The Minority in Parliament has said it will not get involved in the laying of the Legislative Instrument (L.I) on the Export and Import (Restrictions on Importation of Selected Strategic Product) Regulations, 2023 if it goes through tomorrow, Thursday, November 30, 2023.
“We will fight all the way to the end on behalf of the people of Ghana to express our position and the sentiments of the people.
“Because this is not good for the people of Ghana at least, for the short term,” the Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, told the media yesterday.
He said the Minority had a responsibility to the people of Ghana and “we know how to deal with the people honestly”.
Mr Buah, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembele, said the reason why the caucus was fighting to block the laying was because it did not have the numbers to marshall a two-third majority to overturn it.
“This is the reason why we are sending the alarm bells and doing everything in our power to let the Minister of Trade and Industry, K. T. Hammond, do the right thing,” he said.
The Legislative Instrument (L. I.) will compel importers of 22 restricted items, including poultry, rice, sugar, diapers and animal offals (yemuadie) to seek licences from a committee to be set up by the minister.
Mr Buah said it was necessary to listen to the plea of industry players, including importers and freight forwarders, who were struggling to pay the numerous taxes introduced by the government.
“The product you want to restrict, we do not have the capacity to produce.
“Rather than this blanket restriction, we should find a way to allow people to add value to their products and gradually, we will get there,” he said.
The Deputy Majority Leader said the statement by the minister that if people were dissatisfied, they could go to court was unfortunate.
“Because if you are a businessman, by the time you finish going to court, your business would have collapsed.
He said the L.I. in its current form and shape would give too much power to the minister to decide who imported what.
“This will lead to corruption as happened in Ghana many years ago,” he added.
The Speaker, earlier, had proposed the laying of the L. I. on Wednesday after consultation but the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said a day’s consultation would not be enough to arrive at a reasonable agreement.
Instead, he suggested Thursday, to which the Speaker agreed.