Debates of 27 Mar 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 3 p.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 3 p.m.

Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, com- munication from H.E. the President:
“27th March, 2013
RT HONOURABLE SPEAKER 3 p.m.

OFFICE OF PARLIAMENT 3 p.m.

STATE HOUSE 3 p.m.

OSU - ACCRA 3 p.m.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC 3 p.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 3 p.m.

Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, we do not have any edition of the Official Report for correction today.
We move on to item 3 on the Order Paper -- Business Statement for the First Week of the Second Meeting --
Hon Chairman of the Business Committee; Hon Majority Leader?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 3 p.m.

Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 3 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee met on Thursday, 21st March, 2013 and arranged Business of the House for the first week of the Second Meeting ending Friday, 31st May, 2013.
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 3 p.m.
Arrangement of Business
Question(s)
Mr Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Ministers to answer Questions asked of them during the week:
No. of Question(s)
i. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 2
ii. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing -- 2
Total number of Questions -- 4
Mr Speaker, in all, two Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to four (4) Oral Questions during the week.
Statements
Mr Speaker, your goodself may admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon. Members and Ministers of State.
Bills, Papers and Reports
Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committees' reports may also be presented to the House.
Motions and Resolutions
Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
Outstanding Business
Mr Speaker, all outstanding Business of the House would be carried over to the Second Meeting beginning Tuesday, 28th May, 2013. Committees could however, take advantage of the recess period to deliberate on their outstanding referrals.
Mr Speaker, the House may be recalled during the recess to attend to urgent business that may come up.
Parliamentary calendar
Mr Speaker, the Business Committee has prepared a proposed Parliamentary Calendar for the year 2013. The said calendar has been attached to the Business Statement for perusal of Hon Members.
The Business Committee wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to Mr Speaker and all Hon Members for their sterling performance during the Meeting. Mr Speaker, the Committee wishes that your goodself and Hon Members would return in good health to discharge Business of the House.
Conclusion
Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Questions

Statements

Presentation of Papers--

(a) Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nominations for Deputy ministerial appointments.

(b) Report of the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the Ghana Investment Promo- tion Centre Bill, 2013.

Motions --

Adoption of the Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nominations for Deputy Ministerial appointments.

Committee sittings

Questions

Statements

Presentation of Papers

Motions --

Committee sittings.

Questions --

*2.Mr Herod Cobbina (Sefwi Akontombra): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when construction works on the bridge over River Fiafa at Ackaakrom will commence.

*3. Mr Herod Cobbina (Sefwi Akontombra): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what caused the delay in tarring the Sefwi Akontombra town roads which started in 2008.

Statements

Presentation of Papers

Motions--

Second Reading of Bills--

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013

Committee sittings.

Questions--

*4. Mr Herod Cobbina (Sefwi Akontombra): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing the outcome of inves- tigations by the Hydrological Services Department to assess the extent of soil erosion in Kojokrom, Aprutu, Nkwadum and Bopa in 2008.

*5. Mr Herod Cobbina (Sefwi Akontombra): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the following towns in Sefwi Akontombra would be provided with Small Town Water and Sanitation Systems: (i) Ackaakrom, (ii) Kojokrom (iii) Essase- Denwuakrom, (iv) Aprutu (v) Nkwadum-Besibema.

Statements

Presentation of Papers

Motions

Committee sittings
MEETING SITTINGS RECESS 3 p.m.

Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
I hope the Calendar is only a guide?
Dr Kunbuor 3 p.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker. It is a guide to Hon Members.
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, that is the Business Statement for the First Week of the Second Meeting.
Any comment?
Hon Members, in the absence of any comment, the Business -- [Interruption.] -- Hon Members, there was nobody on his feet.
Hon Members, these Business Statements are only guides. We can always amend them and introduce things as and when they become necessary. So, let us --
Hon Members, the Business Statement for the first week of the Second Meeting ending Friday, 31st May, 2013, is hereby adopted.
At the Commencement of Public Business --
Dr Kunbuor 3 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I seek your indulgence to skip item 5 and then we take item 6.
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
Hon Members, item 6 on the Order Paper --
Hon Minister for Finance.
Sorry, we have to lay the Paper first.
Dr Kunbuor 3 p.m.
Sorry, Mr Speaker. We have to take item 5(b).
Mr Speaker 3 p.m.
All right.
Item 5(b), Report of the Finance Committee on the Appropriation Bill, 2013 -- by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
PAPERS 3:10 p.m.

Mr Speaker 3:10 p.m.
Hon Members, the Paper duly laid. It is for distribution to Hon Members.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 3:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item 6 on the Order Paper.
Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh) 3:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill, 2013 may be moved today.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 3:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
BILLS -- SECOND READING 3:10 p.m.

Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh) 3:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Appropriation Bill, 2013 be now read a Second time.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 3:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion moved by the Hon Minister.
In doing so, I present the Report of the Committee to the House.
Introduction
The Appropriation Bill for the 2013 financial year was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance and read for the First time on Tuesday, 26th March, 2013 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 (2) of the Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the House. This follows the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2013 financial year by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth E. Terkpeh.
Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance and the technical team from the Ministry of
Finance during the consideration of the referral and reports to the House in accordance with article 106(5) of the Constitution.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his technical team of the Ministry for attending upon it.
References
In examining the Bill, the Committee referred to the following documents:
1. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
2. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
3. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana for the 2013 financial year.
4. Report of Parliamentary Commit- tees on the 2013 Annual Esti- mates of Ministries, Depart- ments and Agencies (MDAs).
Background information
Pursuant to article 179 of the Constitution, the Minister for Finance acting on the authority of His Excellency the President has requested the House to approve and authorise the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Fund and for the withdrawal from other Funds for the running of the State for the 2013 financial year. To this end, the Minister for Finance, acting on authority of the President, presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 financial year to Parliament.
Object of the Bill
The Appropriation Bill for the 2013 financial year is seeking parliamentary approval to enable the sums of moneys not exceeding thirty-one billion, eight hundred and forty-five million, six hundred and sixty- four thousand, eight hundred and nineteen Ghana cedis (GH¢31,845,664,819.00) to be issued from the Consolidated Fund during the 2013 financial year for the purpose of meeting Government expenditure.
The purposes for which the sums shall be appropriated have been specified in the Schedules to the Bill.
Clauses of the Bill
The Bill is divided into 5 clauses and 2 Schedules.
Clause 1 deals with the sum of money to be issued from the Consolidated Fund for the 2013 financial year.
Clause 2 deals with internally generated funds while clause 3 talks of payment of money on authorisation of Minister for Finance.
Clause 4 spells out the commencement date of the Appropriation Act and clause 5 seeks to repeal the Appropriation Act of
2012.
Schedule 1 provides for the total appropriation expenditure by items and Schedule 2 provides a breakdown of total IGFs retention for 2013.
Attachment: Please, find attached, the summary of expenditure covered in the Bill.
Observations
Urgency
In accordance with Order 119, the Committee has determined that the Bill is of
an urgent nature and should therefore, be taken through all the stages of passage in one day under a certificate of urgency.
Constitutional requirement
“The Committee observed that the Biil is in accordance with the constitutional requirement under article 179(2), which states that “the estimates of the expenditure of all public offices and public corpo- rations, other than those set up as commercial ventures-- (a) shall be classified under programmes or activities which shall be included in a Bill to be known as an Appropriation Bill and which shall be introduced into Parliament to provide for the issue from the Consolidated Fund or such other appropriate Fund of the sums of moneys necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums for the purposes specified in that Bill”.
Internally generated funds (IGFs)
The Committee noted that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) shall be permitted to retain and use an amount of two billion, eight hundred and sixty-four thousand, two hundred and two thousand, nine hundred and seventy Ghana cedis (GH¢2,864,202,970.00) of internally generated funds (IGFs) during the 2013 financial year.
Statutory Funds
The Committee also noted that the Bill makes provision for the sum of money not exceeding three billion, three hundred and forty-four million, five hundred and seventy- one thousand, and eighty-six Ghana cedis (GH¢3,344,571,086.00) to be allocated to the
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 3:10 p.m.
District Assemblies' Common Fund, Ghana Education Trust Fund and National Health Insurance Fund, Road Fund, Petroleum Related Fund and Transfer to GNPC from Oil Revenue in the 2013 financial year.
Contingency Fund
The Committee observed that article 177 deals with Contingency Fund, which is controlled by the Finance Committee and article 179(11) provides for the establishment of a Contingency Vote under the control and supervision of a committee which shall consist of the President, the Speaker and the Chairman of the Council of State. However, since the inception of the Fourth Republic, the provision has not been operationalised.
The Minister informed the Committee that there has been a budget practice and convention which allocates funds into a Contingency Fund under the control of the Minister for Finance. He indicated this practice was in line with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs), which require that public accounts and budgets be prepared with specific provisions for precise liabilities and provision for contingency to cater for liabilities that are not very precise.
He informed the Committee that the purpose of article 179(11) was to set up a vote to help stabilise the budget. But with the establishment of the Stabilisation Fund under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), the operationalisation of the provision in article 179 (11) should take account of the Stabilisation Fund under
the PRMA to avoid locking up public funds, which otherwise, could be used for regular developmental projects.
The Committee recommends to the Minister to set the process in motion to operationalise the provision in articles 117 and 179(11) in the 2014 Budget Estimates.
Variations in the Appropriation Bill
The Committee also observed that the sum of (GH¢31,845,664,819.00) provided in the Appropriation Bill is more than the projected expenditure in the 2013 estimates laid in the House. The Minister, however, explained to the Committee that the provision in the 2013 Appropriation Bill includes an amount of GH¢6,064,214.00 donor Fund allocated to the Judicial Service.
Recommendation and conclusion
The Committee having carefully considered the Bill, recommends that the House adopts its Report and approve the sum of money not exceeding thirty-one billion, eight hundred and forty-five million, six hundred and sixty- four thousand, eight hundred and nineteen Ghana cedis (GH¢31, 845,664,819.00) to be issued from the Consolidated Fund and for withdrawal from other Funds for the purposes of financing all Government operations during the financial year, 2013.
The Committee also recommends to the House, to take the Bill through all the stages in accordance with article 106 (13) of the Constitution and Order 119 of the Standing Orders of the House.
Respectfully submitted.

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Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 3:20 p.m.
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Ranking Member of the Committee (Dr Anthony A. Osei): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Motion, that the Appropriation Bill, 2013 be now read a Second time.

Mr Speaker, as we go through the Second Reading, it is important to remind ourselves of the object of the Appropriation Bill and here, the Committee has helped us by either reading paragraph 4.0 or paragraph 7.0. Since Hon Members have a copy, I would not read the entire document. But in my view, the operative words are “not exceeding”.

Mr Speaker, you would recall, at the beginning of the discussion on the estimates, a matter was raised with your goodself and you graciously referred it to Leadership to guide us how we were going to deal with it -- the matter being that we recognise that in 2012, the Appropriation Bill had been exceeded and you said that Leadership would guide us on this matter.

Here, we are getting ready to pass an Appropriation Bill and they have not dealt with that matter. It makes me very uncomfortable. Maybe, Leadership has brought some recommendations and I am not aware.

But Mr Speaker, we ought to be seen to be making progress in this regard.

Mr Speaker, articles 177 and 179 (11) give us an indication of the kinds of things that we ought to be doing. One of them refers to the matter of the Contingency Fund, which would be at the control of the Finance Committee, such that when there is an emergency the Finance Committee could utilise that mechanism

and have moneys withdrawn out of it. That is something that this House should be considering.

Mr Speaker, the other matter which we discussed extensively with the Minister relates to article 179(11). Almost all Ministers for Finance, starting from 1993 to date, have been practising under the assumption that when there is a contingency line item, they can control it. For the avoidance of doubt, let me read article 179 (11), so that all of us can advert our minds to that route, which is available to this House.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote 3:20 p.m.
“Whenever in the estimates prepared in accordance with clauses (1) and (8) . . .”
And clause (1) refers to the estimates and clause (8) refers to the supplementary budget --
“. . . of this article provision is made for an item or vote other than for the Contingency Fund, not relating to a specific item of expenditure, any moneys voted by Parliament in respect of that item or vote shall be under the control and supervision of a Committee which shall consist of the President, the Speaker . . .”
Your goodself
“ . . . and the Chairman of the Council of State.”
Mr Speaker, if you look into this Appropriation Bill that we are looking at, the contingency item is, I believe, around 4 billion or so. Some of it legitimately may be considered what I call “contingent liability” that should be at the discretion of the Minister. This is because he is aware that they may crystalise. But the true liability that is unknown, constitutionally, cannot be at the discretion of the Minister.
It should be at the discretion of this Committee. Why is this Parliament not
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote 3:20 p.m.
using this instrument to give us this escape clause? We ought to be looking at it and I think that we have had a discussion with the Minister. Maybe, when he is speaking, he can speak on it, so that some of us will decide in what direction we are going whether or not we should support the passage of the Appropriation Bill. We cannot keep saying it has been broken and we will continue.
We must be seen to be making progress. Nothing stops this House, for example, from deciding that through this Appropriation Bill, we would begin operationalising the Contingency Fund. Nothing stops us. But as I said, I would listen to the Minister and decide which direction I would want to go. For that reason, nothing stops us in considering the Appropriation Bill coming up with an amendment to clauses that can impose sanctions on any person that exceeds the ceiling.
The Financial Administration Act says no one can pay money to exceed the Appropriation Act. But there are no sanctions; so, everybody can decide that “I am going to violate a constitutional provision” and then we unwittingly become party to this rather unfortunate view.
Mr Speaker, as I said, “Leadership in view” so far, has not given us any guidance in spite of your directions. I would crave your indulgence to invite Leadership, if they have some ideas to give us, some directions, so that we begin to form in our minds how we may also help this process.
I may suggest that it may be useful to invite Leadership to guide us, so that as we consider the Second Reading, we would know what steps and recommen- dations we can propose.

With those few words, I await the directions from Leadership on the issues.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that we have not even dealt with relates to the report on the Petroleum Fund and Leadership is supposed to give us guidance and we are about to approve a budget that deals with petroleum funds and we do not know what would happen next year. So, I think that it would be most appropriate. The whole issue that we have been raising on this side, is the issue of overexpenditure.

Mr Speaker, if you read the reports of every committee, no exception, there is overexpenditure. That is why at the micro level, it is not surprising. This is because you come from the micro to the macro. So, all the micros have given us 2.8 billion of overexpenditure and we are going to approve an Appropriation Bill which, if we are not guided properly, may lead us into this unholy path of continually breaking the Constitution.

It is important that we -- as this Parliament exercises some oversight and use our mechanisms that are available to us to give us a direction that henceforth this is where we are going, then some of us can see that if and when we pass the 2013 Bill, we would be moving in the right direction.

So, at this point, Mr Speaker, I would want to invite you to ask Leadership to give us guidance on your instructions earlier regarding this matter, so that before we get into the Consideration Stages, we might be able to see which way we are going --
Mr Speaker 3:20 p.m.
Hon Member, I think you have raised very important issues but I believe that those issues can be taken independent of the Bill before us. As you rightly pointed out, you yourself has been a Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and since 1993, as you rightly
pointed out to the House, it is something that we have not done, and now, it has caught up with us.
In order for us to exercise our control over expenditure, we need to really sit down and develop a bi-partisan approach in handling this issue.
My view is that we can pass the Appropriation Bill and take this matter as a matter to be dealt with and dealt with properly, which would be accepted by both -- and I do not want us to adopt a partisan approach. This is because if it is partisan, if you use your majority, another Majority would come and they will say that they disagree with that approach.
But I think that we need to build consensus over this matter, so that whatever measure that we would come out with, can withstand the test of time in this very House. So, those are important matters. But I would want to say that, let us defer those issues to be taken at the appropriate time; I do not think we can handle, resolve all that matter at this time when this Bill is before us.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that was why I craved your indulgence to guide us. As I said, I do not want to be seen as we do not have solutions, so, the nation's business should come to a halt. That was why I thought maybe, the Leadership may have also had some views and they could proffer the views now, then we can deal with the Bill.
Dr Kunbuor 3:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the nature of the concerns that the Hon Member has raised are certainly matters that are too serious to be left to Leadership. I say so
-- 3:20 p.m.

Mr Speaker 3:20 p.m.
Hon Member, I suggested Leadership earlier. This is because he himself is aware, that when the HIPC Fund came, it was being handled in a very particular way. I took the matter
up, it was discussed and we found a way out of it. Somebody needs to lead and that is why I suggested that Leadership takes over this matter as Leadership. When I mean Leadership, I mean Leadership of both sides of the House and it means that they would take it up, talk to all Hon Members of the House, if need be and then we will discuss it and find a solution.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have heard the Hon Majority Leader and Leader of the House. When the Chair gives a direction to Leadership, Leadership should endeavour to make an effort, and I know that that is the essence of Leadership. The Leader ought not to get up without having given any indication that he has made an effort, to say that the matter is too serious to lead to Leadership.
The matter is not being left to the Leadership; Leadership is to provide direction. That is so. [Hear! Hear!] I know the Hon Majority Leader; he could do it. But sometimes, he wants to push his foot away from certain responsibilities. If you are a Leader of the House, a grave responsibility rests on you. And I am sure we all have confidence in the ability of both the Majority Leadership and the Minority Leadership to find a way out of this.
Mr Speaker, I endeavour to make this point. We have got to a stage in our democratic journey where we ought to be able to develop a consensus in respect of certain fundamental matters that affect the responsibilities of this House. And I am urging the Hon Majority Leader in whom I personally have a lot of confidence in these matters, together with the Minority Leadership, to take the appropriate steps and later on, let us take a certain line -- of course, with also the guidance of Mr Speaker.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for your indulgence.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 3:30 p.m.
In fact, if you had allowed me to construct my second and third sentences -- [Interruption] -- I would have indicated to you, that by indicating that this matter is too serious to be left to Leadership alone. I was going to follow up that we certainly take the guidance of Mr Speaker. But I wanted to invite the entire House to take particular interest in this particular matter, so that when Leadership takes the first step, it would have people to follow.

But Mr Speaker, why I say this matter is particularly serious as the Hon Member for Old Tafo has said, is that, it transcends so many Governments in the Fourth Republic, and it is about time we put a stop to this?

But for us to begin considering this issue, this House has different procedures for addressing different issues. It is in that context that Mr Speaker's guidance that this matter can be appropriately handled outside the context of the Appropriation Bill, did make sense.

I did hear the Hon Member raise an issue of whether the Appropriation Bill could not be tampered with by way of amendments to accommodate this, and I say that is a slippery slope to run. The Hon Member for Old Tafo would remember that in 2007, I did raise this particular matter on how we could amend the Appropriation Act to accommodate some concerns that were coming up.

We had to discuss with the draftspersons and our attention and advice were drawn to the peculiar nature of an Appropriation Act. I do not know what issues would come up at the Consideration Stage and I do not intend to play my cards for now.

But let me indicate that if anybody is thinking of tampering with the Appro- priation Bill by way of amendment, the person should be sure that he or she is rightly under the proper constitutional and legal position for that amendment to be taken. And because it might not be appropriate, we might underplay the importance of this exercise which this House could take up subsequently.

But I do agree with the Hon Member that this is an important matter, which the Hon Minority Leader and I would provide the appropriate leadership to ensure that we get down to this matter in more detail, in more sophistication and in a more sustainable manner. But I would only caution that the Appropriation Bill is not the context for this type of engagement.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Majority Leader for having moved this far.
Mr Speaker, you would recall when he said you were directing Leadership and I said this matter was not only for Leadership and he said it was for Leadership -- if you recall -- and he repeated it several times. I am glad after sleeping over, he has realised that. He said
two matters, but we are making progress. At least, he has considered that Leadership would give leadership and the rest would follow. So, we are not going to ask for the baby's name; we would wait till we are baby-sitting and if we have to move the baby or the mother or the parents, we would see it then.
But Mr Speaker, I think that we are making progress. I agree that at the appropriate time, we would see where we are going in terms of the Appropriation Bill and see what we would do.
I thank you.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just thought that the Hon Majority Leader should not preempt what would happen at the Consideration Stage. Like he said, when they are bringing a bull or an antelope to the chief's palace, the wives of the chief should not stand over the wall to see what type of antelope they are bringing.
So, he should wait, when we get to the Appropriation Bill, if there are amend- ments or no amendments, we will get there and we will know exactly what sort of cards that would be played. Whether they would be blue, they would be king, they would be queen, we shall see the cards that the Hon Majority Leader would play and we would see whether he knows how to play cards or not.
But Mr Speaker, I just think that much as we would like to make progress, it is important that Leadership takes the concern that the Hon Ranking Member said very, very seriously. This is because it goes to the heart of this particular House. Our powers are being threatened and I am sure that as he said it, Leadership
would do it. I would take a bite and I would allow others to take a bite and I will take a bite on this particular Appropriation Bill.
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
Hon Members, we Sat very late today. All this while, we were waiting on the Finance Committee to come out with their Report. We programmed to have a Committee of the Whole today. If we really want to exhaust these programmes today, I would take two contributions on this matter; one from each side and then I would close the debate and put the Question.
The general principles where the real problem is, maybe, he wants to make a change at the Consideration Stage, so that we can make progress.
So, Hon Deputy Minority Leader, if you want to make your contribution, you may make it now and then I will call on the Hon Minister to wind up.
Mr Nitiwul 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you would allow one or two Members from both sides to look at it.
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
Hon Members, the Appropriation Bill is a summary of all the debates we have had in this House.
The Appropriation Bill is a summary, in actual fact, of all the debates we have had on all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Unless somebody has any serious issue to bring up with regard to the figures and the approvals at those levels, so that at the end of the day, the figures do not create problems for us, we do not normally waste any time on the issue of appropriation.
So, Hon Minority Leader, since you have given an indication to speak, I would give you the floor and I would call on the Hon Minister to wind up on this debate.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP-- Bimbilla) 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the issues to deal with the amendments at the Consideration Stage would be taken at the appropriate time if there is one from any Hon Member and that is the right of any Hon Member to do that.
But Mr Speaker, just to reiterate some of the points that the Ranking Member raised. On our side, there are very serious issues and that we, as a House, would have to, if not today, but at the appropriate time -- but I believe today -- to find a solution to this problem.
I raised it in my concluding remarks; he also raised it and I would raise it again, that this House should not allow anybody, any Government or any official to spend beyond the Appropriation Act any longer. The ceilings there must be respected and if this Appropriation Bill is passed, nobody Mr Speaker, should take the powers of Parliament for granted and spend again beyond the Appropriation Act.
Mr Speaker, not just that. The issue that was raised by the Second Whip about the statutory Funds, is very important and that is why if the Government Obligations in this appropriation run to about GH¢3 billion, we should ensure that the calculations that we do are right enough and released in time.
Mr Speaker, if the calculations that were not challenged yesterday were to be right and they are right, then by law, any amount that you collect on behalf of the National Health Insurance Fund, must be given to them. Mr Speaker, any amount
that the Ministry or the Bank of Ghana has for the District Assemblies' Common Fund) (DACF), must be given to them. Any amount that is collected on behalf of the GETFund, must be given to them and given to them promptly. This is because they are Statutory Funds, that by law the Government cannot divert or under- declare or move to any other place. Those monies must be given to them; they are specific funds.
Mr Speaker, some of the issues that we witnessed or things we witnessed during the 2012 elections or 2012 financial year, should not happen again. But we would go beyond that, Mr Speaker, and look at the Ministry of Finance itself, even the Controller and Accountant-General's Department where they themselves spent beyond the appropriation or the limits that were given to them.
Mr Avedzi 3:40 p.m.
On a point order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader made reference to thieves, so if you could kindly ask him to define who the thieves are --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you were talking about the gatekeeper and the thieves; can you explain what you mean by the gatekeeper and the thieves? Who is the gatekeeper and who is the thief?
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, an elephant loaned money to a monkey but because the monkeys were so many, when he came to collect his money, the elephant did not know which monkey owed him. Kwaku Ananse gave the elephant a seat and after
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, that explanation has made matters worse -- [Laughter]-- You are saying that the Chairman of the Finance Committee-- [Laughter]-- So withdraw it.
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee is not a thief and I do not intend to make him a thief but I know he is a gatekeeper. I know he is involved in the gate keeping. But Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
Mr Avedzi 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he said I am not a thief, and he does not intend to make me a thief -- [Interruptions]--- I would want to find out how many people he has made thieves -- [Laughter].
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, because 90 Hon Ministers and Deputies had been picked, if the ceiling had not been reached, I would have waited to see what would have happened.
Mr Speaker, I said that he is not a thief, he is my Chairman and I respect him a lot; I will not even attempt to term him as one. But Mr Speaker, there are some issues that came up strongly and we never got an opportunity to interrogate some of them. I think it is important for this House to interrogate them.
One of it is the new partnership that is emerging in this country, that is the public- private partnership that is emerging in this country, where public funds, Mr Speaker, being in partnership with the private people, are being used for our good or for
our bad. I believe it is supposed to be for our good, but some things that we are beginning to see in this country over the last years, I believe it is important --
- 3:40 p.m.

Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member for North Tongu, do you have a point of order?
Mr Ablakwa 3:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Speaker. Mr Speaker, just a small point of fact.
The Hon Deputy Minority Leader stated that His Excellency the President has so far appointed 90 Ministers of State. For the records, that is inaccurate. So, I just wanted to place that on record -- 85 is not 90. He is misleading the House.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, did you make that statement? Hon Deputy Minority Leader, did you say 90 Ministers of State?
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when you want to correct somebody, then correct him properly, otherwise, you end up being wrong yourself. Mr Speaker, I said 90 Ministers and Deputy Ministers. That is what I said and Mr Speaker, that has been nominated or confirmed.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, we are still in the process, and you know very well that, the process cannot complete without the involvement of this House. So, the process is still going on -- why do you not wait till you can put a definite figure on the process?
DrA. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to correct my Deputy Minority Leader, that as of today, there are 85 plus 3 wise men. So, it is not 90; it is close to 88 -- [Uproar]
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, withdraw the “90.” Hon Deputy Minority Leader, withdraw the “90”. It is factually not correct.
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not intend to challenge your ruling but his mathematics and my mathematics may be different -- [Interruptions].Mr Speaker unless somebody has added mine -- unless the Clerks have added and advised you to say that my 90 is wrong, I would say about 90, then I withdraw the 90.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, all nomina- tions to this House comes to me and my count did not reveal that we have 90 Ministers and Deputy Ministers. So, Hon Member, withdraw the “90” and let us make progress, please.
MrNitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have with- drawn the “90” anyway. I said I withdraw the “90 anyway” and replace it with ‘about
90”.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you are a Leader in this House and it will be in your interest to just withdraw the “90”, so that we make progress.
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I need to make progress. I withdraw the “90.”
Mr Speaker, like I said, we, as a House need to know the type of Agreement that SADA entered with Asongtaba Cottage Industry. We need to know where the farms are located, the beneficiaries --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, I am sorry, as much as possible, I have been listening to you for some time; the matter before us is the Appropriation Bill. We have committees which have oversight over
MDA's. Oversight responsibility can be taken by the relevant Ministers and other tools are at the disposal of Hon Members to get the information that they want. Let us limit ourselves for now to the Appropriation Bill which is before us. Hon Deputy Minority Leader you have various tools but I believe that there is a rule on relevance.
We have the Appropriation Bill with us and that is what we are considering for now.
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you, I am also considering the Appropriation Bill. I am looking at the Appropriation for next year and how the peoples' money would be spent. So, I believe I can comment on how the people's money can be spent.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, do we have “Azontoba” in the Bill? Do we have “SADA” in the Bill? You have tried to lay foundation and I have allowed you and I think you have laid sufficient foundation. I said earlier that, what we are doing now, is to look at the figures and see whether all that we have done -- it is a summary of all that we have done. So, find out whether there are problems with the figures that we have given so far. That is where we have reached now.
What we are doing now, is to give legal effect to all the approvals that we have done in this House. That is all that we are doing.
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
But if I had just laid the foundation, I would have come to the reason I picked on SADA, the reason I picked it and not any other thing. I could have picked on the tree planting, I could have picked on the Bui Dam Afforestation, but I picked on the SADA for a reason.
Mr Speaker, the Bill that established SADA and the monies that were given last year, never reflected in the Appropriation and that is the case that we have this year. The additional funds that were given to SADA are not reflecting in this Appro- priation Bill. So I wanted the Hon Minister to address it. That is why I began --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Members, let me get the sense of the House as I preside over this House.
Do you want us to have Committee of the Whole and come back?
Some Hon Members 3:40 p.m.
Yes.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Please, then you must know how to manage the time. If you want us to have Committee of the Whole and look at the Statutory Funds, --
Hon Members when some of us are presiding over the House, some of you move in and out. And some of us, when we sit here, we cannot move [Interruptions.] So, please -- Hon Deputy Minority Leader.
Mr Nitiwul 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I did not want to take time but I just wanted to point it out for the Hon Minister to look at it because we think that it is important that all Appropriations should be respected.
Now, the Additional SADA funds that were released, which we had a word with the Hon Minister, have not reflected here. So, the Hon Minister may have to look at it. If there are other organisations that have similar problems like SADA, it must reflect. [Interruption] But SADA
still has that money sitting in its accounts and would SADA be able to spend that money this year or not? Until that is reflected in this Appropriation, I do not know how SADA would do it. Because if they spend, then it would be the same thing as going beyond the Appropriation that we are seeking to secure and that is why I brought SADA as an example and brought in Asongtaba and brought in all the akonfem gate (guinea fowls)gate thing that we were going to look at.
Mr Speaker, it is important that in conclusion, we do not allow those ‘akonfem gates” to happen again; we do not allow overspending to happen again and even outstanding spending commitment by Government. I would want to find out from the Hon Minister, those are standing commitments; are they GH¢5.4 billion or the GH¢2.1 billion that he is planning to pay this year?
Mr Speaker, it is important because if the commitment Members are beyond the GH¢2.1 billion, then we must begin to ask the Hon Minister how we would be able to deal with the other GH¢3.4 commitment over the 12 months; unless somehow, somewhere, we would be able to find a way of solving it.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Minister, do you want to wind up?
Mr Terkpeh 3:40 p.m.
Hon Members, I wish to thank Hon Members at this stage and to make just two points and to reiterate that your ruling that the issues relating to Appropriation and expen- ditures are issues which when Leadership and any committee, for that matter comes to consider,the Executive would certainly provide Assistance and collaborate with the House.
Because this is consistent with the improvements that we have been making in the public accounts and in particular, the introduction of the shift of Government accounting system from the cash basis to an accrual basis.
Dr A. A. Osei 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was just trying to catch your attention to ask the Hon Minister if he would be specific. This is because, we were raising a matter relating to liability for authorising over- payment. He mentioned that the Act makes allowance for it. So, I thought he was going to tell us that, if one pays more than appropriated, this or that is your sanction. He cannot generalise -- we are being specific.
Secondly, there is a matter that we need to accede to before we get there -- how you are going to address it. We already know that the Appropriations amount has gone up by GH¢6 million because of the problem with the Judiciary. There is a problem with SADA which this Act is not capturing.
The GH¢43 million that they are going to spend, which would make over- spending, which we are not approving yet. So, I hope he takes care of that and maybe, supplementary budget --
Then there is NHIS whose additional funding that is much more than we have approved. If we do not take care of this in some way, there would be automatic overspending. If we try to adjust here, there would be problems, I know. But I would want him to take note, so that this matter, we do not wait till the year from now and then we say that SADA overspent.
We know they are going to overspend; we know NHIS is going to overspend. [Interruption.] This is supplementary budget, how do I know? Because they have GH¢43 million on their accounts.
Mr Speaker, somebody with the Finance Committee and he does not know this information? I wonder what he is doing there. That is what we spend the time talking about. Finance Committee member should not be talking like that. It is part of our Committee Report. Anyway, Hon Minister for Finance, I am drawing your attention now, so that we can make progress.
I do not think the adjustments can be made here because if we do, we cannot close tonight. So, I am advising that you take note and supplementary, if you do not come that time, there would be serious problems.
I thank you.
Mr Tekpeh 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to draw attention of the House that this House, in passing a legislation that establishes authorities, boards and enterprises that may draw on the Appropriation Fund, also allows them to generate resources of their own. In fact, some of these resources may even be from investments and levies which those Acts authorise these institutions to—and which do not come into the estimates that we present to Parliament.
Secondly, we are dealing with estimates, therefore, the fact that the statutory institutions may have envisaged that it would generate more revenues from whatever source, including the —should not preclude us from concluding on the Appropriation Act.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
That is the point that he is making, that for now, let go it but then you should take a second look at that issue and I think that is a legitimate comment.
Mr Tekpeh 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, I raised the point because we have been explaining at Committee, therefore, for the records, when the public accounts for these bodies are presented or as and when we present supplementary accounts, we make adjustments to this. So, it is just for purposes of the record that I wish to say that these are institutions we have also explained at Committee.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
The Appropriation Bill, 2013 was duly read a Second time.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Item number 8 on the Order Paper.
Hon Minister for Finance.
MOTIONS 4 p.m.

Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh) 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I bet to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 128(1) which require that when a Bill has been read a Second time,
Mr James K. Avedzi 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Item number 9. The Appropriation Bill, 2013 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 4:10 p.m.

STAGE 4:10 p.m.

Mr William O. Boafo 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to propose an amendment to the Bill by the addition of a new clauses. And Mr Speaker, I rise on standing Order 80 (2) (b) to seek your discretion to allow me to move the proposed amendment -- [Pause.]
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Member, let me hear you.
Mr Boafo 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am seeking your permission to move th is amendment and I am relying on Standing Order 80 (2) (b), and with your permission, may I read it?
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Member, you can move the amendment.
rose
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister for Trade and Industry?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would very much respect your guidance, because the said Standing Order has already been suspended and he just needed to indulge you, so that you exercise your discretion in tolerating him.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I think that the Hon Minister is right, because we are passing the Bill through the Consideration Stage by suspending the Standing Orders. Therefore, what you are also doing falls directly under that proviso. So, you can go ahead, let me listen to you and get the terms of your amendment.
MrBoafo 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate very much your flexibility.
Mr Speaker, the amendment seeks to provide for an offence for overspending or excess spending in respect of appropriated amounts and the new clauses are as follows:
The first one, “offence” -- a person who pays out any sum of money in excess of the amount appropriated in this Act or any supplementary appropriation, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 7,500 penalty units or not more than 15,000 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years, or not more than 25 years or to both.
In addition to the penalty under the above section, the person shall be surcharged with the excess amount paid out and the court may order the recovery of the amount from him including the forfeiture of his assets to the Republic.
Mr Speaker, I am making this proposal in view of the fact that, as of now, we do not have any sanctions against excess expenditure. Mr Speaker, I recognise that by virtue of the constitutional provisions under article 179 (8) where there is insufficiency in the appropriation or the need arises, the Hon Minister for Finance is entitled to come to the House for a supplementary appropriation.
But Mr Speaker, this amendment is seeking to provide for a sanction where any Minister for Finance or any person at all should pay out money in excess of appropriation for a service.
Mr Speaker, under the Financial Administration Act of 2003, (Act 654), under section 13 (2), there is a provision that no person shall pay any money in excess of any amount appropriated. And Mr Speaker, under section 15 of the same Act, there is a provision that the Controller and Accountant-General shall have the power to reject any request which purports to be in excess of the amount appropriated for a service. But Mr Speaker, the Act does not go forward to provide for a sanction in the event of a contravention.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance pointed out that, in the Act, we have offences column. Mr Speaker, a diligent and careful reading of the provisions of the Act relating to offences would clearly show you that there is no provision in that particular section covering excess expenditure.
It deals with money in the hands of a person who does not pay it over into the appropriate Fund; it deals with a person who collects money from another person in the performance of his job; and it deals with other matters which have nothing to do with a person who is engaged in excess payment over appropriation.
Mr Speaker, there have been a lot of discussions outside the House on the overexpenditure, not only in respect of the previous budget but over the years and it appears we have not taken any step to provide a sanction which would serve as a deterrent to persons who are entrusted with the management of our purse.
Mr Speaker, this is a challenge for us as a House, to set ourselves at the level where it would be appreciated by all, that we are actually in a position to exercise our supervisory jurisdiction over the Executive -- [Hear! Hear!] We do not have to miss this chance. It is neither a question against the NDC nor the NPP, it is a question against the purse of Ghana.
We must rise above partisanship and go forward to endorse this amendment for posterity to judge us, that once upon a time, the Members of Parliament of the Sixth Republic rose up above partisanship and moved forward to provide the needed sanction for the excess expenditure over appropriation.
Mr Speaker, I hope that my Colleagues would appreciate the need for this amendment and endorse it fully, so that we would achieve our objective in supervising the purse of this country.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the import of this amendment is under- stood. But they say, even the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions. It is when you get there, that you get to know your destination.
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we want to invoke the very Standing Orders of this House, we must learn to respect the Standing Orders. Mr Speaker -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, if you take a closer reading of Order 128 (4) (a) and (b), you see clearly that this proposed amendment to the Appropriation Bill might have all the best of intentions, but it is irrelevant to the subject matter of this Bill -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, if you take Standing Order 128 (4) (a), (b), this is what it says --
“At the Consideration Stage of a Bill the House may make such amendments as it considers fit, provided that the amendments (including new clauses and new schedules) comply with the following conditions:
a. they must be relevant to the subject- matter of the Bill and to the subject - matter of the clause to which they relate;
b. they must not be inconsistent with any clause already agreed to or any decision already come to by the House.”

Mr Speaker, precedence has to be created, but the precedence has to be created in their right legal context. Then what is wrong with simply saying that in an Appropriation Act, we should also introduce a clause on causing financial loss to the State?

When are you going to stop incorporating matters that are already addressed by appropriate legislation in this country? And that is why I am saying that, clause by clause, this Appropriation Bill is clear, Mr Speaker. And just in case the Hon Member has forgotten about the nature of the clauses we approved, let me draw his attention.

Clause 1 is dealing with the sum of money to be issued from the Consolidated Fund in the 2013 financial year.

Clause 2 is dealing with internally generated funds.

Clause 3 is dealing with payment of money on authorisation of the Hon Minister for Finance.

Mr Speaker, the seriousness of the amendment is tested by whether we are actually bringing a sustainable amend- ment or it is an amendment just to disrupt the Appropriation Bill. This is because if you really want to criminalise excess expenditure based on the Appropriation Bill, the proper place to bring it is in your Financial Administration. Do not confuse
Mr Boafo 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate the stance taken by the Hon Majority Leader. I am not surprised. He is an acknowledged academician and I am not surprised that he should adopt this approach.
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Members, I want to make a ruling on this matter but I would take two brief comments from each side of the House before I make the ruling.
Hon Agyeman-Manu and the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry --
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 4:20 p.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague here, Hon Boafo, is not very surprised at the Hon Majority Leader's contribution; but I am also a bit shocked with the Hon Majority Leader's lecture.
Mr Speaker, we agreed, the two of us -- this side and my side -- that we should not go beyond the Appropriation Bill when it comes to making expenditures. That is a problem in this country. Year on, year on, year on --
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Member, the decision whether the amendment is to be part of it, is of the House. But my attention has been drawn to Order 128 and it is for me to rule on the matter. That is why I want to take submissions on whether it should be part of the Bill or not. That is a decision for the House.
But my attention has been drawn to Standing Order 128 and in my view, that one is not for the House, it is for me to rule. That is why I want to make my ruling but when I saw you -- So, I only want to take submissions from one but if everybody wants to make a submission on Standing Order 128, then I will make my ruling.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak against the proposed amendment of the Hon Boafo. And Mr Speaker, to finish my argument with his own reference and quote of Act 654, which is the Financial Administration Act of 2002.
Mr Speaker, for purposes that I did not record him verbatim, I would have to paraphrase him and I recall that he said to this august House that there was no provision whatsoever under the Offences
-- He did not use “whatsoever” but he said there was not provision under the Offences if anybody did anything in excess of what this law provides.
Mr Speaker, may I draw your attention to page 27, offences under Act 654. And with your indulgence, Mr Speaker, may I refer you to --
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Which section of the law are you --
Mr Iddrisu 4:30 p.m.
Section 62 (3); Financial Administration Act, 2003, (Act 654), and Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I beg to quote:
“Where any person is required to perform any function or duty under this Act and that person fails to perform that duty within the time required, the person shall be liable to such punishment as may be prescribed in regulations made under this Act.”
Mr Speaker, he further even quoted section 13 and others to support his argument. I am saying that there is sufficient provisions under this. Let us remember that there is also the regulations to this Act, which the law provided for and with your indulgence, I beg to quote again:
“The Minister for Finance shall come here and Parliament shall prescribe the regulations.”
Mr Speaker, regulation 246 proposes for financial liability of offenders and even surcharge proceedings when one offends this particular Act.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Hon Minister, I think that the issue -- Hon Members, the issue is that over the years Governments -- since 1993, have been exceeding the Appropriation. Hon Members think that we should do something about it. [Interruption.]
Hon Members, I am going to make my ruling on this matter. My attention has been drawn to Standing Order --
Mr Nitiwul 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you said you were taking contributions on Order 128, clause 4 (a) to (e), and then when the Hon Member for Dormaa, Mr Agyeman-Manu got up to contribute on it, you said he was out of line. I think, clearly, without calling you to rule, I believe my Hon Brother, Mr Haruna is also out of line. So, maybe, we still take one or two contributions on that particular one, then you can give your ruling and then we move on.
This is because he is ready to look at it in support of the clause 3, he said. I also have the same view about what he said in view of clause 3: So, maybe, we would -- just one or two and then you can give your ruling, then we move on with it.
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that they are getting the procedure wrong. There is a Motion that has been moved and I have challenged that, that Motion is not a proper Motion under the Standing Orders--
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Amendment-- It is an amendment.
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Yes, so, I am actually inviting Mr Speaker to see whether even the Motion itself ought to be a matter for consideration --
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
The amendment?
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
The Motion for amend- ment, sorry -- to see whether the Motion for the amendment is even proper to be before this House. And I am waiting for Mr Speaker's ruling on that matter. [Interruption.] We have not got into the merits of the amendment yet.
Mr Nitiwul 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in taking that decision that he sought, you said you would take one or two comments on Order 128, then we can move on. That is why I just invited you, to allow the two comments on relevance, which is on Order 128 and then we can make progress.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
I will take one from each side.
Mr K. T. Hammond 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not be distracted by the comments. I go straight to the particular provision that is under consideration and that seems to be paragraph 128, clause 4; and we have (a) up to (d).
Mr Speaker, I think the one that my Hon Brother raised is on the (a), which says that, whatever among the conditions or inter alia, there must be relevance to the subject matter of the Bill and to the subject matter of the clause to which they relate.
Mr Speaker, I dare ask, to what extent could this amendment that he raised be more relevant than the matters that have been discussed on this floor from the time that this budget was read in this House?
Mr Speaker, when the various MDAs budget allocations were discussed --
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading the House. The relevant Standing Order is talking about relevance to the subject matter of the Bill and not the subject matter of the budget. So, he is talking about what has been said here for the past one week. And I am saying that the Appropriation Bill is peculiar and clear in its content and the argument I have raised is that inasmuch as this Bill stands, there is no relevance between the amendment and the Bill.
We are not dealing with an approval process of an economic policy, but a Bill that would become law; and it is that subject matter we are talking about, Mr Speaker.
Mr Hammond 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the answer to my Hon Brother's worry might be first in the “memorandum” and then the “introduction”, and actually, the “Long Title”. Let us look at what the memorandum says, and Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read:
“The object of this Bill is to provide for appropriation for 2013. This of course would be constitutional requirement under article 179 (2). That is the estimate of the expenditure of public offices and public corporations shall be included in the Appropriation Bill to be introduced in Parliament to provide for the issue of funds from the Consolidated Fund to meet Government expenditure.”
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Hon Member, I do not want this debate to degenerate.
Hon Members, I am going to make my ruling. [Interruption.] I have listened closely, attentively to the amendment moved by the Hon Member for Akuapem North. I have also taken note of the objection raised in terms of Order 128. The Hon Majority Leader invites the Chair to look at Order 128 (4) (a) and (b). I have looked at 4, Order 128, (a) and (b), but I think the relevant portion, in my view, is 4 (a).
I have also looked at section 13 of the Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654) which is before me and which states:
“A payment shall not be made in excess of the amount granted under an Appropriation for a service.”
Dr Kunbuor 4:40 p.m.
Most grateful, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Hon Members, I direct that this matter must be taken up. It is a very serious issue and it must be taken up and dealt with. If it needs bringing the Financial Administration Act to amend it to deal with the matter, that should be done, so that this matter is laid to rest once and for all.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 4:40 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I apologise; I stepped out but I heard your ruling. I believe that it is going to promote the interest of this House except to say that you did not specify the person to whom you are giving the direction. I hope that it would be the Hon Minister for Finance and then a timeline, that would help us.
Yes, Mr Speaker, you have directed that the Financial Administration Act be brought to the House for amendment. The sector Minister responsible for over- seeing the Financial Administration Act and the author is the Hon Minister for Finance. I am sure he does not have any objection. And I hope that the Hon Leader of the House would support me in this regard.
Mr Speaker, I am appealing to you to amend your order by directing it to the Hon Minister for Finance and then in the next Meeting of Parliament --
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Dr Kunbuor 4:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, every day, we encounter very novel situations. We do know there is an express provision that if one intends to challenge the Speaker's ruling, there is a procedure to follow. But Mr Speaker, I would want your guidance. In this case, your ruling is not being challenged but a review of your ruling is being sought. So, can we suo motu apply to Mr Speaker to review his own ruling? Inasmuch as we cannot challenge your ruling without going through the normal processes, I would want your guidance for the future of this House.
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Hon Members, let me make this point. The point I would want to make is that this issue that has been raised affects the House; it is not for the Majority, it is not for the Minority. The question is, how do we protect our jurisdiction jealously?
Some Hon Members 4:40 p.m.
Yes!
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
In my view, that is the fundamental issue. When we are indeed, the keepers of the purse -- If we are the ones who have the power over the purse,
how do we manage it, so that that mandate of the House is discharged effectively and efficiently? This should be handled from a bipartisan perspective. And that is the message I have kept on sending right from the beginning of this discussion.
Hon Members, it is not a victory for the Majority, it is not a victory for the Minority. Whichever Government comes, it will haunt -- How do we manage it, so that we can perform our constitutional mandate effectively? In my view, that is the issue, and I think that the best thing is for the Leadership of the House, once again, to take up this matter.

Hon Members, we are at the Consideration Stage. I have delivered the ruling on this matter. So, we make progress and move on to the First Schedule.
Mr Chireh 4:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
You have put the Question on clause 1 to 5.
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Yes, I am moving to the Schedules before the Long Title.
First and Second Schedules ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Long Title --
Mr Chireh 4:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have an amendment to the Long Title and it is to the effect that after the last “Fund”, we insert “and”. So --
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Hon Member, my attention has been drawn to the enacting formula and I would want somebody to move --
Mr Chireh 4:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am coming to that.
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Very well.
Mr Chireh 4:40 p.m.
The Long Title should now read --
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
No, I would want to take the Long Title as the very last one. So, if you
-- 4:40 p.m.

Mr Chireh 4:40 p.m.
All right.
The enacting formula is wrong. We know that this House decided and it is now in the Interpretation Act, that it should be “passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.”
I beg to move.
Mr Speaker 4:40 p.m.
Hon Members, this is in the Interpretation Act, so it is a straight- forward matter.
So, the Question is that we delete the words “ENACTED by President and Parliament” and substitute them with “passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.”
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Enacted formula as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Long Title --
AN ACT to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money necessary to meet government expenditure for the 2013 financial year from the Consolidated Fund and from other Funds to provide for related matters.
Mr Chireh 4:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Long Title, line 3, after “Funds” , insert “and”.
So, it would now read:
“AN ACT to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money necessary to meet government expenditure for the 2013 financial year from the Consolidated Fund and from other Funds and to provide for related matters.”
Question put and amendment agreed to.
The Long Title as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker 4:50 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage of the Appropriation Act, 2013.
Item number 10 -- Hon Minister for Finance.

Suspension of Standing Order 131(1)
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh) 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 131(1) which require that when a Bill has passed through the Consideration Stage, the Third Reading thereof shall not be taken until at least, twenty-four hours have elapsed, the Motion for the Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill, 2013 may be moved today.
Mr James K. Avedzi 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
BILLS -- THIRD READING 4:50 p.m.

Mr Speaker 4:50 p.m.
The Second Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want us to take item number 1 of the Addendum --
Mr Speaker 4:50 p.m.
Hon Member, we have Papers to be laid. That is what I have been told. I do not know whether we are taking that. And then what I intend to --
Mr Speaker 4:50 p.m.
What I intend doing is, we can suspend Sitting and have Committee of the Whole and then if they come, if there is any other business, we then take them. So, do we have any Paper to be laid?
Dr Kunbuor 4:50 p.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker. Item 5(a)(ii) and then item 1 on the Addendum.
PAPERS 4:50 p.m.

-- 4:50 p.m.

Mr Speaker 4:50 p.m.
Hon Members, Presentation of Papers, item 1 on the Order Paper Addendum.
Chairman of the Committee?
Dr Kunbuor 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I would want to lay the Paper on behalf of the First Deputy Speaker, Chairman of the --
Mr Speaker 4:50 p.m.
No! This is for the Chairman of the Committee.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of Stamp Duties amounting to €1,970,000.00 relating to the execution of the Agreement between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/ SA, with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi Port, Ghana.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:56 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I think we are on item 2 of the Addendum Order Paper. Am I right?
Dr Kunbuor 4:56 p.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:56 p.m.
This is a procedural Motion.
Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Mr James K. Avedzi 4:56 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the
Mr Gabriel K. Essilfie 4:56 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:56 p.m.
I think we just took Motion number 2?
Mr Agbesi 5 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, Motion number 3.

Request for Waiver of Stamp Duties relating to Agreement between Ghana

Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, et cetera
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of Stamp Duties amounting to €1,970,000.00 relating to the execution of the Agreement between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV,
Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA, with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi Port, Ghana.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The request for waiver of stamp Duties amounting to €1,970,000.00 relating to the execution of the Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi Port, Ghana was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance on Thursday, 21st March, 2013.
The Rt Hon Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
The Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh, officials from the Ministry of Finance and Legal Manager from GPHA during the consideration of the referral.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and officials from the Ministry for attending upon it.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following documents at its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689).
The Credit Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for the design, civil and engineering Works at the Takoradi Port, Ghana.
Background
The Takoradi Port has recently become the focus of maritime trade activities especially in support of the emerging oil and gas cluster of services and activities.
The rapidly growing economy coupled with the emerging oil and gas industry has necessitated the demand for modern shore-based support services and facilities for important activities such as storage and handling of chemicals; lifting and storage of heavy equipment in thousands of tonnes in single lifts; fabrications and spooling activities for rigid production flow pipes, water and gas injection flow pipes; berthing of multi- purpose platforms, supply and light construction vessels, fabrication, assembly and repair yards, oil rig repair facilities, container yards for project cargo such as spares, food and medicals for the oil fields and the supporting industries among others.
Unfortunately, the Takoradi Port has not received the needed attention over a long period to be ready for the emerging new operational requirement and activities. Various master plan studies have been undertaken but have failed to
adequately predict the current needs of the port. The port therefore has to provide adequate berthing, mooring, wharf, warehousing and large open space facilities at the waterfront in response to the above stated demands.
Further, due to the shallow depths of the port, the shipment of bulk cargoes including cocoa, and other agro-forestry products is by double-handling through the use of old-fashioned lighterage system. With the emerging growth prospects and global competition, the economies of scale would require the use of larger vessels and direct loading facilities to sustain reasonable economic growth.
To this end, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning on 13th August, 2012, presented to the House for approval, the Credit Facility Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor for an amount of €197million for an expansion work at the Takoradi Port.
Approval of the Loan Agreement
The House at its Eleventh Sitting held on 17th September, 2012, approved by resolut ion, the Credi t Faci li ty Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for an amount of €197million for the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi Port.
Mr Avedzi 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the memoran- dum from the Minister for Finance on page 6, paragraph 6, “Recommendation”, the request was specific that Hon Members of Parliament are kindly requested to consider and approve the waiver of 1 per cent stamp duty of €1.97 million on the €197 million loan facility. So, it is there in the memorandum.
Dr A. A. Osei 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about the title.The title is different. There should be some consistency. That is what I am saying. The title then should have spoken to that recommendation but the title says: “. . . the waiver of tax duty on 197 million.” We know that 1 per cent amounts to that but then there should be some consistency.
With those few words, I urge that Hon Members adopt the Committee's Report and waive this for GPHA.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
RESOLUTIONS 5 p.m.

Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House is respect- fully requested to adopt the following Resolution:
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 174 (2) of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to confer power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by an Act of Parliament;
THE EXERCISE of any power conferred on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax in favour of any person or authority is by the said provisions made subject to the prior approval of Parliament by Resolution;
BY THE COMBINED operation of the provisions of section 26 (2) of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (PNDCL 330), the Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503), the Export Development and Investment Fund Act, 2000 (Act 582), the Value Added Tax Act, 1998 (Act 546), the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act 579) and other existing Laws and Regulations applicable to the collection of customs duties and other taxes on the importation of goods into Ghana, the Minister for Finance may exempt any statutory corporation, institution or individual from the payment of duties and taxes otherwise payable under the said laws and regulations or waive or vary the requirement of such statutory corporation, institution or individual to pay such duties and
taxes;
IN ACCORDANCE with the provisions of the Constitution and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament a request by the Minister for Finance for the prior approval of Parliament the exercise by him of his power under the laws and regulations relating to the waiver of stamp duties amounting to €1,970,000.00 relating to the execution of the Agreement between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutsche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/ SA, with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi Port, Ghana.
Mr James K. Avedzi 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want you to suspend the Sitting of the House, so that we can consider the formula. We have the Statutory Funds to be considered and we would want the House to be suspended, so that we can proceed to consider those Funds.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
The House is accordingly suspended, so that we meet as a Committee of the Whole.
5.07 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
9.47 p.m. -- Sitting resumed .
MR SPEAKER
Mr Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Members, presentation of Papers. Item 5(c)(ii)?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker?
PAPERS 5 p.m.

Mr Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Members, item 14 on the Order Paper.
Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joe Ghartey) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee of the Whole on the proposed formula for the distribution of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the year 2013 may be moved today.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Proposed formula for the distribution
of the GETFund, 2013
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joe Ghartey) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee of the Whole on the proposed formula for the distribution of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the year 2013.
Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
In pursuance of the provisions of the Ghana Education Trust Fund Law, 2000 (Act 581) the 2013 distribution formula for monies accruing to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) was laid in Parliament on Tuesday, 26th March, 2013 and referred to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and report.
Background information
Section 8(2) of the Ghana Education Trust Fund Act, 2000 (Act 581) enjoins the Board of Trustees of the Fund to annually submit to Parliament for approval, a formula for the distribution of funds to the following sectors:
Tertiary education
Second cycle education
Basic education
Investment
Other related aspects of education
The Board, in arriving at the 2013 formula for the distribution of the Fund to the designated institutions, was guided by the following principles as stipulated in section 8 (3) of the Act:
1. The promotion of the study of mathematics, science, and technology.
2. The advancement of female education.
3. The reduction in the level of illiteracy in historically- disadvantaged areas.
4. The promotion of computer, vocational and technical education and training.
5. Equitable allocation of funds to the districts at the pre-tertiary level of education.
References
The Committee availed itself of the following documents in preparing this Report:
i. The Ghana Education Trust Fund Act, 2000 (Act 581).
ii. The formula for the distribution of proceeds of the GETFund for the year 2013.
iii. The Standing Orders of the House.
iv. The presentation and clarifica- tions by the Minister for Education and the Administrator of the Fund in respect of the formula.
Acknowledgements
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister for Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang and the GETFund Administrator, Mr Sam Garbah for providing useful clarifications on the proposed formula.
Mr Speaker 5 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Second Deputy Speaker, for taking the sense of the House into account in moving the Motion.
Hon Members, any seconder?
Hon Member for Wa West?
Mr Dominic A. Azumah 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member has just been called outside.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question proposed.
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that when we meet as a Committee and we meet people who have brought the GETFund formula and we tell them what we want to be done to it as a group, we expect that it will reflect in the Report. We ask that at least, the project Fund for the Members of Parliament (MPs) should go up at least, GH¢50,000. [Interruption.] Who said we did not agree? That is what we agreed on but it is no where here in this Report. [Interruption.]
So, Mr Speaker, we are the Board, so when we tell our operators, something they should be able to pick on board and work with it -- That is the essence. So, if we speak and they do not take it, it is a little funny for us.
Mr Speaker, what we should also know is that, MPs are closer to the people than even the Government. [Hear! Hear!] And we have always shown value for money. We have given value to the moneys that have been given to us. If you come to our constituencies, we have delivered to all the communities and I believe that every request that we make is genuine and we needed to be given that year and I feel that since we are here to take a decision, we should change that figure and make it
GH¢50,000.
Otherwise, what is the point of looking at the Reports? If it is a matter of just passing what they bring to us, then there is no point for us to be discussing it. This is because virtually all the reports and the formulas that come here, are being forced down our throat. And I believe that we have to relook at it, otherwise, there is no point for us to be having a meeting. We should just sit down and forget about it
-- 5 p.m.

Mr Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Member for Takoradi, you cannot create that impression about this House. This is your House and this is our House.
You may have expressed an opinion and that is why I called you. You are entirely entitled to disagree with the allocation, but to say about this House that it has been forced down your throat, I think that it is not -- You may say you disagree and you are entitled to it, but to say you have forced -- Then what are you in this House for? Excuse me. How can somebody force something down the throat of an Hon Member of this House? You can say you disagree and you are entitled to say so.
Hon Member, withdraw that. Use another word.
Mr Darko-Mensah 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said; “. . . as if it had been forced down our throat”. [Interruption.] I think that is a better statement.
Mr Speaker 5 p.m.
Well.
Mr Darko-Mensah 5 p.m.
And the fact of the matter is that what we said has never been included in the Report. So, virtually, we have been given a reproduction of the formula without any input.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought after the Motion was moved, the matter was referred to the House? My initial understanding is that the Hon Member was making his contribution and if that is his contribution, he is entitled to it. Except that he was coming under another Order that I am not aware of. But if it is his contribution, I think that is well taken. We can continue with the debate.
Minister for Information and Media Relations (Mr Mahama Ayariga) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and would want to say that I am particularly enthused about the provisions in page 6,
paragraph 5.9, which deals with Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA). And I am happy to note that the Report is recommending that in implementing the education module, there should be collaboration with the Ministry of Education to ensure better co-ordination of the programme.
Mr Speaker, I find this very important because of previous experiences of situations where District Directors of Education and Circuit Supervisors complained that many of the people who were posted to go and teach in some schools, sometimes did not even know how to spell their own names, not to talk about teaching the basic school children.
I think a system in which the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education have a hand in the recruitment process for the education module of GYEEDA would indeed, improve the system and ensure that the quality of people we get posted to teach in our basic schools meet at least, the basic standards.
So, on that note, Mr Speaker, I support the Motion and urge the House to approve the formula for the GETFund for the 2013 fiscal year.
Mr Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, do you intend winding up?
Mr Ghartey 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not.
Mr Speaker 10 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate on the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 10 p.m.
Therefore the formula for the distribution of the GETFund for the year 2013 has been approved by the House.
Dr Kunbuor 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Motion 16.
Suspension of Standing Order 80 (1)
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joe Ghartey) 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee of the Whole on the proposed formula for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for the year 2013 may be moved today.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordinly.
Disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for the year 2013
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joe Ghartey) 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on the proposed formula for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for the year 2013.
Mr Speaker, in so moving, I present the Committee's Report.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joe Ghartey) 10 p.m.
Introduction
The proposed, formula for disburse- ment of the National Health Insurance Fund for the year 2013 was laid before the House on Wednesday, 27th March, 2013.
Mr Speaker, referred the proposed formula to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and report in accordance with Standing Order 196 of the House and article 103 (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Reference documents
The Committee during its deliberations referred to the following documents:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. The Standing Orders of the House,
iii. The National Health Insurance Act 2012 (Act 852).
iv. The proposed formula for 2012.
Acknowledgement
Clarifications were also sought on the proposed formula from the following officials of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA):
i. Hon Hanny-Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Health.
ii. Mr Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive Officer, NHIA.
iii. Mr Ahmed A. Imoro, Acting Director of Finance, NHIA.
iv. Mr Nathaniel Otto, Director of Administration and Legal, NHIA.

The Committee is most grateful to them for their inputs and the support they provided.

Background

The Government of Ghana through the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) has planned its policy strategy of the essential components of the GPRS as the strategy to deliver accessible and affordable health care to all residents in Ghana, especially the poor and vulnerable.

In achieving the above strategy, the National Health Insurance Scheme introduced a district-wide mutual health insurance scheme to enable access to basic health care services without paying cash at the point of the service used/ delivered.

The introduction of the National Health Insurance Act. 2012 (Act 852), brought into being the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to secure the implementation of a National Health Insurance policy. Consequently, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) was established under section 39 of Act 852 and mandated the Council of the NHIA to be responsible for the management of the Fund.

Object of the Fund

The object of the Fund is to pay the health care services for Members of the National Health Insurance Schemes

(NHIS).

For the purposes of implementing the object of the Fund, Section 40 (2) of Act 852 stipulates that the monies from the Fund shall be expended as follows:

To pay for the healthcare costs of Members of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

To pay for approved administrative expenses in relation to the running of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

To facilitate the provision of or access- to healthcare services.

To invest in any other facilitating programmes to promote access to health services as may be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Board.

Sources of funds to the NHIF

Section 78 of the National Health Insurance Act, 2003 (Act 650):

i. The National Health Insurance Levy

(NHIL).

ii. Two and a one half per cent (2.5%) contribution to SSNIT Pension Fund.

iii. Funds allocated by Parliament.

iv. Money that accrues to the Fund from investments made by the Authority.

v. Grants, donations, gifts and any other voluntary contributions made to the Fund.

vi. Fees charged by the Authority in the performance of its functions.

vii. Contributions made by members of the Scheme.

viii. Monies accruing rom the National Insurance Commission under section 198 of the Insurance Act, 2006 (Act 724).

General analytical review of 2011 receipts and payments

For the year 2012, a total amount of GH0853.5 million was approved. This amount is made up of the following:

GH¢749.16 million was received from the Ministry of Finance.

GH¢104.35 million was received as other receipts.

Of the GH¢749.16 million received from the Ministry of Finance GH¢229.44 million relates to arrears of 2011, while GH¢519.72 million represents NHIL receipts for the year 2012.

Total payments made for the year 2012 amounted to GH¢872.90 million.

Net cash position of the Authority as at the end of the year 2012 declined by GH¢19.39 million.

Comparative analysis of collections and receipts

The Authority budgeted GH¢682 million as NHIL/ SSNIT collections for 2012. However, the collection reports stated that a total amount of GH¢713.48 million had been collected by the revenue agencies for 2012. Out of this collection, only GH¢519.72 million of the collection was received by the NHIA for the year

2012.

Review of investment performance and positions in 2011

Investments of the Authority are in fixed deposits with banks and in promissory notes issued by Ministry of Finance (MoF). As at January 1, 2012, the principal value of the Fund was GH¢163.22 million but this balance rose to GH¢184.36 million at the end of 2012.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joe Ghartey) 10 p.m.
On the basis of MOF Budget Statement for 2013, the National Health Insurance Fund is expected to realise an amount of GH¢917.86 million from NHIL and SSNIT contributions in the year 2013.
Premium from informal sector
The premium from informal sector is budgeted at GH¢43.13 per million. This represents an average premium of GH¢13.56 per member for an active membership of 3,182,964 for the informal sector in 2013.
Interest income from investment
The Authority expects to earn total interest income of GH¢31.27 million from its investment portfolio.
Processing fees and other income
The Authority expects to earn a total amount of GH¢18.23 million on processing fees; provider credential fees, motor insurance fees, and sale of tender documents.
Funding gap
The funding gap is GH¢118.26 million. This is expected to be financed by Government from its contingency vote for
2013.
Registration coverage
The population of Ghana in 2012 is estimated at 25.03 million; and the projection for 2013 is 26.13 million. Current registration figures indicate that 18.5 million of the total population of Ghana had been registered. Of this number, active membership was 8.64 million (as at September 30, 2012). Currently, only about 34.5 per cent of the total population constitutes active members of the NHIS.
The Authority plans to intensify efforts through massive membership campaigns and policy reforms to encourage enrolment and renewal of membership. It is therefore, estimated that 38 per cent of the population or 9.93 million would constitute the active membership of the NHIS in 2013. This is about 14.9 per cent increase over the active membership base in 2012.
The allocation of the Fund is therefore based on the assumption that 9.93 million of the population in Ghana will access benefits under the scheme in 2013.
Average premium per head
Average premium rates per member (informal sector) in 2012 was GH¢10.81. In 2013, it is planned to strengthen controls over the CPA system in order to improve premium collections and accountability, and also reduce leakages. If is expected that the average premium per member would increase to GH013.56.
Average claim bill per head
The average claim bill per active member in 2011 was GH¢66.82. In 2012 the cost rose by 10.9 per cent to GH¢74.12 per active member. The average encounter per member declined from 3.27 in 2011 to 3.1
SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGE 6 -

in 2012. However, the average cost per encounter rose from GH¢20.43 in 2011 to GH¢23.91 in 2012.

In 2013, we anticipate a 25 per cent increase in claims cost per encounter on the account of the following factors:

Expected inclusion of the following in the benefit package; family planning, mental health, prostate cancer, childhood cancer, physio- therapy and the physically challenge.

The effect of the recent increase in tariffs by 20.5 per cent.

Expected increase in medicine prices by 22.5 per cent.

In 2013, we expect growth in membership to occur evenly throughout the year. We also anticipate the encounter rate for existing members to be 3.1, while that of new members is expected to be proportionally to the time of joining the Scheme in 2013. Under these assump- tions, we expect the average encounter rate per member in 2013 to be 2.95.

With the expected increase in claims cost by 25 per cent in 2013, claims cost per encounter and claims cost per member are expected at GH¢29.89 and GH¢88.17 respectively.

Determination of allocation of funds

Based on the above allocation formula and the objectives of the Fund, the following criteria for the allocation of the Fund as described by Act 852 shall be applied.

Subsidies for the exempt group

For the purpose of implementing the object of the Fund, section 77 (2) of Act 852 stipulates the setting aside of some monies from the Fund to provide for health care for the indigents, and by extension, the exempt group.
SPACE FOR SPACE TABLES 10 p.m.

Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second this Motion and urge Hon Members to also support it.
We have discussed the issues in camera and you know that one of the contentious issues is what the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole has indicated, the caveat.
It is because in terms of all the things we say, the formula is a procedure of Parliament and the Appropriation Bill which we have just passed, when it is assented to by the President, becomes law and that nobody can go against it. But the formula needs to be in place and one thing that is important is that, we have agreed that the budget indicates GH¢917 million but it is possible we can get more. So, when we get more, what do we do with the money? We still have to use the formula to apply.
Now, the National Health Insurance Authority was well advised by this same Committee that from next year onwards they should insist on bringing upfront the incomes that they are likely to get to add to the part of the budget of the Ministry of Finance, so that this issue of budgeting or approving a formula based on a different figure other than the one which has appeared in the budget, would be resolved once and for all.
If you also look at the problems of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the purpose for this year's formula is to focus on the core business of the National Health Insurance and Hon Members were asking questions about what would happen about some things. But I can assure that we should all be concerned that with the new Act, Act 852, I urge you that the concerns that have been expressed were well captured in the new Act, so the concerns that were expressed about undue delay in releasing of funds, would not occur again.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I ask all of you to vote massively -- [Interruption] -- Those who are saying I should conclude, they will have no word to say again. This is because I have spoken on their behalf -- [Laughter].
Mr Speaker 10 p.m.
Hon Members, Motion moved and seconded.
Hon Members, I have taken the sense of the House into account. So, I will call on the Hon Second Deputy Speaker if he wants to wind up, to do so, otherwise, I will put the Question.
Mr Ghartey 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not intend to wind up.
Mr Speaker 10 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate on the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 10 p.m.
Accordingly, the proposed formula for the disbursement of the NHIF for the year 2013 has been approved by the House.
Hon Majority Leader, is there any other business, otherwise, I will call on the Leaders to give their concluding remarks and then we can have the House adjourned?
Dr Kunbuor 10 p.m.
There is no other business, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader -- [Interruptions] -- Hon Deputy Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Bimbilla.
Mr Nitiwul 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker I am the Member of Parliament for Bimbilla.
Mr Speaker, I thought the Members were not speaking into the microphone - - but they were sending me a coded message and I know you would respond to that message before I speak.
CLOSING REMARKS 10:10 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:20 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader.
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 10:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the First Meeting of the First Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic ends today, 27th
March, 2013. As custom demands, I present to the House the summary of Business transacted during the Meeting.
Mr Speaker, given the long hours that you, your Deputies and Hon Members had to Sit for the past two and a half weeks in order to complete the business scheduled for this Meeting, I have no doubt that we are all exhausted as of now. I, therefore, wish to seek leave of the House to highlight a few of the businesses transacted.
Mr Speaker, this Meeting was particularly challenging but I am glad that this House was able to rise up to the challenge.
Mr Speaker, the House was called upon to perform three key constitutional responsibilities during this Meeting -- Debate the Message on the State of the Nation presented by H.E. the President in accordance with article 67 of the Constitution; approve the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2013 financial year; and approve nominations by H.E. the President for appointment as Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State.
These responsibilities were discharged by the House, 50 per cent of whose Members were new and who needed time to learn the practices, procedures and nuances of parliamentary work. I wish to congratulate Hon Members, particularly the new Members popularly referred to as “Level 100 MPs”, for the fast pace at which they learnt the practices and procedures of this House.
This gives me comfort that the resources expended at the orientation workshops by the House as a whole and the Majority and Minority Caucuses yielded the desired dividends.
Mr Speaker, the Meeting witnessed some significant developments that are worth mentioning. Our Colleagues from the other side decided to waive their right to participate in the presentation and debate on the State of the Nation Address and also the vetting and approval of the nominees by the President for appointment as Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State.
Mr Speaker, as I indicated in my contribution to the debate on the State of the Nation Address, in a democratic dispensation such as the one we are practising and in every social endeavour, the right to waive one's right is always permissible. It is in that context that we must respect the decision by the Minority not to participate in all businesses of the House. The unfortunate thing with this decision, however, is that this House lost the opportunity to benefit from the input and wise counsel of an important segment of this House.
I do concede that my Colleagues presented their version of what they believed was the state of the nation. Unfortunately, that information was presented outside the floor of this House and was therefore, not part of the record of the House and also not subjected to the critique normally associated with debates on the floor.
Mr Speaker, it is in this light that I am happy with the decision of the Minority to participate in the debate and approval of the Budget Statement. This House benefited from the rich and experienced contributions from our Hon Colleagues and I believe our country Ghana is the victor in this regard. I hope and pray that this action by my Colleagues would mark the beginning of their full participation in all businesses of the House.
Mr Speaker, our parliamentary democracy is still relatively young and therefore, it is important that we all guard and protect the dignity and sanity of the House and other institutions of State. It is for this reason that I wish to call on Members to refrain from acts that impugn the integrity of the House, particularly on ceremonial occasions such as attendance upon the House by H.E. the President to deliver his Message on the State of the Nation.
It is my humble opinion that the display of printed material on the floor directed at the President on the occasion of the President's presence in the House to present his Message on the State of the Nation does not uphold the dignity of this House and we should all endeavour to refrain from such acts.
Mr Speaker, one of the primary responsibilities of a Parliament is the passage of the Appropriation Bill. This House dutifully discharged this responsibility notwithstanding the limited time available to the House. The Budget Statement and the Appropriation Bill were debated and approved within a three (3) week period.
Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the challenges of the Hon Minister for Finance and his technical staff in putting together the budget for presentation in the first week of March. The Minister was appointed during the latter part of January 2013 and therefore, had only one and a half months to put together a budget. I therefore, commend the Minister and his team for this feat.
I would, however, urge the Hon Minister to ensure that the 2014 Budget is presented to Parliament early to allow the House enough time to scrutinise the estimates.
Mr Speaker 10:30 p.m.
Hon Members, this First Meeting of the First Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic ends today and I am grateful to the Almighty God for giving us the strength and good health to accomplish our mission for this Meeting.
Hon Members, undoubtedly, you deserve commendation for concluding on schedule, the enormous tasks we had to deal with from the beginning of this Meeting.
We have discharged some of our key constitutional responsibilities during this Meeting, which include the election and the swearing-in of the Speaker and his two Deputies, the swearing-in of the Members of Parliament, the composition of the various committees of the House, the swearing-in of the President before the
House, the delivery of the State of the Nation Address by the President before the House, and the presentation of the Budget and Financial Policy and the passage of the Appropriation Bill. We have also approved the formula for the National Health Insurance and the GET- Fund.
I am blessed to have had the able support of my two Deputies in steering the affairs of the House. Furthermore, the support and guidance of the Leaders from both sides of the House were essential in resolving several issues which would otherwise, have been a drag on the pace of work in the House. I am of the firm conviction that this co-operation and cohesion would continue for the rest of the term of this Parliament in furtherance of our national interest.
Hon Members, let me also take this opportunity to commend you for your resilience and commitment to the work of the House. The House had to extend its Sittings beyond the normal time allotted to ensure that business scheduled for the Meeting was completed.
In spite of the enormous strain, physical and mental exertion you experienced during the just ended December, 2012 General Elections, most of you turned up at committees and also at plenary Sittings of the House to contribute meaningfully to the debates. I am proud of your efforts and believe your constituents feel the same.
I do also express my sincere thanks to the Clerk and his able and dedicated staff who have been working hard behind the scenes to keep the work of the House running and to provide the necessary support for our work. I also recognise the other auxiliary services in the House -- the paramedics, the Ghana National Fire Service and Police detachments for their professionalism and the essential service they render.
Finally, I thank the members of the Parliamentary Press Corps for their coverage of the House and its proceedings, without which much of the work we do, may not have been made known to the people we represent. It is my fervent hope that they would continue to foster a positive relationship between the House and the public through the much desired professional and objective reportage.
Hon Members, you deserve to take a good rest during the Easter recess. It is my fervent prayer that the Almighty God would continue to shield us throughout the recess and bring us back to the House when the time is due.
I wish you all a pleasant recess and enjoyable Easter celebration.
The House is now adjourned sine die.
Thank you.
ADJOURNMENT 10:30 p.m.