Give draft import L.I. to Subsidiary Legislation C’ttee - Speaker directs Trade Minister


Give draft import L.I. to Subsidiary Legislation C’ttee - Speaker directs Trade Minister

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has directed the Minister of Trade and Industry to make available copies of the new draft Export and Import (Restrictions on Importation of Selected Strategic Product) Regulations, 2023, to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee for consideration.

He said such submission would allow the committee, joined by lawmakers, to verify whether he had incorporated the various concerns of stakeholders in the new document.

He explained that it was only after the committee had satisfied itself with the amendment captured in the regulation and submitted a report to the plenary that the minister could lay the instrument in the House tomorrow.

“I will plead with the minister that in spite of my earlier promise to him, he should make available copies of the instrument to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee to ensure that some of those amendments that were agreed on have been taken on board and then can lay the instrument and we move on,” he said.


Addressing the House after members had debated the new legal instrument, Mr Bagbin said, “the minister is exercising a delegated power which we have delegated to him.

“He has gone through all the requirements of the law and it is the procedure that we are now ironing out.

You have discussed, agreed and disagreed on some issues and those, according to the information I have, have been factored into the new draft instrument.

“Kindly make that available to our committee and we can then proceed to lay the instrument Thursday,” he said.


The Speaker said the debate that took place in the House showed that there was “clear and loud evidence” that the Trade Minister had taken into consideration the concerns of stakeholders, “so they cannot say you (minister) have ignored their petition.”

With Parliament having just inaugurated the Open Governance Parliament Caucus, he said the consideration of the regulation would be done openly so that there “are no suspicions, rumour mongering and allegations”.

Breach of trust

Objecting to the bill for the fourth time, the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, accused the Trade Minister of breaching the agreement he reached with the Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee to amend the draft instrument to factor in the concerns of stakeholders when he attempted to lay the instrument.

“Mr Speaker, as we speak, we have not seen the changes that the minister promised to make to the draft regulation.

So, we are at a loss why he wants to lay the same regulation today,” he said.

He also said the L.I., in its current form, was not accompanied by the fiscal impact analysis in line with section 100 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016.

“Mr Speaker, our position on this LI is simple: If they want to go ahead and lay this instrument in spite of the objections we have raised, we will not be part of it.

“I urge the minister to stand this LI down and continue to engage stakeholders as there is a lot wrong with this LI,” he said.

Retaliatory measures

The former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who is also a former Trade Minister, said Ghana was a signatory to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with a liberalised market regime.

He, therefore, said the imposition of restrictions on selected items would offend Article 11 of the WTO trading regulations, known as quantitative restriction.

He said under the import licensing regime, the WTO protocol required such regime to be automatic and a country’s trade system must be simple, transparent and predictable and that powers should not be conferred on the minister but an independent judicial committee.   

“You may, by this legislation, be inviting retaliatory measures by other countries that may also impose restrictions on Ghana’s exports such as cocoa that will have consequences on the balance of payment and export regime you want to regulate, “he cautioned.

Local firms

Urging MPs to stop misinforming the public, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said at the heart of the legislation was import substitution to protect local industries.

He said when the regulation came to the House last Friday, he saw it for the first time and observed some challenges with it.

He, therefore, proposed some amendments and consulted the Chairman of the Subsidiary, the Minority Leader and the minister who agreed with him, he said.

“We said with that agreement, the minister should factor those proposed amendments into the document and resubmit it but what caused those brouhaha was some mistrust,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the Trade Minister to produce the new draft regulation that bore amendments agreed on to allow him to present and lay it to the House tomorrow.

Broad consultation

Mr Hammond told the House that since he became the Trade and Industry Minister four months ago, he had travelled throughout the country to undertake consultations with stakeholders.

“I am now surprised that everybody is saying that they were not consulted.

“Mr Speaker, every singular grouping and individual could not possibly be consulted but I can assure the House that there was a broad consultation among all individuals,” he said.

He said stakeholders such as the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) had been happy that he had put the regulation before the House.

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