GUTA President

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has expressed concerns about the Import Restrictions Bill, spearheaded by the Minister of Trade and Industry, KT Hammond.

The proposed Bill to restrict the import of some strategic products aims to limit the importation of 22 selected strategic goods into the country.

K.T Hammond had hoped to present the Legislative Instrument (LI) for approval, following pre-laying meetings with the Minority caucus.

However, the Minority vehemently opposed the move, insisting that various business groups had petitioned Parliament to reject the LI, emphasizing the need to address their concerns.

In support, President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme on Tuesday, said traders play a crucial role in providing essential goods to Ghanaians.

While Dr. Obeng clarified that GUTA is not inherently against the LI, he raised concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the objectives of the restrictions.

“The Ministry is not providing information on measures to support local production, reduce taxes, and lower prices for domestically produced items. We are urging the Ministry to outline clear timelines, data, and a comprehensive plan detailing how the government intends to facilitate access to local production” he said.

Dr. Obeng stressed the need for measures to protect local manufacturers from potential abuse and ensure that locally produced goods are competitively priced.

Stressing the absence of discussions on modalities, thresholds, and capacities, Dr. Obeng urged the Ministry to withhold the LI and engage stakeholders before implementation.

The GUTA President insisted that, government should communicate the purpose of the restrictions clearly, as lack of information raises more suspicions about the real intent of the Bill.

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