Import restriction bill will destroy trade – GUTA

Source The Ghana Report

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has questioned the government’s decision to restrict the importation of some selected strategic products into the country.

GUTA President Dr Joseph Obeng, has raised concerns about the proposed Legislative Instrument (L.I) being laid in Parliament, emphasising the need for a solid foundation and clear objectives.

“It is very important that we do the needful. It is very important that we put the objectives ahead of the restriction so that, as a country, we know what we are doing,” he said on Tuesday, November 28.

He highlighted a critical lack of information regarding the threshold for importation, questioning whether it is 20, 40, or 60 per cent of the total consumption that would be allowed.

According to him, traders would be left uninformed about the quantity or percentage of products they could import without these figures.

Dr Obeng criticised the current approach while acknowledging the importance of boosting local productivity and shoring up Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves.

“If it should be done, it should be done well. What we’re doing will not achieve anything. It does not have any foundation, and it is not going to help us.

“Instead, it is going to be a punishment, and it will impede the trade facilitation,” he stressed.

He, therefore, called for the implementation of modalities that would eliminate the need for legal action.

Dr Obeng urged the government to reconsider its approach, emphasising the importance of well-thought-out policies that encourage compliance rather than punitive measures that hinder trade.

Meanwhile, six business associations, including GUTA, have also submitted a petition to Parliament urging the house to reject the import restrictions bill.

The Joint Business Consultative Forum also include 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).

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