The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has said that the government has made robust plans to boost local production and reduce the importation of goods.
According to him, the government intends to “cut the imports of public sector institutions that rely on imports either for inputs or consumption by 50%”.
He said this as part of his presentation of the budget and economic policy in Parliament today, Thursday.
Currently, the top imports of Ghana are refined petroleum ($669M), cars ($492M), rice ($391M), delivery trucks ($283M) and coated flat-rolled iron ($273M) importing mostly from China, Netherlands, United States of America (USA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Mr. Ofori-Atta added that, to achieve the reduction of imports, the Ministry will cooperate with the Ghana Audit Service and the Internal Agency to ensure compliance.
In a related development, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in a bid to encourage local consumption of food, has announced a policy to withdraw foreign exchange support for the importation of non-essential goods.
Some of the items include rice, vegetable, oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled, water, ceramics and tiles.
The move has since been welcomed by the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo who has indicated that they will make plans to further increase local rice production.