The Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, is appealing to Ghanaian traders to consider reducing the prices of goods, following the appreciation of the cedi against international currencies.
“It is my humble appeal that prices are reduced so that the ordinary Ghanaian can afford”, said Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Constituency, Central Region.
The cedi within the last few days, has been appreciating against the dollar, with a cross-section of the public demanding the reduction of prices of goods and services to reflect the current situation.
The Deputy Majority Leader’s appeal, comes after that of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s plea to the business community to reduce the prices of goods and services as the cedi regains its strength.
Mr Afenyo-Markin, specifically called for a collaborative effort in reviving the economy.
“I heard the GUTA President calling on members to reduce prices. I will repeat the same call to the business men and women, entrepreneurs and traders. If it was out of uncertainties and the currency market, you felt that you should increase prices for your goods, today things have changed. It is by reducing them that we will all benefit from the economy. So it is my humble appeal that prices are reduced so that the ordinary Ghanaian can afford”, he explained to Citi News,
Prices of fuel are also recording substantial reduction. According to the Bank of Ghana, the local currency is currently trading at GH¢8 on the interbank market with a litre of petrol and diesel selling at GH¢13 and GH¢16 respectively.
In view of this, President Akufo-Addo says, it is just fair for prices of goods and services to be reduced, taking into consideration, the gains the cedi is recording.
“I add my voice to those of GUTA, GRTCC and others, to appeal to manufacturers, traders and transport operators, that with the height of the cedi’s recent depreciation and increased prices of goods and services, to reduce their prices of goods and services now that the cedi is regaining much of its strength. I believe this is not only a fair request but also a just one.”
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has accused the House of contributing to the country’s current economic crisis.
The group contends that Parliament has failed in its oversight responsibility of the government’s excessive borrowing which has increased the debt stock beyond 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
Speaking at a dialogue with the core leadership and selected committees of Parliament organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said Parliament’s role in defending the public’s interest is eroded.
“Parliament’s role as the defender of the people’s interest is lost. So how did we get here, how come we didn’t anticipate it? It is only Parliament that approves the terms and conditions of the loan. So, if we have exceeded 100 percent of GDP, how did it happen?”
He added that Parliament has become a clearing house for the executive without proper scrutiny of government policies.
The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on his part said the appreciation of the cedi, has contributed to the reduction of the country’s debt stock by about 40 billion cedis.
“You know that the appreciation of the cedi now has brought the debt stock down even though nothing has been done. It has climbed down by close to 40 billion and it will still climb down if the cedi continues to appreciate against the dollar.”
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, also urged MPs to strengthen committees in the House to improve their work and make the work of Parliament relevant.