Import restrictions bill: Trade Minister accuses Minority of betrayal

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The Minority in Parliament has been accused of betrayal by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, over the Legislative Instrument (L.I) that would limit the import of certain strategic products.

The Minister disclosed to JoyNews on Monday, November 27, that he had reached an agreement with the Minority to present the L.I, but they changed their minds.

“They [the Subsidiary Committee] made some suggestions… they had issues with some items on the L.I.,” he said.

He added that the committee’s report stated that they were satisfied with the two draft regulations and that they did not violate the Constitution or the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Expressing his frustration, Hammond accused the Minority Leader of ‘betrayal and duplicity’ for opposing the legislation after the agreed-upon consensus.

He felt betrayed, stating, “You get upset and at the end of the day, you think they are stabbing you in the back.”

Regarding the unconventional process of laying the L.I before the House, K.T. Hammond argued that he was not supposed to do so, but he opted to follow through despite his reservations.

He mentioned that the Minister has prepared a document seeking redress in the High Court.

Meanwhile, Business associations in the country including GUTA, FABAG, Importers and Exporters Association, GIFF, CADEG, and GNCCI, submitted a petition to Parliament urging the rejection of the import restrictions bill.

The Joint Business Consultative Forum argued that the proposed legislation could have detrimental effects on their businesses, impacting prices, disrupting the free flow of goods, and potentially causing harm.

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