The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, says he has been betrayed by the Minority in Parliament over the laying of the Legislative Instrument (L.I) to restrict the import of some strategic products.
Speaking in an interview with JoyNews’ Evans Mensah on Monday, November 27, Mr Hammond noted that a consensus was reached with the Minority side for the laying of the L.I which seeks to restrict the import of 22 products.
“In that meeting chaired by Dominic Ayine, I tell you today, they [the Subsidiary Committee] added bits and pieces… their concern was on some items put on the L.I. The conclusion was that, subject to these suggestions they have raised, they were quite happy,” he said.
Reading from the Committee’s report, he said the Committee concluded that “It had no reason to believe that the two draft regulations were not within the ambit of the parameters set under Article 11 Clause 7 of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.”
According to him, it was based on the above conclusion, that he proceeded to lay the L.I before the House, saying, it is ‘duplicity’ on the part of the Minority Leader to oppose.
“You get upset and at the end of the day, you think they are stabbing you in the back,” he added.
Asked whether he had indeed been stabbed in the back, he replied in the affirmative.
This, the Adansi Asokwa MP says was because he was not supposed to pre-lay the L.I before the House since the regulation was made at the back of a substantive Act that has been through Parliament. However, he agreed to go by the flow though he believed it did not make sense.
“The Minister has prepared a document in which he has made a reference for redress in the High Court. Parliament doesn’t sit in an adjudicative capacity,” he said.
Meanwhile, six business associations have submitted a petition to Parliament urging the house to reject the import restrictions bill proposed by the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Joint Business Consultative Forum, comprising the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), 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), argue that the bill if enacted, would have detrimental effects on their businesses.
The petition, dated Sunday, November 26, outlined concerns that the legislation could negatively impact the prices of goods, disrupt the free flow of goods, and potentially harm businesses.
The Minister for Trade and Industry is seeking to pass an (L.I) to restrict the importation of some strategic products.
The 22 items considered for import restrictions are:
- Guts, bladders and stomachs of animals (offal)
- Animal and vegetable oil
- Fruit juices
- Soft drink
- Mineral water
- Noodles and pasta
- Ceramic tiles
- Corrugated paper and paper board
- Mosquito coil and insecticides
- Soaps and detergents
- Motor cars
- Iron and steel
- Polymers (Plastics and Plastic Products)
- Clothing and apparel
- Canned tomatoes
On three occasions, however, the Minority scuttled plans to lay the regulation which they say they are strongly opposed to because, among other things, it gives the Minister for Trade unbridled power.