Ho, March 31, GNA- Mr Dan Abodakpi, Chairman of the Volta of Region Parliamentary Caucus, has called for a non-partisan debate on the imposition of tariffs on food imports in other to ensure the growth of local industries.
Mr Abodakpi who is the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Keta said it was in this vein that in 2003 the opposition members in Parliament supported the Government on a bill to raise tariffs on imported rice and poultry products.
He made these remarks at a press conference in Ho to explain the work of the Caucus and the position of members on issues affecting the development of the Region.
Mr Abodakpi said not withstanding the World Trade Organisation's recognition of the right of countries to impose up to 100 percent tariffs on agriculture imports, the ruling New Patriotic Party had succumbed to pressures from the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to review the tariffs.
He said the NDC was prepared to support the Government to resist pressures from the WB and the IMF to reduce the tariffs.
The MP said the NDC would have stuck to its decision to raise tariffs on those products if it was the party in power.
On petroleum de-regulation, he said the opposition was not against the policy but the petroleum taxes associated to it.
He said opposition to petroleum taxes was because of its inflationary and socio-economic consequences on local industries.
The Caucus he said was ready to cooperate with the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in dealing with issues affecting the region in a non-partisan manner.
He said members also looked forward to a similar gesture from the Regional Minister in other to create the conducive atmosphere for the NPP and NDC to forge unity to tackle development issues collectively and comprehensively.
Mr Abodakpi commended the RCC for its initiative in establishing an independent Committee to deal with the Alavanyo and Nkonya conflict and expressed the hope that the belligerents in Peki and Tsito would cooperate with the Committee to ensure lasting peace.
He said collective action was needed to resolve all land and chieftaincy disputes in the Region to attract investments.