “The Minister is the ultimate decision maker on which companies end up trading in each of these items. This will eventually lead to a monopolistic or oligopolistic position for a few select businesses in the country at the expense of many smaller businesses.”
They also expressed fear that the permit system will hinder the flow of goods from other countries.
“The permit system will definitely hinder the flow of goods from exporting countries to receivers in Ghana since importers would no longer be able to rely on market demands to dictate the quantities to be ordered, as companies will be at the whims of the Minister of Trade and Industry.”
“Typically, orders would normally take a minimum of 3 months from purchase date to delivery, assuming there is no bureaucratic involvement in the decision-making process.”
The importation of ‘Yemuadie’ (tripe), rice, diapers, and other products will be restricted if the LI is passed.