Former Deputy Finance Minister under the erstwhile Mahama administration, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, says the decision by the Bank of Ghana to withdraw foreign exchange support for the importation of some food items into the country is inappropriate.
In an interview with Sammy Eshun on the Happy morning show, the Member of Parliament for the Coast South Constituency, said the decision would give rise in inflation.
Mr. Ricketts-Hagan feels the resolution is in the right direction to improve the economy but also a bad idea which would bring about a hike in food prices.
“You will realize that’s a good idea which would save us the exchange rate and save us some dollars but is a bad decision because it would cause unnecessary panic and shortages in the system and in the long run contribute to inflation.
He believes that the Central bank should have gone through a gradual process before coming up with such a decision to halt the support for the importation of commodities whilst providing for producers and distributors to yield demands of people in the country.
“It would have to be a program whether they take a year or two to do this for example maybe in this year’s budget we would cut 25% importation on rice, in the next year or six months’ time we would cut another 25% so by that time you would have stopped entirely while providing the necessary things for local farmers and distributors who would be able to provide rice and oil to meet the demands of people,” he added.
The central bank has withdrawn the support this month as part of efforts to maximize the domestic production and consumption of local substitutes.
Bank of Ghana said the affected items included rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpick, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles and other non–critical goods.