The minority in Parliament is demanding immediate submission of the government’s debt exchange program to the house for approval. Government has given domestic bondholders a 19th December deadline to sign onto the program despite rejection from organized labor.
Speaking on the floor, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu argued finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta cannot be allowed to take a unilateral decision in varying terms of loans approved by parliament. The Tamale South MP also served notice controversial clauses in the financial bills to be presented as part of the 2023 budget will be subjected to a vote thereby urging the majority to be on the lookout.
“Get your committee chair and the clerk, the committees that have not completed their work must bring their report for us to consider and approve the estimate. “I further warn that Ministers who want their budget approved must appear in person. If you will delegate your deputy we will delegate your money for you some other day after appropriation. If they send anybody to come for budget approval we will send their approval to them the day they are available,” the Minority leader indicated.
He continued: “Going forward you must make sure that your reports are ready so tomorrow when you advertise motions we will keep you to it, and watch your backs. It is not just committee meetings, members of the ruling government must show responsibility. Look at your back, how many MPs are supporting you at your back. Many of them are not in Committees and they must show that approving a budget is serious business”.
“The minister of finance cannot just walk away as if everything in this country is determined by him. If you are doing a haircut and you are changing the contents of agreement whether domestic or external they are contractual and it comes with obligations. You must come and lay a paper in this house and how he intends to work on the external debt”, he concluded.
Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh assured his side will be ready when the time comes for votes to be taken on the clauses mentioned by the minority leader.
“My respected leader should just take things easy and the good news is that I’m working closely with my friend the whip on the other side, we are working closely so we will do the needful”, he stated.
The Vice chairman for the finance committee, Patrick Yaw Boamah however assured the finance minister will present the debt exchange program paper to parliament for scrutiny at the right time.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/ Bernice Mensah