The Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has urged the government to put measures in place to ensure that prices of goods and services are reduced on the Ghanaian markets.
The call by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam-Adoagyiri in the Eastern Region, comes on the back of the gains the Ghana Cedi has made over the US dollar.
Mr. Annor Dompreh said that while Ghana is experiencing a turnaround from the depreciation, it is only fair that the positive change reflects on the markets since goods and services are still being priced high.
“Mr. Speaker, I make this submission urging the executive and its policymakers to take additional measures directed at restoring prices of food items and other goods to some sustainable level,” he said on the floor of the House.
According to him, the cedi was down almost 48 per cent against the dollar from its initial position early this year. Currently, it has gained strength by more than 23 per cent since the start of December after the intervention of the IMF.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu, however, said that as a free market, the government should not be encouraged to intervene in the pricing of goods and services.
“Mr. Speaker, the property-owning democracy recognizes economics and recognizes that demand and supply dictate what happens in the market in a liberalized economy such as ours”
Haruna Iddrisu thus emphasized that the government should not put pressure on and worry petty traders in the marketplace who are selling goods on a demand and supply basis, and opined that it was not feasible.
Mr. Iddrisu, who is also the NDC MP for Tamale South in the Northern Region, rather called for a total ban on the importation of rice as done by Nigeria and shut the country’s borders to that effect.
The MP for North Tongu in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said there are other factors that have led to the increase in prices of goods and without addressing these factors, prices will still be on the rise.
“It is a good call for us to urge the actors in the marketplace to respond, but I think that the commentary has sometimes been unfair, as though people are just being wicked and don’t want to be caring”.
In his view, Ghana was operating under market forces and therefore encouraged that the prices be determined at that level.
The NDC MP for Yapei Kusawgu in the Savannah Region, John Abdulai Jinapor, believed however that the days are far yet early to call for reduction because inflation is still high.