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AGI urges Parliament to use laws to protect industry, sectors

Accra, July 27, GNA -Participants at a forum organized by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) have called on the Parliament to use its powers and laws to protect and develop the various sectors of the country.


They said as a key law-making body, Parliament has the role to design policies that could benefit industry and the other sectors of the economy.


The participants were speaking at a forum which brought together parliamentarians and industry players to discuss ways to move the country forward.


The event was on the theme: ‘Promoting Ghana’s industrial development agenda: The role of Parliament.’


Addressing the forum participants, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the 1992 Constitution was explicit on the role of the private sector in the country’s economic development.


He said the house was committed to passing laws that would help industries grow and contribute more to the economy.


He said government was mandated under the constitution to create a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive, adding that the government was doing this through various programmes and initiatives.


Mr Emanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the NDC Member of Parliament for Elembele, said there was a fundamental weakness in the parliamentary structure, noting one of the critical provisions on the role of parliamentarians, which is sometimes linked to the Executive and Legislature at the same time.


“Today, when you come to Parliament, half of the MPs are ministers of state and others have become board members of state institutions. If the leader of the majority is a Minister of State, how do you expect him to raise concerns on taxes such as the electronic transaction levy which will impact negatively on businesses,” he noted.


Dr Tony Oteng Gyasi, the Chairman of the Tropical Cable and Conductor, one of the country’s major entrepreneurs, had called on Parliament to put in place measures that would transform the current import duties structure in the country.


He said the current import duty structure had become problematic for local industries, hence the need for the law-making arm of the state to do something about it.


“We believe that Parliament needs to think long-term and, in that process, ensure that every policy being passed concerning duties and taxes was in favour of industries,” he stated.


“If taxation can be used to improve industries, Parliament should be able to do that but very often, it focuses more on revenue collection than supporting industries,” he added.


For his part, the President of the AGI, Dr Humphrey Ayim Darke, said the forum was being held at a time industry was speaking solutions to challenges thwarting the growth of businesses in the country.


He said the current exchange rate situation, fuel price hikes and the external shocks from the Ukraine-Russian war had created turbulent times for industries and the economy in general.


He said the situation required both the majority and minority in Parliament to work together at enacting laws to accelerate industrial transformation agenda.


Source: Ghana News Agency