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Trade and Industry Minister Finds himself in a fix Over the ‘Cement Pricing’ LI

Trade Minister K.T. Hammond finds himself in a fix as Speaker advises him to withdraw 'cement pricing' LI

Trade and Industry Minister Mr. K.T Hammond is still embroiled in controversy over a Legislative Instrument (LI) aimed at tackling soaring cement prices, as it faces potential legal hurdles when the Instrument matures after 21 days.

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has advised the Minister to withdraw and revise the Instrument following fresh objections raised by Minority members of Parliament on Wednesday.

Former Minority Leader Haruna Idrisu questioned the legality of the LI, labelling it unlawful and asserting that it lacks a proper constitutional basis. He cited Article 11 of the constitution which mandates regulations to be grounded in a parent act, arguing that the Ghana Standards Authority Act 2022 Act 1078 Section 80 does not authorise pricing regulations, focusing instead on standards.

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While Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin held a differing view on the Instrument’s constitutionality, he promised to convey the Speaker’s advice to the Trade and Industry Minister.

Despite strong opposition from cement manufacturers and the Minority, the Minister proceeded to lay the LI on Tuesday, reportedly after revisions were made. However, this move sparked renewed objections from Minority members a day later, suggesting premature acceptance by their Chief Whip, Governs Kwame Agbodza.

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Now faced with industry resistance and legal uncertainties, the Minister must decide whether to defend the LI or heed the Speaker’s advice to withdraw and align it with the mandate of the Ghana Standards Authority.

Amidst the standoff, cement manufacturers have escalated prices and boycotted a stakeholder meeting, signalling continued tension in the industry. All eyes are on the Trade and Industry Minister’s next move following the Speaker’s advise.

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