Majority Leader of Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has expressed strong disappointment with the Minority caucus over their stance on a recent Legislative Instrument (LI) presented by the Minister for Trade and Industry. The LI aims to regulate the cement industry, with the government arguing it is crucial for consumer protection and market fairness.

Speaking to the media in Parliament on Thursday, July 4, Afenyo-Markin emphasized that the LI’s primary objective is to foster competition in the cement industry, not to regulate prices or reintroduce price controls.

“We, the majority caucus, are disappointed at the manner in which the minority went about the LI, which was laid two days ago,” he said. “This government believes in free market enterprise, but free market enterprise must also be regulated and checked.”

The controversy began when some Minority members raised objections to the LI, suggesting that it be subjected to further scrutiny. The Majority agreed to this proposal, and the matter was referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, chaired by Dr. Dominic Ayine. The committee reviewed the LI and proposed several amendments, which were subsequently incorporated into the revised legislation by the Trade Minister.

According to the Majority leader, the amendments proposed by the Minority were factored into the new LI. “So how come the next day, some members of the same minority attack the government? They are the same people who are complaining about the cost of living and the costs and prices of foodstuffs and products in the country,” he said.

Afenyo-Markin accused the Minority of inconsistency, pointing out that they often criticize the government for the high cost of living while also opposing measures intended to address these issues.

“If the government is taking steps to protect the consumer, the ordinary Ghanaian, the ordinary user of cement, why would the minority stand in the way? Why are they against steps aimed at protecting the ordinary Ghanaian from being exploited?”

He questioned the stance of the NDC Minority: “The same NDC minority that is always calling on the government to live up to expectations is now opposing a regulation that would help promote competition and ensure fairness to the ordinary Ghanaian. Why would the NDC take such a tenable stance?”

Afenyo-Markin explained that the legislation aims to offer more understanding and address the factors driving unnecessary price increases in the cement industry. He reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring market fairness and protecting consumers, noting that the government is unhappy with the way cement prices keep increasing and wants all industry players to understand the issues that lead to these price hikes.


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