Gov’t Won’t Revert ‘De-Dollarization’ Rules—Haruna Iddrisu Insists

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu says government will not reverse the new and revised forex laws introduced by the Bank of Ghana to deal with the continuous free fall of the cedi and dollarization.

Mr. Iddrisu made the submission at a meeting with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Bank of Ghana and the Trades’ Ministry to clarify the new forex rules introduced by the BoG.

Some members of the association have asserted that the rules will have dire consequences on their business.

But Mr. Iddrisu speaking at the dialogue stated that the AGI and the business community must support government to fully implement the new rules.

He explained that “there will be no U-turn or backwards journey towards that. The policy is a worthy principle worth of support and every Ghanaian must support the president and government to succeed.”

According to him, “the situation where every transaction in Ghana is quoted in another currency is not an acceptable phenomenon for government and government means business when it says let us de-dollarize the Ghanaian economy. You don’t need to pay fees, and rent in dollars”

Meanwhile, the AGI and the Chamber of Commerce have been raising issues of concern around the new rules implemented.

President of AGI, Asare Adjei in his submission sought clarity on situation where the terms of trade of an exporter exceeded the 60-day repatriation period given by the central bank.

He questioned whether this will amount to breach of the law which will attract sanctions.

He also touched on the 30-day limit on margin accounts.

Asare Adjei indicated this will lead to businesses keeping their foreign currencies outside the banking system.

“This matter need medium to short term solutions. If we engage in these short term measures, it will not be in the interest of business and private sector as a whole”, he said.

Some other members of the association and chamber bemoaned why free zone companies were exempted from these new rules when just a few Ghanaian companies are free zones.

Also, they belabored the point that most these companies engaged in large imports are Chinese and hence if Ghana is highly import dependent, just a few Ghanaians are contributing to this.

Finance Minister, Seth Tekper however gave the assurance the rules are not meant to stifle the growth of the private sector.

“Ghana needs to move towards having deeper structures as we move to become middle income. We need an Exim institution, we need a development infrastructure fund” he said.

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