Six business associations, united under the Joint Business Consultative Forum, have submitted a petition to Parliament opposing the proposed legislative instrument that seeks to impose restrictions on the importation of 22 products in Ghana.
The associations, including 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 would adversely impact prices, hinder the free flow of goods, and potentially cripple businesses.
They call for the immediate rejection of the legislative instrument, emphasising concerns about potential monopolistic or oligopolistic control and disruptions to the flow of goods.
The groups stress the need for proper consultations and dialogue before any decision is made.
In a petition dated November 26, the groups said: "We vehemently oppose this LI and would appreciate its immediate rejection by Parliament to allow for proper consultations and dialogue to take place.”
“We strongly oppose this LI on the following grounds: The price of most products mentioned in the Ministry of Trade and Industry policy proposal will result in serious price hikes, as competition will be severely restricted.”
They noted: “The Minister is the ultimate decision maker on which companies end up trading in each of these items. This will eventually lead to a monopolistic or oligopolistic position for a few select businesses in the country at the expense of many smaller businesses.”
“The permit system will definitely hinder the flow of goods from exporting countries to receivers in Ghana since importers would no longer be able to rely on market demands to dictate the quantities to be ordered, as companies will be at the whims of the Minister of Trade and Industry.”
“Typically, orders would normally take a minimum of 3 months from purchase date to delivery, assuming there is no bureaucratic involvement in the decision-making process.”