The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has directed Trade Minister Kobina Tahir Hammond to present an amended import restrictions Legislative Instrument (L.I) seeking to restrict the importation of tripe and some 21 other goods, to the committee on Subsidiary Legislation for study before laying.
The speaker made the directive in Parliament on Tuesday, November 28 after an attempt by the Minister to lay the controversial bill hit a snag once more. The bill will be laid on Thursday, TV3’s Parliamentary reporter Komla Klutse reported on Tuesday, November 28.
The Minority in Parliament had described the L.I as a discredited and old-fashioned licensing regime.
Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah said this L.I., if passed in its current will breed corruption.
“We are not able to say that as a result of the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F), we are not importing into Ghana one of these products. We are not able to say that because of Planting for Food and Jobs after we spent all these billions, we have solved all these problems. If we want to solve the problem of our import bill, the reasons why this is being done, we must address it honestly.”
“But to go back to a very discredited and outmoded licensing regime that has created corruption. You don’t put politicians in charge of issuing licenses; you know what the outcome will be. We have gone past that,” he said.
Parliament on Thursday suspended the laying of the Legislative Instrument (L.I) following the concerns raised by the Minority against it.
The Speaker, Alban Bagbin urged the Trade 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 it.
“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 and discuss and resolve the issues before we move on,” Mr. Bagbin said on Thursday, November 23.
The Trade Minister earlier justified the move to restrict the importation.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T 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.
“By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”