Some six (6) business associations have opposed government’s Legislative Instrument (LI) seeking to restrict importation of certain commodities into the country. The groups, in a petition Sunday, November 26, 2023, says implementation of the policy will adversely affect their businesses.
Under an umbrella name, Joint Business Consultative Forum, the groups 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).
In all, 22 products would be restricted if the LI is passed. The Minority in Parliament had said Friday, November 24, 2023, that the policy will favour a section of the public who are sympathetic to the NPP, making them oppose it when it was being laid.
The group, in their petition is asking the Legislature to reject the bill since its passage will adversely affect the prices of goods, the free flow of goods, and could also cripple businesses.
“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,” portions of the petition stated.
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.