2016 Budget Sparks Controversy

This year’s budget and financial policy of the government for 2016, which will be presented in Parliament on Friday, November 13 by the Finance Minister, has started generating a lot of controversies between the Minority and the Majority.

The chairman of the Business Committee of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, who is also the Majority Leader, in presenting the business statement on Friday for the third week of this meeting, mentioned that the Finance Minister has been scheduled to present government’s budget for 2016 on Friday, November 13, which would be followed by the post-budget workshop for MPs the next day—that is Saturday, November 14.

The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, vehemently opposed the date for the post-budget workshop saying that MPs cannot use that short time to prepare themselves for the workshop.

“Under normal circumstances, it will take three days for such workshops to be organised after the presentation of the budget, by which time all MPs would have been supplied with copies of the budget for them to make references and ask for proper explanations in certain areas that they have little understanding,” he stated.

According to the minority leader, resource persons and consultants who would be hired by the Ministry to educate MPs on the budget would also need some time to scrutinise the budget in order to do a good job.

“This is a very important budget and we would need more time to scrutinise it,” he said.

The majority leader however said it was because of time constraint the budget was being presented a bit early so that debate would also start early.

He said leadership would consider the appeal made by the minority leader.

The majority leader pleaded with majority Members of Parliament who are contesting in the primaries of the ruling National Democratic Congress to make time and turn up in their numbers to listen to the budget on Friday.

“I know most of you are under siege in your various constituencies but it is also important to be here on Friday to witness the reading of the budget,” he noted.

Also scheduled for this week as presented in the business statement are a request for approval of Government of Ghana’s Interest Rate Risk Management Transactions and the consideration of the Intestate Succession Bill, 2013 and the Right to Information Bill, 2013 while the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing will also appear before the House to answer questions from New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh; NPP MP for Manso-Adubia, Yaw Frimpong Addo; NPP MP for Yagaba/Kubori, Mustapha Ussif and NDC MP for Suaman, Stephen Ackah,  all relating to provision of water in their respective constituencies.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr


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