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Why designate rice, poultry as non-critical goods? – Economist questions BoG

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The Bank of Ghana has withdrawn foreign exchange support to customers for the importation of certain non-critical or essential goods. The goods affected include rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles.

An electronic message from the Bank of Ghana to the banks read “in accordance with the President [Akufo-Addo] directive issued at his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy, on Sunday 30th October, 2022, the Bank of Ghana will no longer provide FX support for the imports of rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles and other non-critical goods”.

“Please be advised and act accordingly”, it pointed out.

When Bismark Osei, a Lecturer at the C.K Tedam University for Technology and Applied Science (UTAS) spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Friday, November 18, 2022, he explained that the designation of some of the products as non-critical goods raises serious concerns.

“When you look at it, they are talking about rice, poultry and other things. Who decided that those things are not critical? If you look at the ceramic tiles and some of the other things and they say that they are not critical, they are right but if you look at rice and poultry and they’re saying it is not critical, it would have an effect towards Christmas. There should be a lot of rudimental steps to ensure that these strategies are sustainable.”

“At this time, can we beat out chest to say that the rice that we have is enough? The government wants to cut down on importation but there should be pragmatic steps to ensure that proper steps are being taken to save the currency,” he said.

Mr. Osei was insistent that the government would have to take immediate steps to ensure the availability of rice and other, in his opinion, critical food items that are part of the BoG’s list.

The move by the BoG, according to Mr. Osei has the tendancy to expand black market operations if not well managed.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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