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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Import Restriction Bill breaches IMF agreement

Minority leader

The Minority in Parliament has reiterated its opposition to the Import Restriction Legislative Instrument (L.I), stating it breaches the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement.

The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson said this while addressing the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Moment of Truth press conference on Wednesday.

The Ajumako Enyan Essiam Member of Parliament indicated that, per the IMF programme, the government is not permitted to sign onto any policy that restricts trade.

“The proposed regulations gravely offend some international trade treaties and protocols Ghana has signed up to. This L.I beaches the IMF agreement that Ghana has recently signed unto that clearly states Ghana within the course of the programme cannot sign unto any import restriction policy,” he stated.

He cited the regulation in its current form clearly also contravenes the World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade facilitation agreement.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond is seeking the L.I aimed at restricting the import of certain strategic products but has not been successful.

The Minority has opposed the regulation three times, citing concerns about the excessive power it grants to the Minister for Trade.

Six business Associations, collectively known as the Joint Business Consultative Forum, including the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), have petitioned Parliament to reject the Bill.

The Associations argue that the Bill, if enacted, could have adverse effects on their businesses, impacting prices and disrupting the free flow of goods.

However, barring any last minute change, the Minister will within the week lay the L.I following clearance by the the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.

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