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Government of Ghana can't impose restrictions on import of 'yemuadie' and others — IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that the government of Ghana cannot impose restrictions or limit the importation of essential items into the country.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva and Nana Addo.

This is an agreement contained in the IMF bailout package which has pledged to support Ghana’s balance of payment with some $3 billion between 2023 and 2026.

The IMF in its programme document on page 76 indicated that "No imposition or intensification of import restrictions for balance of payments reasons."

Amongst other things, there are four decisions the Government of Ghana cannot take while it is still under the IMF programme. These decisions align with performance criteria common to all Fund arrangements, which include:

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  • No imposition or intensification of restrictions on making payments and transfers for current international transactions.
  • No introduction or modification of multiple currency practices.
  • No conclusion of bilateral payments agreements inconsistent with Article VIII of the IMF Articles of Arrangement.
  • No imposition or intensification of import restrictions for balance of payments reasons.

The Fund emphasised that these four performance criteria will be monitored continuously.

The L.I will compel importers of 22 restricted items, including poultry, rice, sugar, diapers and animal intestines (yemuadie) to seek licences from a committee to be set up by the Trades minister.

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

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Meanwhile, the government has suspended the Export and Import Regulations 2023 Bill, halting its planned implementation.

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