facilitate the passage of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology Bill to guide the legal status of KACE.
Postal and Courier Service Regula- tory Commission (PCSRC)
The Committee also observed that the MoC, in pursuance of its postal sector reforms and the objective to create a more liberalized and competitive postal and courier service environment, promoted the establishment of the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission under the PCSRC Act, 2003 (Act 649), with the responsibility to license and regulate the operations of postal and courier services in Ghana.
The passage by Parliament of the Postal and Courier Sector Regulations will therefore, strengthen the Commission in making the industry more dynamic, effective and competitive especially in this era of technology application in postal service delivery.
In essence, the Committee is of the view that the communications sector is doing well and improving by leaps and bounds in this age of information. It is however, vital that the requisite laws and regulations are put in place to ensure dynamism and optimal performance by all departments and agencies. It is for this reason that the Committee recommends that the MoC must, as soon as possible, lay the necessary Bills and Regulations before Parliament to ensure the smooth running and sustainable growth of the sector.
In the light of the foregoing, the Committee recommends that the House approves the total sum of GH¢56,964,314, made up of GH¢9,999,894 from GoG,
GH¢898,881 from internally generated funds, and GH¢46,070,539 from donors, for the implementation of the strategies and policies of the Ministry of commu- nications for the 2013 financial year.
Ranking Member of the Committee (Mr Ken O. Agyapong): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion from the Hon Minister and the estimates from the Hon Chairman.
In spite of all these, I also have reservations and would want to urge the Government to assist the Ministry. This is because during our deliberations, we realised it is an important Ministry, that if, indeed, is given the help or the amount needed, they would be able to do well for the country by way of revenue mobilization.
Why I am saying this, is that Mr Speaker, in 2012, a budget of GH¢74,989,589 was approved for the Ministry but in 2013, it was dropped, reduced or cut drastically to GH¢ 56 million. In a situation where the donors are giving GH¢46 million in 2013, one would realise that in 2012, less amount was contributed by the donors and about GH¢26 million from the internally generated funds (IGFs) in 2012, was what actually helped the Ministry to raise US$89 million revenue for the Government.
Mr Speaker, you would be surprised to know that this year, the IGF given to the Ministry is GH¢898,800. I feel it is very small and therefore, if the Ministry would ask the Ministry of Finance to come back again and give them more money -- This is because we have realised that if they are given more money, they would be able to raise enough revenue to help the Government.
But if a Ministry raises US$89 million for Government through internally generated funds, through the SIM card
faults and later when they are asking for more money to support the work they do at the Ministry, they are rather given GH¢898,800 compared to the 2012 Budget where they were given an IGF of GH¢26 million --
That is the argument I am raising; that it is an important Ministry and we would want to urge the Hon Minister for Finance -- Fortunately, he is sitting by the Hon Minister for Communications -- He should take note of what we are saying, so that in July or November, if he comes for a supplementary budget, he would take into account the importance of the Ministry of Communications and assist them.
I also observed that the Ministry submitted GH¢1.924 million as employee compensation and the Ministry of Finance approved GH¢449,990. Mr Speaker, the question is, how are they going to pay these workers? I feel employment compensation in any business is called fixed cost. It is something we cannot do away with.
So, if they cut the budget drastically and it affects employee compensation, we do not know how the Ministry and other agencies are going to pay the workers. So, we are asking the Ministry of Finance -- [Interruption] -- to assist because I know, definitely, it is going to create problems when it gets to the middle of the year, around June, July. The Ministry is going to suffer because they would not know where they are going to get it.
Another point, I realise is that, the Ministry might not be overspending but because they cut their budget, when they give them a supplementary budget and they go beyond it. This is because they do not have enough; it would appear as
if they have overspent the budget that is given to them. So, instead of the Ministry of Finance cutting this budget -- It is even more than half; it is about two-thirds of it. I expect the Hon Minister for Finance to capture this, let him know that this is a cost that at all cost, he is going to pay. So, he should not just tell us that “I have cut this and I am coming back in July to ask for more.”
When he does that, the figures would not tally. Sitting back, I would say that the Ministry has overspent but in actual fact, they have not because it is a fixed cost that they have to take care of.
Mr Speaker, I believe we also have the broadcasting emigration. I think it is about time the Ministry started the education. We know the level of education of Ghanaians in this country. If we plan to go into digital migration in 2014, I believe by now, they should have started educating the people that in 2014, we are moving from analogue to digital -- But if we do not do that and we wait till 2014, I am afraid, even some of our Hon Colleagues will not even understand.
So, I think it is about time that the Hon Minister collaborated with the National Communications Authority (NCA) and started the education. If not, I believe, in 2014, if we start educating people, it will be too late and there will be problems.
With these few words, I support the motion.