Parliament has suspended the laying of the Legislative Instrument (L.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected products into the country.
The suspension followed the concerns raised by the Minority against the L.I.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond announced during a press briefing in Parliament on Monday, November 20, that he would lay an L.I on behalf of the Government on Tuesday, November 21 targeting about 20 commodities.
However, the Speaker, Alban Bagbin urged the minister to address the concerns raised by the minority relating to the L.I. before it is laid before the house.
“Leadership, try to resolve these matters before we move on because we are dealing with instruments. And you know the impact of these instruments; that is why I am saying we should try and resolve them,” he said.
“Laying of an instrument has nothing to do with numbers, but because of the nature of the instrument you laid and the constitutional and legal effects of the laying, you better meet, discuss and resolve the issues before we move on,” the Speaker said.
Mr Bagbin’s ruling was necessitated following demands by the Minority Caucus on Mr Hammond, the Sector Minister, to further engage the group on the concerns surrounding the L.I.
The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, , explained that the regulation was not in the best interest of the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Novemeber 23, Mr. Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (“yemuadie”), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items,” .
“We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He said the restrictions were not meant to deprive the country of some specific foods but an initiative to boost local production.