Import Restriction Bill: Government takes drastic action

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Sources indicate that the government is suspending the laying of the controversial Legislative Instrument(L.I.) seeking to restrict the importation of some 22 items into the country.

According to the sources, the decision by the government is that the L.I. will no longer be laid in the immediate time to allow for more consultation.

The L.I. seeks to compel importers of the 22 restricted items to seek licenses from a committee to be set up by the Trade Minister.

The Minority in Parliament has blocked the laying of the L.I. on three occasions indicating it was not only dangerous but violated international trade practices and could give too much power to the minister, a situation which has the propensity to breed corruption.

The Trade and Industry Minister has been struggling to lay the L.I. after a spirited opposition by the Minority.

The Joint Business Consultative Forum comprising six business associations on November 26 petitioned Parliament urging the House to reject the import restrictions bill proposed by the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

They contended that the L.I. if enacted, would have detrimental effects on their businesses.

Here is the full list of products the L.I. targeted:

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