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Sunday, February 25, 2024

‘Treat import restrictions bill as a national issue’

The People’s National Convention (PNC) has urged the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to consider the government’s proposed Legislative Instrument (LI) as a national issue, seeking to restrict the importation of certain products into the country.

According to the party, the LI should not be politicized by the parties but treated with all the importance it deserves.

The Import Restrictions Bill, championed by the Minister of Trade and Industry, KT Hammond, faced another setback in Parliament on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, after the sector minister was prevented from laying the LI in the house. That was the third time the Minister had been prevented from laying the LI in Parliament.

If approved, the Export and Import (Restrictions on Importation of Selected Strategic Product) Regulations, 2023, will restrict the importation of 22 selected strategic goods into the country.

The PNC, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said, “The ongoing disagreements between the two major political parties only serve to impede progress, while the Ghanaian youth suffer the consequences. Without drastic measures, job opportunities will remain a mirage for our youth, whether it is PNC, NPP, or NDC that is in power.”

“Countries like India and Nigeria have successfully taken bold decisions to limit imports, enabling them to employ their young population.”

PNC stated that it firmly believes that no country can develop by relying on imported products, but “we anticipate opposition from individuals who benefit from these importers or who have personal stakes in importation. Some politicians and prominent figures may use every available platform, including the media, to speak out against this policy for their benefit.”

It also urged the government to be transparent about the current level of local production and how the allocated percentage for importers would be utilised to dispel any doubts, adding that “it is imperative for the government to create a preexisting market for grain farmers similar to what exists for cocoa producers, to encourage more young people to engage in farming.”

READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE PNC HERE

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