GUTA kicks against Import Restrictions Bill

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has opposed the government’s move to restrict the importation of some 22 selected goods into the country, stating that it is uncalled-for.


The Minister for Trade and Industry, K.T. Hammond, is seeking to lay before Parliament a proposed Legislative Instrument  that seeks to impose restrictions on the importation of 22 products in the country, including rice, poultry, sugar, tripe, among others.

Despite the Bill being opposed by the Minority side of Parliament, the minister argues that the decision is to enhance local production, adding that permit will be required for the importation of the items if need be.

Appearing before the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, said the country has to attain self-sufficiency in food production before the policy is rolled out.

“We have to move slowly while we are trying to achieve self-sufficiency and do the right things,” he emphasised and quizzed “What is the threshold that qualifies a product to be restricted? Are we talking about 60 percent or 40 percent of production?”
Dr Obeng added, “We have not been given all this information and that is why we have called that instead of putting any impediment on trading, they should ban whatever they want to ban, and we will know that the product is banned but putting restrictions on us because we just want to import to meet demand is uncalled-for.”

GUTA’s call comes after  the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG), and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI)  united under the Joint Business Consultative Forum submitted a petition to Parliament over the pending Bill.

In a petition dated November 26, the group said: “We vehemently oppose this LI and would appreciate its immediate rejection by Parliament to allow for proper consultations and dialogue to take place.”

“We strongly oppose this LI on the following grounds: The price of most products mentioned in the Ministry of Trade and Industry policy proposal will result in serious price hikes, as competition will be severely restricted,” the group noted.



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