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Government will re-introduce Import Restrictions Bill in due time - KT Hammond

K.T. Hammond K.T. Hammond K.T. Hammond  K.T. Hammond  KT Hammond KT Hammond Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry

Mon, 12 Feb 2024 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The government plans to re-table the controversial Import Restrictions Bill before parliament in due course, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond.

The Legislative Instrument (L.I), which was withdrawn from parliament last year, faced stiff opposition from members of the trading community including the Minority in parliament.

But the sector minister says that the decision to move ahead with the L.I have not been abandoned by the government.

K.T. Hammond explained that the aim of restricting imports on some 22 selected items was to address the high importation of cheap goods into the country while protecting local manufacturers.

Speaking at the 30th anniversary ceremony of Rose Alumnium Company, the Trade Minister said, “How come every conceivable item that we consume in this country is imported? Look at our Balance of Payment accounts. Just last year in 2023, we imported over $200 million worth of animal intestines (yemuadie) as food.”

“How can we be importing so much rice? The L.I has just been held in abeyance. I can promise you we are going to lay it. My enemies were going round saying you are cutting import and there will be starvation. No president will allow starvation. If the policy will starve Ghanaians the president would have sacked me”, he stressed.

The Trade Minister emphasized that government will ensure that the law will protect stakeholders in the importation sector as well as local manufacturers.

He further cited Malaysia and Singapore as prime examples of countries that have adopted a similar approach towards protecting local businesses to ensure they become globally competitive.

The Import Restrictions Bill was suspended in parliament back in December 2023. The Legislative Instrument was seeking to impose a restriction on some 22 selected items imported into the country.

MA/NOQ

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com