A research and an advocacy policy think tank, CUTS Ghana, has called on government to prioritise the passage of the Competition and Consumer Protection Bills into Laws to protect producers and consumers alike.
It said even though passing those bills into laws would not address all the economic woes, it would ensure efficient allocation of resources, effective functioning of the market by removing barriers to entry, provide set of rules for market players for a level playing field and protect both consumers and producers.
This was in a statement issued by Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Country Director for CUTS International and copied the Ghana News Agency.
It explained that even though Parliament in January this year listed the Competition and Fair-Trade Practices Bill (2019) and the Consumer Protection Bill among the numerous bills to be considered, they were yet to be tabled before the House for consideration.
It added that Ghana signed, ratified and the hosting of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, and with the continent becoming a single market, it was important government ensured the passage of the bills to protect Ghanaian businesses from anti-competitive conducts from foreign players.
“Competition Laws are key components of every country’s industrial policy. Countries that have strong markets coupled with innovation and value for goods and services are those with competition laws. Even, China which used to be a command-based economy has a functional competition laws to ensure that the level playing field is even for both state-owned and private owned enterprises.”
“In markets with sufficient conduct rules, consumers and market players are protected against conducts that will distort the well-functioning of the market.
“Where no such law exists, there is the tendency that market players competing against each other can meet to agree on prices, split the market so that they do not compete among themselves or even reduce output so as to raise prices and these could collapse competition and lead to exploitation of consumers,” it said.
World Competition Day is celebrated on December 5 each year.
The theme for this year is “Ensuring Competition in Increasingly Online World.”