The Minority in Parliament has stated their disapproval of the Legislative Instrument (LI) seeking to restrict the importation of rice, fruit juice, margarine, sugar and 18 other products the government considers “strategic”.
The Minority argued that, apart from the policy being in violation of World Trade Organisation practices, it would drive inflation.
They lamented that, traders might not get the license to import these products if they do not have ties with the ruling party
The caucus for the third day running, blocked the laying of the Legislative Instrument, Restrictions on Importation of Selected Strategic Product Regulations, 2023 on Friday over lack of quorum.
Per the regulation any person seeking to import the selected products would require the exclusive permission of the Minister of Trade.
But addressing journalists in Parliament on Friday, Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson said the policy would only promote corruption in the importation space.
“We are urging the President to have a rethink because this is not a policy that we should encourage and they have to withdraw it,” Dr Forson, MP, Ajumako/Enyan/Esiam entreated.
According to Dr Forson, a Justice Ollenu Committee established in 1967 corruption and malpractices relating to import licensing.
“If they had created domestic production for some of these items, we would have no issue.
But clearly, we know they want to restrict sugar but we do not have a sugar processing plant.
The one that Mr Mahama actually constructed, this government is refusing to open it so where is the sugar going to come from?” he asked.
“What they are seeking to do is to create businesses for their financiers,” he stated.
The list of items under consideration include rice, guts, bladders and stomach of animals, poultry, animal and vegetable oil, margarine, fruit juices, soft drinks, mineral water, noodles and pasta, and ceramic tiles.
The rest are corrugated paper and paper board, mosquito coil and insecticides, soaps and detergents, motor cars, iron and, steel, cement, polymers, fish, sugar, clothing and apparel, biscuits, and canned tomatoes.