Debates of 12 Dec 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:15 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business -- Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would take item 4.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Item 4 (a), by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
PAPERS 10:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Item 4 (i), by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Dr Kunbuor 10:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I hear from item 4(i) onwards, the Papers are still being worked on. They are not ready; so, we can move to item 5.
Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon Members, item number 5 -- Motion.
CONSIDERATION OF ANNUAL 10:25 a.m.

ESTIMATES 10:25 a.m.

Prof. Yaw Gyan-Baffour(on behalf of the Chairman of Committee) 10:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion and in doing so, present the Report of the Committee.
Introduction
In accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution, the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December, 2014 to Parliament on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013.

[PRO GYAN-BAFFOUR][PRO GYAN-BAFFOUR]

Pursuant to Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimates of the Public Services Commission (PSC) to the Special Budget Committee for consideration and report.

Deliberations

The Committee met with the Vice- Chairman of the PSC, Dr. Lawrence A. Kannae, officials of the PSC and the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, 3 rd December, 2013 and considered the referral.

The Committee extends its appreciation to the Vice-Chairman of the PSC and all officials present at the Committee's sitting for their input.

Reference documents

The following Committee made reference to the following documents during its deliberations:

a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.

c. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 Financial Year.

d. The Public Services Commission Act, 1994 (Act 482).

e. Report of the Special Budget Committee on the 2013 Annual Budget Estimates of the Public Services Commission.

Mandate of the Public Services Commission

The mandate of the PSC is to safeguard and promote integrity, accountability and competence in the Public Services in Ghana through the rendering of advisory, consultative, regulatory and supervisory services. In pursuit of its mandate, the PSC envisions to be a Commission whose guidelines and advice result in a well- managed workforce capable of and committed to delivering high quality services for accelerated growth and development.

Functions of the Public Services Commission

As provided for in section 4 of the Public Services Commission Act, 1994 (Act 482), the functions of the PSC include the following:

i. To advise Government on the criteria for appointment to public offices as well as persons to hold or act in public offices.

ii. To prescribe appropriate systems and procedures for the management of personnel records with the public services.

iii. To identify, explore and promote the recruitment of suitable personnel into the public services, acting in collaboration with educational institutions.

iv. To undertake planning of the manpower requirements of the public services using data from the educational institutions and other sources.

Policy objectives of the Public Services Commission

The PSC's broad sectoral policy objectives for the 2014 - 2017 medium-term are as follows:

a. Enhance supervision and productivity in the public service.

b. Establish a reliable Public Service Human Resource Management Information System.

c. Promote excellence in people management.

d. Strengthen public sector manage- ment.

e. Improve the working environment and conditions.

f. Ensure the promotion of HIV/ AIDS/STI/TB transmission, its proper management and promote healthy lifestyle.

Review of 2013 Budgetary Allocation

For year 2013, an amount of five million, fifty-two thousand, five hundred and fifty-

nine Ghana cedis (GH¢5,052,559.00) was allocated to the PSC for its programmes and activities.

The breakdown of the amount was as follows:

GH¢

Government of Ghana (GoG) -- 2,182,197.00

Internally generated funds (IGFs) -- 28,411.00

Donor support -- 2,841,951.00

Total -- 5,052,559.00

Out of the GoG allocation of GH¢2,182,197.00, the Committee noted that as of October, 2013, the Ministry of Finance had released a total amount of GH¢3,424,648.05 to the PSC. The releases by the Ministry of Finance as against the approved GoG allocation and actual expenditure of the PSC is shown in Table

1.

Table 1

Disbursement of funds approved and actual expenditure (January - October 2013)

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE

6 - 10.25A.M.
Dr Anthony A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Public Services Commission (PSC) is a very important institution in Ghana. These days that we have gone to the Single Spine Salary Structure, we have a role being played by the Head of Civil Service in terms of human
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon Member for Wenchi, I would want you to clarify the position made by the Hon Member for Old Tafo. If you look at page 4, your own Report indicates that it is GH¢5,052,559. But when you come to page 8, the last column, you are telling the House that total allocation is GH¢3.4 million. I hope you have got the point?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have got the point.
I believe the Table 2 was actually dealing with the GoG allocation rather than the entire allocation. This is because it was trying to compare the allocation for
-- 10:35 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Then, you have to qualify it because if you look at the headnote, it is “2013 Approved Budget and Releases/2014 Budgetary Allocation”. If you can put “GoG” in bracket there, then it can clarify the position. Otherwise, as it is, the Hon Member for Old Tafo is right.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:35 a.m.
I believe he is right.
Mr Speaker, we may have to revise Table 2 to “Approved GoG allocation for 2013 and 2014”.
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Amended accordingly.
Have you amended it?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:35 a.m.
I am hereby amending it to include that.
I am amending the heading of that table to “2013 Approved Budget (GoG Allocation)”.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:35 a.m.
The donor component issue has not been addressed. It has not been talked about at all. So, one would want to know what happened to the GH¢2.84 billion reported on page 4. There is no information --
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Yes, there are two issues you have raised. At least, for the figures to make sense, by the amendment now, we can now explain the figures.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:35 a.m.
No! But that amendment must equally apply to Table 1. Table 1 must also be amended accordingly.
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
To add “GoG Allocation”?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:35 a.m.
Yes.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, he is right. Table 1 too must be amended to reflect the GoG..
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
The next question is what is the status of the donor-support to the Public Services Commission for the year under review, that is, the 2013.
Did you interrogate that matter at the Committee?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that was interrogated.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:35 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, it appears this Report is not complete because what the Hon Member is stating is not reflecting in the body of the Report. I would be grateful, Mr Speaker, if he could, by amendment, locate what he is saying in a particular portion of the Report.
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon Member for Sekondi, that is why, whatever the Committee does, they bring it to the floor of the House. We take the final decision. So, it is during the processes of raising the relevant and legitimate questions that issues are clarified.
The Report that was read and captured in the Hansard for us to have -- the Committee might not put something there but if during the process of the debate the issue is clarified, we cannot say he should withdraw it. Now, he has clarified it, in my view.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not asking him to withdraw it. I am saying that he should read whatever he stated into the body of the Report by way of amendment to make the Report complete.
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
But the explanation in the Hansard will make it complete.
Hon Member for Sekondi, there are two ways of going about it.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the rules are in your bosom. I would not challenge what you have said. I agree.
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
No! There are two ways of going about it; yours is one; the other is that, the House then raises legitimate questions and through the process of further explanation, as the Hon Member for Old Tafo and your goodself have raised -- he has clarified the position -- So, taking it together, if the House is satisfied with the explanation, then we should proceed.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am satisfied.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the clarification is that, the amount was never received. It will be good to know why it was not received, so that we capture it properly. In that vein, would have a full picture because if we go back to the records and we do not know why it was not received, the Commission does not have any corrective measures to make sure that it does not happen again.
As it is, going to 2014, assuming that they are expecting more donor funds and they do not know why it did not come, we will not know how to proceed. So, the House can make the appropriate recommendations to whoever is in charge --
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
But for 2014, there is no donor support allocation -- See page 8 of the Committee's Report.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you looked at page 4, paragraph 7.2: “Out of the GoG allocation of GH¢2,182,197.00, the Committee noted that as at October…” This is what has been allocated. So, that table, actually, is referring to the GoG allocation.
Of course, Hon Members were right by saying that maybe, the donor support was not released. Yes, that was what the Committee was told. But why it was not released, the Hon Member knows very well that it is usually the Hon Minister for Finance who will know why it was not released and not the Public Services Commission.
But I was just surmising that it could well be that because it may have had a counterpart fund and that was not available, that was why they could not do it. But as far as we are concerned, it was
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
At least, we know that it has not been released.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:45 a.m.
Yes.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a point that Parliament has to take a strong stance on because littered throughout the Special Budget Committee, we find that donor components were hardly released, including Parliament. We will discuss Parliament and we will realise that for all the allocations that came, Parliament's donor component was never released. So, it is an issue that the House should take a stance and we discuss?
Thank you.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, do you have something to say before I put the Question.
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not have much to say, other than that, this year has been a very challenging one and we have had difficulties with the donor partners.
Mr Speaker, it is true that we could not get the releases for the donor amount but this is because the donors have not released that and we cannot hold them to that. It is up to them to release it.
Mr James K. Avedzi 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a point that I would want to draw the House's attention to.
Mr Speaker, on page 4 --
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Are you contributing?
Mr Avedzi 10:45 a.m.
It is a contribution, actually.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
Mr James K. Avedzi (NDC -- Ketu North) 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 4, paragraph 7.2, the Hon Chairman says that out of GoG allocation of GH¢2.1 million, the Committee noted that as of October, the Ministry of Finance released an amount of GH¢3.4 million. I would want a clarification. Can GH¢3.4 million come out of GH¢2.1 million? That is the clarification I am seeking.
The second one is Table 1 -- If one looks at the amount released for compensation of employees, the actual expenditure is GH¢2.9 million. If you look at goods and services, the amount is GH¢273,479.88 and the actual expenditure is GH¢487,637.55. There is a variance there, which is the actual -- Then the total column is misleading.
The total amount released is GH¢3.4 million but if one looks at the total expenditure (from Table 1), it is only GH¢836,684.00, which is a sum of GH¢2,914,800.17 and others. If one sums all of them, it cannot be GH¢836,684.00. So, he should clarify that one as well.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
It is true. He should add up and give us the figure.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance has just told us that it was a challenging year. One would expect that at least, donor inflows did not come in.
Mr Speaker, I am looking at --
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, what are you doing because you have spoken?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
Because his explanation
-- 10:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Please, you have addressed the House. After the Report was presented, you were the first person I called. And you spoke and raised a legitimate question. Unless it is a point of order, the rules of the House allow you to speak only once.
So, what exactly are you doing, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
It is a point of order.
The Hon Deputy Minister is misleading this House. His explanation is that donor inflows did not come in. Mr Speaker, if he can go to pages 206 and 207 of the Budget, under “Project Grants, Programme Grants, Project Loans, Programmes Loans” -- all of them, according to him, are what they expected. So, it cannot be that the moneys did not come in. The data he has provided us does not support what he is saying. So, it has to be something else.
Mr Speaker, he should check the Tables.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, what do you want to say?
Mr Forson 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just to let you know that what I said, that the year indeed, we witnessed the donor financing not coming in very regularly. We still have something that we are clearing with the donors. But I can also confirm that as we speak, donor funding has started coming in but I cannot confirm how much we have paid to date. But at the time of the Budget, Mr Speaker, the donor amount for PSC had not come in and we have not made any payment to them.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, let us take the issues one by one and then I will put the Question because --
Hon Member for Ketu North, you raised an issue -- have you done the addition?
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Is that correct?
Hon Member for Wenchi, would you amend that figure? On page 4, column 4, you have GH¢836,684.00 under actual expenditure as the total. So, would you amend it -- it should be GH¢3,638,805.72.
Yes, while we are waiting for the Hon Member for Wenchi, Hon Dr Kunbuor --
Dr Kunbuor 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have been a bit worried about the nature of the procedure; and if we continue along those lines, it is actually my respectful opinion that we would hardly make progress in this House. This is because a matter is raised and we are trying to resolve it on the floor, a counter-matter is raised and we add it and we are trying to resolve it. It seems to have no end because of the order in which these things are done.
So, it will be actually be my view, Mr Speaker, that if one matter is raised by an Hon Member or when an Hon Member catches your eye, he should raise all the concerns and then they can be taken on board, done in a neat manner, so that other Hon Members will have the chance to also make a contribution.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, your concern must be legitimate but in this case, we have dealt with the issue that he raised. The first issue that he raised was with regard to pages 4 and 8 in terms of the Table and the information made available. We have dealt with that in terms of the donor support and the GoG.
But in the process, it is the Hon Deputy Minister who made the comment and that is why another issue cropped up. At that point, he could not have raised those matters. At the point, the Hon Member for Old Tafo was on his feet, the Hon
Deputy Minister for Finance had not spoken. So, when he spoke, then he referred us to pages 206 and 207 of the Budget Statement with regard to donor support. It cropped up as a result of the issue raised by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance. So, he could not have known that he was going to make that comment to raise it at the time that he raised the issue.
But I believe we have resolved all the issues now and I am just about to put the Question.
Dr Kunbuor 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is precisely what I am saying. The circumstances under which the Hon Deputy Finance Minister had the floor are not clear to me. This is because, perhaps, it was Mr Speaker's pleasure to let him clarify the point. But the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance did not have the floor at that particular time to have made a statement for it to be the subject of contention.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, I would want to put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢3,483,805 for the services of the Public Services Commission for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take the Motion under item number 6.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 10:45 a.m.

Prof George Y. Gyan-Baffour (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion; and in doing so, I would like to submit the Report of the Committee.
Introduction
The Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December, 2014 to Parliament on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
Subsequently, the Annual Budget Estimates of the Audit Service for the 2014 financial year were laid before Parliament on Wednesday, 4th December, 2013 in accordance with section 27 of the Ghana Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).
Pursuant to Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of the House, the estimates were referred to the Special Budget Committee Mr Speaker for consideration and report.
Deliberations
To consider the referral, the Committee met with the Board Chairman of the Audit Service, Mr John A. Y. Klinogo and officials of the Audit Service and the Ministry of Finance.
The Committee extends its appreciation to the Board Chairman and officials of the Audit Service and the Ministry of Finance for their invaluable input during its deliberations.
Reference documents
The Committee referred to the following documents during its deliberations:
a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
c. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 Financial Year.
d. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 Financial Year.
e. The Financial Administration Regulations, 2004 (L.I. 1802).
f. The Local Government (Departments of District Assemblies) (Commence- ment) Instrument, 2009 (L..I. 1961).
g. The Audit Service Regulations,
2011 (C.I. 70).
Prof George Y. Gyan-Baffour (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) 10:55 a.m.


Mission Statement

The Audit Service exists as an independent organisation constitutionally mandated to promote good governance through its audits to ensure transparency, probity and accountability, in the utilisation of public funds by:

i. producing timely audit reports;

ii. applying modern auditing methods that are efficient and cost-effective; and

iii. promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources by all, so that value-for-money is realised in the delivery of goods and services.

In line with its mission therefore, the Audit Service aims to be one of the leading supreme audit institutions in the world to deliver professional, excellent and cost effective auditing services.

Objectives

The Audit Service has set out the following objectives towards the realisation of its mission:

i. Improve the quality, timeliness and reliability of audit reports.

ii. Increase public access to audit reports.

iii. Promote increased accountability, probity and transparency in the use of public resources based on value-for-money principles.

iv. Improve the coverage of audits among public institutions.

v. Help increase the capacity of the Public and Civil Service for accountable, efficient, timely, effective performance and service delivery.

vi Strengthen and support human resource delivery capacities.

The above objectives of the Audit Service are linked to three (3) strategic policy objectives of the National Medium Term Development Policy (NMTDP) Framework. These are to:

a. improve fiscal resource mobilisa- tion;

b. improve public expenditure management; and

c. promote transparency and accountability.

Key achievements in 2013

For year 2013, the Audit Service has been able to complete and submitted to Parliament, reports on the Public Accounts of Ghana relating to the Consolidated Fund, Public Boards, Corporations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Metropolitan, Municipal and Distr ict Assemblies (MMDAs), Pre-University Educational Institutions, District Assemblies Common Fund, other Statutory Institutions and Special Audits, among others. The details are as follows:

1,685 MDAs.

382 pre-university educational institutions.

168 MMDAs.

5 Traditional Councils.

The total audit coverage of 2,240 represents 68.9 per cent of the audit target of 3,250 for year 2013.

In addition to the above, the Audit Service recruited 107 officers who are awaiting postings to the regions to beef up its staff strength. The skill levels of 1,500 existing staff were also enhanced with training in new auditing methodolo- gies, among others.

Outlook for 2014

For year 2014, the Audit Service will continue its traditional audit to promote good governance and accountability for the taxpayer, contribute to national
Prof George Y. Gyan-Baffour (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) 10:55 a.m.


GH¢

1. Compensation of employees -- 99,512,430.00

2. Goods and services -- 14,702,862.00

3. Assets -- 4,900,500.00

Total -- 119.115.792.00

The Audit Service has two Budget Programmes namely, Management and Administration and Audit Operations. The breakdown of the total allocation of GH¢119,115,792.00by Budget Programmes (Economic Classification and Projects) of the Audit Service are shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1

Expenditure by Sub-Programme, Economic Classification and Projects for Programme 1 (Management and Administration)

Table 2

Expenditure by Sub-Programme, Economic Classification and Projects for Programme 2 (Audit Operations)

SPACE FOR TABLE 1: - PAGE

7 - 10.55A.M.

Observations and recommendations
Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Majority Leader just moved the Motion item number 6 but the figure is incorrect. It is not GH¢132, 252,052.00 because if you read the Report, you will see that it is GH¢119,115,792.00. Your Motion calls for GH¢132 million. So, I believe you should amend your Motion so that we look at the right number.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
But we have to find out first which one is the correct figure.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
The correct one is GH¢119 million as is in the Report. So that Motion needs to be amended, otherwise, we will run into problems.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
How do you know the correct one is GH¢119 million?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
In the Budget Statement.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is right. I believe the Table Office probably, quoted the wrong figures here. But it should be GH¢119 million as pertains in the Budget.
SPACE FOR TABLE 2: - PAGE
8 - 10.55A.M.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Minister for Government Business in Parliament, what is the correct figure?
Dr Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the correct figure is what is in the estimates, because the Table Office has cross- checked it.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, you know that at times when you go to a committee, the figures change. It is different from what is in the budget estimates. It has happened several times in this House, where you go to a committee and the figures change.
So, let us be sure.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what the Hon Member is saying is that the Report is GH¢119 million, the Budget is GH¢119 but the Motion on the Order Paper is not GH¢119 million and it should be GH¢119 million.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, amend your --
Dr Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
So, Mr Speaker, I amend Motion number 6 to reflect the figure that is actually at the back of the Report of the Committee.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
What is that figure?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the exact figure is GH¢119,115,792.00.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, my attention is being drawn to a very important point you need to reconcile and be sure, so that we can put the right Question. It is like what we are likely to experience with regard to Parliament's budget. I am being informed that this document is laid by the President. It is submitted to the House to be laid by the President and I believe the Table Office is using the figure from the President.
Please, we are having a similar problem with Parliament. We could not resolve it. So, let us be sure. We can debate but we will put the proper Question when we are sure of the figures. This is the President's Budget; so, if communication from the President is different from that of the Minister for Finance, in my view, unless there is some good reason, the President's figure takes precedence over that of the Ministry of Finance's figure.
Dr Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess we will have to stand it down and subsequent ones; because we have been having this discussion with the Finance Minister for some time now. But if Mr Speaker will indulge me, we should proceed to approve what the President has brought to this House and which has been laid. Then the Finance Minister would have to do his reconciliation because the Budget is at the instance of the President.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I believe the better procedure is to defer this matter and let us reconcile it before we put the Question; because at the end of the day, there are implications for the Appro- priation Act.
Indeed, the communication that I have received from the Office of the President dated 30th October, 2013, which was forwarded to the Clerk and the Majority Leader, the figure there is GH¢132,252,052, signed by His Excellency the President and this is in line with section 27 of the Audit Service Act. [Interruption] It was laid.
Hon Members, those documents were laid with that of Parliament, the Judicial Service and the Audit Service -- yes -- separately in line with the law. They were laid separately.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe, as the Hon Majority Leader has indicated, we need to be very clear in our minds. The document that has been laid
on behalf of the President is the Budget. That is the document that has been laid. The Table Office might have received this. As far as I am aware, it has not been laid.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, go and check your records before you contradict the Chair.
Hon Members, the law dealing with this matter is different.
Hon Member for Sekondi and Majority Leader, yes, it has been laid.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect, the President has caused an allocation to be done in respect of the Audit Service. That document has been laid. If there is a new figure that is going to be laid, the proper thing would have been to withdraw the allocation in respect of the Audit Service to be substituted by the new one. We cannot have two documents laid on behalf of the Audit Service. We cannot have that.
Dr Kunbuor 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let us get this situation a bit clear. The President has a general constitutional power to cause the financial policy to be laid in this House.
In addition to that, the President has specific constitutional and statutory powers to cause particular estimates for particular MDAs to be brought to this House and that is communicated under the authority of the relevant constitu- tional article of the statutory provision. I have received a copy of that communication and we are saying that, that communication is specific to particular MDAs which should take precedence over the general constitutional power in the laying of the financial estimates.
If there is a conflict between things in a document, you resolve it by interpretation. I am saying the legal position is that, when you have a conflict between documents, you resolve it by interpreting and give precedence to one. It was laid here by -- It was laid. I was here.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe this is something that can easily be resolved. But the problem has been compounded probably because at the Committee, the estimates laid early on by His Excellency the President were not brought to the attention of the Committee. I believe that is the information I am gathering, that at the committee level --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Who chairs the Committee?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
So, Hon Member for Sekondi, when I received the communication from the President, because of the Clerks- at-the-Table's work, I minuted it jointly to the Hon Majority Leader and the Clerk to Parliament.
I minuted it to the Hon Majority Leader because he was going to lay it and also because he is the Chairman of the Special Budget Committee.
I minuted it to the Clerk to Parliament because they would process the laying.
I have my minutes here before me, and the practice we have in the Audit Service Act and that of Parliament were inspired by the provisions of the Constitution on the Judiciary.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we ought to make a lot of progress. If this matter, as earlier suggested, could be deferred and then the Hon Majority Leader, who is the Chairman of the Special Budget Committee and the Committee itself, would look at it.
According to the Table Office, it was laid on the 4th of December, 2013, but the acting Chairman, during the deliberations of the Committee did not know that such a document was in existence when considering the estimates. So, if it is deferred, then the matter would be reconciled.
But then the bigger question is that, how come the President laid a document with a figure different from what the Ministry of Finance has laid? I am not saying that we can resolve it here; I am saying that these are matters that would have to be considered before we finalise the appropriation of the figure for the Audit Service.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, if you look at the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 4 th December, 2013, the estimates of three constitutional bodies were laid. The estimates of the Audit Service, Parliamentary Service and that of the Judiciary Service were laid. Your Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 4 th December, 2013 --
Hon Members, if you look again at article 179 (4), which says that:
“The President shall, at the time specified in clause (1) of this article, or thereafter, as and when submitted to him under clause (3) of this article, cause the estimates referred
to in clause (3) of this article to be laid before Parliament.”
Hon Members, this is the procedure we have adopted all this while. There is nothing new and I entirely agree with the Hon Majority Leader, when he said that these are specific provisions dealing with specific institutions. In fact, the one about the Judiciary is in the Constitution. The Audit Service one is in the Audit Service Act of 2000 and that of Parliament was an amendment that this House carried in 2000 to the Parliamentary Service Act.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, actually, we did not sight the document at the committee meeting, but it was observed that the request was GH¢199 million. In fact, in their own Report, that is what they had stated, that the entire request that they submitted to the President was GH¢119,115,792 and that it has been approved by the President. So, in the circumstance, we did not doubt that the figure was different.
But if the President's figure is different from that which we did not sight at that meeting, it may have been laid but we did not sight it; but we based it on their own report and the statement from them that it has all been approved. Mr Speaker, on this --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, I think you should go back and reconcile it. I have a communication from the Auditor-General, addressed to the President and the figure in his own communication to the President is GH¢132,252,152 and this letter is dated 17th October, 2013 and it was supposed to be copied to me and to the Minister for Finance, Director of Budget and the Board Chairman of the Audit Service.
So, go back and reconcile the figures. This is the document submitted to the President, which the President, in line with the law, submitted to my office, which I
also submitted to the Hon Majority Leader and the Clerk to Parliament. This is the document.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think you are right. We will go back and do that.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
What I would want you to do now is that, go back and reconcile and come and report to the House.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we take your advice and maybe, we have to stand it down and then go back and look at it.
Dr Kunbuor 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we should stand it down.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, the Special Budget Committee would be confronted with the same matter with regard to that of Parliament. I do not know of the Judiciary, but that of Parliament; they may also be confronted with the same problem. For that of Parliament, there is an explanation for it.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Parliament one, we sighted it.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Yes. The Parliament one, there is explanation for it.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we are almost talking about the same thing. We need to reconcile it. But I am clear in my mind that, when these things arise-- because in reality, we are also going to have to deal with that of the Electoral Commission. We have the same problem there. So, let us see what better resort to apply.
This is because, in my view, if we have a submission made on behalf of the
President by the Hon Minister for Finance -- and a new one is to be laid which is different from the one that has come before us, the signal should be given to this House, that yes, initially, we had this, but this one supersedes it. But if no such announcement is made, it is made to appear as if we have two documents running pari pasu. But I agree that --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, if you check the Hansard -- and I would recollect that the late Hon Owusu-Ansah made the point several times that these documents should not be part of the Ministry of Finance's estimates. It should be laid in the House. The late Hon Owusu- Ansah made this point based upon -- so, the point is that it has been laid separately in line with the Constitution.
Dr Kunbuor 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on the specific case of the Electoral Commission, at the Committee yesterday, we were very careful. If we do not get specific statutory provision that prescribes this procedure, the mere fact that they are independent constitutional bodies, does not mean that, automatically, they have to follow this procedure.
So, the Committee agreed that given the sensitive nature of the Electoral Commission, some consultations would be done to see whether they can be brought in line with the other bodies. But they do not have a similar statutory for constitutional --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
The law that we are referring to applies only to the Judiciary, the Audit Service and the Parliament of Ghana. It applies to only those three institutions. This particular procedure we are talking about applies to only those three institutions.
There might be another matter with the Electoral Commission, which may be
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.


legitimate. But with regard to the particular procedure, the law that we are referring to, applies to only these three institutions of State.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
I thought we had disposed of the matter, that they should go back and report?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I know, but upon hindsight, if I have your guidance, Parliament must take a definite position on this matter and communicate formally to the Executive on this subject.
Mr Speaker, consistently, for close to a decade, we have had this crisis in how the Executive and the Presidency respond to a constitutional obligation. Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me use the Judiciary to espouse why I think that we must take a definite position and communicate this to the Executive.
Mr Speaker, if you read article 179(3) -- and I am sure I can do same with specific reference to the Audit Service Act and the th ird inst itut ion you mentioned--
“The Chief Justice shall, in consultation with the Judicial Council, cause to be submitted to the President at least, two months before the end of each financial year, and thereafter as and when the need arises --
(a) the estimates of administrative expenses of the Judiciary charged on the Consolidated Fund under article 127 of this Constitution; and …”
Maybe, I will not read (b) and (4).
Mr Speaker, this is where the emphasis is, subclause (5) and I beg to quote 11:05 a.m.
“The estimates shall be laid before Parliament under clause 4 by the President without revision but with any recommendations that the Government may have on them.”
This has been the particular position to guide how the Executive relates to --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, when you refer to the Executive, whom are you referring to? The President has satisfied the requirements and that is why he submitted it to Parliament through my office, which I have done. The problem is coming from the Ministry of Finance.
As far as I sit here, the President of the Republic of Ghana has satisfied the constitutional requirement; he has submitted the estimates for those two institutions to Parliament and that is what we caused to be laid before the House.
Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, the problem is from the Ministry of Finance; that is where the problem is coming from. And I can tell you, I am sorry to say this, but I would have to say it for the records.
In the case of Parliament, when I saw it, the Clerk informed me that they gave us a different figure, different from that of Parliament. I tried to arrange meetings with the Ministry of Finance to have this matter reconciled before it is late and that accounted for the delay in even laying this Paper. It was not done; time was running out and I had to cause it to be laid for the Committee to take a decision for the House to come and take a decision on this matter.
So, clearly, the President has satisfied his constitutional requirements; he has brought those documents to the House to be laid. He has discharged his mandate.
Where the Finance Ministry got those figures from, are matters to be resolved at the Committee.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you would permit me to land, there is more to it that I think as a Chair, you must take interest and direct.
The communication I have seen-- I have had the privilege to serve on the Committee of the Judiciary-- is that the Constitution says “with any recommenda- tions that are made”.Consistently, the letters we have had from the Office of the President are normally just two or three lines without the recommendation. This is what I would want to draw your attention to.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister for Trade, I have seen Hon Ministers who have added recommendations and I have seen some without recommendations.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just on the way forward, may I crave your indulgence to invite the Hon Minister for Finance to begin to look at page 212 in anticipation of the appropriations for those three institutions. This is because the numbers here disagree with what you are talking about, so that we do not run into problems when we get there. All those three institutions, the numbers are wrong.
Mr Forson 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have taken note of that and we would come back to you.
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you know that between you and me on these matters, they are not matters that ought to be discussed on the floor. But there have been not less than one -- five repeated demands, that the Ministry reconciles these figures with the communication.
I have personally intervened; Mr Speaker himself has drawn attention to this on three occasions and if we are on the floor here and the matters have not been resolved, we just can only put it on record that we must be a bit more businesslike in these matters. It is not that the issue was not detected; it was.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would take your counsel and go back and do these things. But the main explanation is simple.
You see, the allocation for the Audit Service for this year is actually GH¢119 million, but they had an arrears of about GH¢23 million and that one was added to that GH¢119 million in the letter that was sent to the President. So, the President has actually approved of this year's and maybe, the arrears that they have.
So, I believe we would have to find a way. If the arrears would have to be paid this year, then they have to be paid. If they are going to be carried over, then we may have to adjust what is in the Budget here to reflect the entire GH¢132. That is how, actually, that problem arose.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Very well. You have almost solved the problem; but we are taking a decision to defer the matter.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
What item are we taking, Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Item number 8, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Item number 8, Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister, are you ready to move your Motion?
Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseini 11:15 a.m.
Yes, I am here and I am ready. But I understand the Report of the Committee --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Who is the Hon Chairman of the Committee? Are the Reports ready?
Chairman of the Committee 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Reports are being put together. They would be brought soon.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, the Reports on the item 8 are being put together; what item are we going to take?
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item 9.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Are the Reports ready; item 9?
Mr Avedzi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I just realised that page 1 of the Report is missing. So, I have called that they supply the page.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what item are we taking; what is the next item?
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the next item is number 10 -- Ministry of Finance.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Chairman, is the Report ready? The Ministry of Finance's Report, is it ready? Very well.
Hon Members, item number 10.
Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to ask permission for the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance to move the Motion.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:15 a.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance, item number 10 -- Motion.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:15 a.m.

Minister for Finance) 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honouranle House approves the sum of GH¢224,246,020 for the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister, you will have to offer justification before the Committee brings its Report.
Mr Forson 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought the Report was going to capture the entire details?
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
If you are not prepared to offer justification, you can defer it.
Mr Forson 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I refer to page 3 of the Committee's Report--[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, this amount would enable the Ministry of Finance to perform its responsibilities as embedded in the law.
Mr Speaker, over the years, the Ministry of Finance has performed a number of duties including the macro- performance of the economy and the general fiscal administration of the country.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢224,246,020 for
the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The 2014 Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) were on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution and Standing Orders 140(4) and 169. This followed the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December, 2014 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth E. Terkpeh.
The Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth E. Terkpeh, his two Deputies, Hon George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, and Hon. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, Heads of related agencies and officials of the Ministry of Finance and discussed the estimates.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister, his two Deputies and the officials for their presentations and clarifications during the deliberations.
Background
The Ministry of Finance is the Government Ministry responsible for effective and efficient management of the economy of Ghana. The Ministry is involved in economic planning, fiscal policy formulation, national accounting and budget preparation and creation of an environment suitable for investment and growth.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following documents during its deliberations:
a) The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
b) The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
c) The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
d) The 2014 Annual Estimates for the Ministry of Finance
Vision and Mission
The Ministry has as its goal, to ensure an efficient and effective management of the economy towards the attainment of upper middle income status and poverty reduction.
The Ministry will achieve this through ensuring economic growth with stability and the promotion of credible and prudent economic management for sustainable development of Ghana and her people through the formulation and implemen- tation of sound financial, fiscal and monetary policies, efficient mobilization, allocation and management of financial resources, establishing and disseminating performance-oriented guidelines and accurate user-friendly financial manage- ment information systems and also creating an enabling environment for investment.
It is the vision of the Ministry of Finance to become a recognised professional organization, providing excellent public economic and finance management to improve accountability and good governance.
Agencies under the Ministry
The Ministry of Finance works through the underlisted agencies to achieve its objectives:
NREG 11:15 a.m.

EITI 11:15 a.m.

Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Haruna Iddrisu -- but I have always wondered why we say “with these few words” even when we speak for one hour. Anyway, that is parliamentary cliché I noticed when I went to the House of Commons, by courtesy of Parliament, that they are not a lot on our side, they just go straight to the point.
Hon Haruna Iddrisu, I know you would say a few words, so do not say it after you have finished.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)(MP) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am just rising to associate myself with the Motion for the approval of GH¢224,246,020 for the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December, 2014
and to make comments on two important issues.
One, Mr Speaker, on the Public Procurement Act. As I read paragraph 4 of your Committee's Report and with your indulgence, I beg to quote:
“The PPA would continue with the assessment of the procurement activities of 1,000 entities to ensure compliance with the provisions of the PPA.”
First of all, why 1,000 entities? Every entity must be policed and monitored effectively, because the truth globally is that, procurement remains the most veritable source of corruption and if we want to deal with the canker, we must strengthen our procurement regime.
I am also aware that the Ministry of Finance has worked on a legislation for a review of the Public Procurement Act, to give preference to local content and local participation. We would be happy to see that dream realised, that we do have a Bill which requires a review of our Public Procurement Act, in order that it can respond to some of these contemporary challenges that we are facing and one that would give preference to local content and local participation.
I would encourage my Colleague the Hon Minister to bring that Bill to Parliament, so that at least, before the end of the first half of next year, it would see the light of day.
Mr Speaker, my second comment is on Public Private Partnership (PPP). We have agreed that we need a strong partnership between the public and the private sector. Cabinet has given policy approval to a PPP policy and it needs to be supported
by legislation. As we speak today, there is no regime governing the public/private relationship and I encourage the Minister for Finance to do that.
Mr Speaker, my final comment is to agree, while responding to him, that I am aware that the President has directed that sole-sourcing should be used rarely and sparingly. In fact, he has defined ceilings and limits when Ministers, Departments and Agencies should use it as a procure- ment source.
So, it is just to assure my Colleague that Government has taken a definite decision on that matter and the President has encouraged value for money and competitive open transparent processes.
Mr Speaker, my final word is to agree with him by refering to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act and to assure him that, if we read, in particular- - with your indulgence, I am looking at section --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Minister, for the records, to agree with who?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon Anthony Akoto Osei, in terms of prioritisation of the Annual Budget Funding Amount where this House, in its wisdom, to save this country from air- drifting towards that popular die-disease, defined four priority areas.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying, while it continues with the old prioritisation, I am also aware, when he rose for the Minister for Finance to lay the Annual Budget Funding Amount, he also made a pledge to this House and he was definite when he presented the Budget Statement, that he would come before this House consistently with Act 815, for a review of the priority list.
With these words, I support the Motion.
Mr Gabriel K. Essilfie (NDC -- Shama) 11:35 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute and support the Motion to approve the Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Finance for the 2014 financial year.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would limit my contribution to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). Mr Speaker, this centre, in my view, is the most crucial centre in the whole Ministry. This is because it is the only centre that would be able to determine tax evasion in our country.
But Mr Speaker, when I look at the amounts that were expended for 2013 and the releases given to them, you would see that the amount they received was less than 25 per cent of what they really intended to have; and when we go to 2014 also, the amount allocated to them, apart from employee compensation, what is going into goods and services is not that adequate.
Mr Speaker, recently, we have had a lot of talks about revenue mobilisation and how we are not being able to raise enough revenue to handle expenditure in
rose
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, we are debating Motion number 10; GRA is Motion number 9.
Mr Essilfie 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I brought in GRA as part of my explanation for the importance of FIC. So, if Hon Members will be patient, they will understand what I am saying.
I am saying that normally, the agency that will look at tax evasion is part of the Internal Revenue Service --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, I asked you the question; so, if you say Hon Members should be patient, you are saying that if Mr Speaker would be patient. I asked you the question, so withdraw that.
Mr Essilfie 11:35 a.m.
Sorry, Mr Speaker. I was not referring to you; because an Hon Member got up and I thought they were the ones who were not being patient. I was not referring to you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
I am surprised that you even said that.
Mr Essilfie 11:35 a.m.
I apologise, Mr Speaker. But I was referring to Hon Members who got up because they were going to say something. I am sorry.
Mr Speaker, because we do not have that as part of GRA and the FIC, we should be able to fund that agency adequately to be able to check the tax evasion that goes on in this country, so that as part of the revenue mobilisations, the necessary revenues would be received to cover the expenditures of the government.
With these few words Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.
Mr James C. Yanwube (NPP -- Tatale/ Sanguli) 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to support the Motion.
Mr Speaker, my problem is, the Ministry of Finance so far, has spent so much on goods and services regardless of the fact that all other sectors have not got a penny to spend. I do not really know why it should be so.
Another issue is this. I am looking at the donor agency grants. It looks as if the amount is decreasing day by day. So, I am thinking that if we have a policy of really relying on the donor agency grants, for years to come and from this time onwards, we would run short of what we need to do. In other words, we should find a way of having our budget and looking at ways to support the budget and really not rely on donor agencies.
Another issue is this. The amounts spent on capacity building -- I do not know the specific amount, but I think we have to limit how much we spend on capacity building. In that way, we would think of what we really need to spend on capacity building as it were. This is because if we continue to spend that much on capacity building without specifically
knowing what we have to spend the money on, we would end up finishing our budget or completing our budget without any meaningful direction.
Mr Speaker, I think with these few lines, I would ask that the budget be supported as it were.
Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur (NPP -- Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem) 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity and I would want to add my voice to the Motion on the floor.
Mr Speaker, what I would want to talk about, is the Report that has come before us. They are very important documents, that when these Motions are approved, these should be documents that could be referred to at any time. But Mr Speaker, if you look at the tables on page 6 up to the last page, page 12, there is no source. How can we refer to this document without a source?
I would recommend that these documents that come before us, tables should begin to have source, so that we could easily refer to those tables.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
I would recognise the Chairman and Hon Hanna Bisiw would make her contribution and we would bring it to an end.
MrAvedzi 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when we talked about approved budget for 2013, that is the source. You made reference to page 12; now, if we look at the table on page 12, the second column talks about approved 2013 budget. That is the source. But if you want us to state it again, we can state it under it. If we look at the actuals, these are usually expenditure returns that come from the Ministries and
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think what the Hon Colleague is saying is that, it would be useful for this House, if for example, under table 2, we put -- source, either approved submitted budget or Ministry of Finance, just under the table. That is the normal practice, so that you go there and say, source, Ministry of Finance, so that somebody can make a reference. It adds to the quality of our report. I think it is a positive suggestion.
Mr Essilfie 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want your guidance because on the issue of source, I am a little confused because, when you go to page 2, it specifically gives you the sources of the information and references there say that the “2014 Annual Estimates for the Ministry of Finance”. All those things are there. So, to repeat it under a table, in my view, it is redundant.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when people make positive contributions, we should move forward. My Hon Colleague should go to the table on Government of Ghana (GoG) budget performance. He is saying that Hon Members should say that the sources are from all those that are listed? It is not possible. It is common practice to state the source under the table. This is an international best practice. I do not know why we are so excited about this. Let us do the right thing. It would help all of us.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Colleagues, do not let us debate too long. But I must confess that what I have seen
is that, Parliament has a certain template and that template seems to be used for all documents. That does not mean that, even though you stated generally, if for example, you say page so, so, of the budget, it does not spoil anything. If perhaps, Leadership would look and look at how we can start improving our reports to make it simpler for reference.
Dr Hanna L. Bisiw (NDC -- Tano South) 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. It has come rather as a surprise.
I would just want to urge Hon Members to approve the budget for the Ministry of Finance for the 2014 fiscal year.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
These are really a few words.
Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- Hon Minister for Finance do you want to
-- 11:45 a.m.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr S peaker, I would yield to the Ranking Member on Finance.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
He has already contributed extensively.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have no more to say.
Mr Agbesi 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I only have to say that, you directed Leadership to look at the way we present our reports to the House. When I saw this thing, I was also convinced that at page 2, when they said “reference.” This had been the pattern that we have been following in the House.
If for some reason, now, Hon Members are saying that we need to improve upon the way we present reports to the House, I think it is alright because, when you look at the tables they have exhibited, you need to go back and look at all the references
and see which of them has been the source for which tables came. But if they had just listed it under the table, then it would have been easy for reference. Your directive, Mr Speaker, I think it is proper and I think that Leadership should look at it and give guidance.
Mr Speaker, I urge Hon Members to approve the estimates for the Ministry.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢224,246,020 for the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
Mr Agbesi 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take item 9, Ghana Revenue Authority's estimates.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:55 p.m.

Minister for Finance) 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢530,444,425 for the services of the Ghana Revenue Authority for year ending 31st December,
2014.
Mr Speaker, for the year 2014, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), among other things, has programmed to carry out a number of programmes that include the completion of work on the Tax Administration Bill, Amendment to the Internal Revenue Act and the Customs,
Excise and Preventive Services Law, to boost the collection of domestic tax.
Mr Speaker, the integration and modernisation of domestic tax by developing and implementing an integrated plan for the domestic tax revenue division, segment tax payers on administered tax by appropriate categories, are one of the major reasons why the GRA would require this vote.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I beg to move.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr. James K. Avedzi) 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
Further to the presentation of the 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana to the House on Tuesday 19th November, 2013 by the Minister for Finance and in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution and Standing Orders 140(5) and 169, the 2014 annual Estimates of the Ghana Revenue Authority were referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.
The Committee met and discussed the estimates with the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. George Blankson and his team, the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh and his deputies, Hon. George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan and Hon Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and officials from the Ministry of Finance. The Committee is grateful to them for their assistance.
Reference documents
In considering the estimates of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Committee referred to the following documents:
Chairman of the Committee (Mr. James K. Avedzi) 11:55 p.m.


The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;

Standing Orders of the House;

The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2014 Financial Year; and

Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791).

Background

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was established by the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791) as a single semi-autonomous public organisation to replace the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Value Added Tax Service (VATS) to centralise, co-ordinate and integrate the assessment, collection, accounting and administration of tax and customs revenue in Ghana.

The objects of the Authority include the following:

Provide a holistic approach to tax and customs administration.

Reduce administrative and tax compliance cost and provide better service to taxpayers.

Promote efficient collection of revenue and the equitable distribution of tax burden and ensure greater transparency and integrity.

Ensure greater accountability to Government for the professional management of tax administration.

Provide a one-stop service for taxpayers for the submission of returns and payment of taxes.

In order to achieve the above objects, the Authority is required to assess and collect taxes, interest and penalties on taxes due to the Republic with optimum efficiency, and to promote tax education and compliance. The authority is further required to combat tax fraud and evasion and to co-operate with competent law enforcement and revenue agencies in other countries.

The Authority has a vision “to be a world class revenue administration recognised for professionalism, integrity and excellence”.

Performance in 2013

For the year 2013, the Authority focused on the enhancement of revenue mobilisation and continued the Integration and modernization of its operations. The following are the specific activities being undertaken:

Continued to conduct special tax audit of companies and set up a special taskforce to monitor rent tax.

Completed work on the draft Tax Administration Bill, draft amendments to the Internal Revenue Act and the draft Customs, Excise and Preventive Service Bill. All aimed at boosting the collection of domestic tax revenue.

Presentation and passage of the Value Added Tax Act.

Conducted a monitoring exercise at selected exemption beneficiaries of various exemption schemes in Sunyani, Cape Coast, Kumasi and

Takoradi with the aim of reducing the abuses in the exemption regime.

Commenced re-registration of Tax Identification Numbers for existing taxpayers.

Summary of 2013 budget allocation and performance

GRA was allocated an amount of four hundred and thirty-three million, five hundred and six thousand, three hundred Ghana cedis (GH¢433,506,300.00) from GOG for the implementation of its activities and programmes in 2013. As at
Chairman of the Committee (Mr. James K. Avedzi) 11:55 p.m.


increase revenue collection and reduce collection cost.

Facilitate the passage of the Tax Administration Bill, Amendment to the Internal Revenue Act, Amendment to the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Manage- ment) law and to strengthen, harmonise and organise the procedures and processes for GRA to effectively mobilise revenue.

Enhance preventive operations and improve Tax Debt Management and enforcement by collaborating with other Government Agencies and other stakeholders.

Integrate and modernise domestic taxes by developing and implemen- ting an integration plan for Domestic Tax Revenue Division, segment tax payers and administer taxes by appropriate categories.

2014 Budget Allocation (GRA)

For the implementation of its planned programmes and activities, the Ghana Revenue Authority has been allocated an amount of five hundred and thirty million, four hundred and forty-four thousand, four hundred and twenty-five Ghana cedis (GH¢530,444,425.00) for the 2014 financial year to be disbursed as follows:

Compensation for employees -- GH¢354,865,825

Goods and services -- GH¢109,547,893

Assets -- GH¢66,030,707

Total -- GH¢530,444,425

The 2014 Budget allocated additional GH¢96,938,125.00 to the GRA as compared to the 2013 allocation. This represents an increase of 22.4 per cent. Detailed analysis is presented in Table 2 below:

Table 2: GRA 2014 Allocation as Against 2013 Allocation

Observations

The Committee has carefully scruti- nised the estimates of the Ghana Revenue Authority and made the following observations:

Revenue performance

The Committee observed that as at 30th September, 2013, actual revenue collected amounted to GH¢9,505.38 million as against a proportionate target of GH¢11,030.03 million for the period, resulting in an under performance of -- 13.8 per cent. The targeted end of year revenue estimates is GH¢15,609.50 million.

The Committee, however, noted that GRA could not meet its revenue target of GH¢11,030.03 million for the period.

Revenue projection for 2014

The Committee observed that the provisional end of year revenue target for 2014 is expected to be GH¢17,109,320,000.00. The Committee is confident that if all the policy measures such as increased VAT rate, introduction of ad valorem tax rate on petroleum products and extension of capital gain tax to cover petroleum operations outlined in the 2014 budget are implemented, GRA would be able to achieve its revenue target of GH¢17,109,320,000.00.

The Committee, therefore, calls on the Minister for Finance to ensure early implementation of the policy measures as stated in the 2014 Budget Statement.

Conclusion

The Committee, after a careful examination of the 2014 Annual Estimates of the Ghana Revenue Authority, recommends to the House to adopt its

SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE

5 - 11.55A.M.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:55 p.m.
Hon Members, we will take a maximum of two contributions each, then we proceed.
Question proposed.
Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah (NPP -- New Juaben South) 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion for the approval of the sum of GH¢530,444,425 for the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Mr Speaker, Matthew 6 11:55 p.m.
21 says: “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. The Ghana Revenue Authority is the source of most of our revenue and so, any amount requested by them, I would freely give if I were the Minister.
We have introduced a number of tax Bills to this House, but unfortunately, we have not been able to work on them: The Revenue Tax Administration Bill, amendment to the Internal Revenue Act and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service Law, all of these are intended to boost the collection of domestic revenue. So, I would urge the GRA and the Ministry to quickly work on these Bills, so that indeed, we can boost our revenue.
For the year 2013 up to September, the projection was to rake in revenue of about GH¢11 billion but unfortunately, the GRA under-performed and could only collect GH¢9.5 billion.
What we saw was that Government's attention was focused on introducing new taxes as we have seen in this House; the VAT rate increase, National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy, Import Levy, all over.

Consistently, we increase taxes, but we do not get the revenue expected. It leaves much to be desired. But what is really happening is that, there are critical issues which we have to address but which we are not doing. For example, we have paid lip-service to widening the tax net; we have said this over and over but there are no measures indicated to, for instance, widen the tax net. There are so many leakages and loopholes in the system; we know but we have been unable to plug these leakages and loopholes.

There are so many individuals and companies that owe taxes to the GRA and consistently, they have been unable to collect the debt owed them. So, I think the GRA should be strengthened, and moneys that they need to effectively do their work, should be given to them and the amount of GH¢530 million being given them now, is a step in the right direction.

Finally, Mr Speaker, on page 6 of the Report, line 3, and Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read:

“The Committee is confident that if all the policy measures such as increased VAT rate, introduction of ad valorem tax rate on petroleum products . . .”

Mr Speaker, from the Budget State- ment, the Hon Minister has indicated that Government's policy is to shift from specific taxes to ad valorem. So, we have seen an introduction of ad valorem tax rate on petroleum products. However, when it comes to the Road Fund Levy, we are seen imposing a specific tax, whereas Govern- ment says it wants to move away from specific to ad valorem.

At the Committee, when we considered this, the Ministry has said the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) insisted that

the tax remains specific. I think that is problematic. So, I urge the GRA to take another look at the Road Fund Levy, which remains specific even though Government seeks to make all taxes ad valorem.

With these, I support the Motion.
Mr Benjamin K. Kpodo (NDC --Ho Central) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to support the Motion, that calls on the House to approve the sum of GH¢530,444,425 for the Ghana Revenue Authority's operations in 2014.
Mr Speaker, I would like to concentrate my contribution on revenue mobilisation --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Your brief contribution.
Mr Kpodo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, over the budget period, there has been refrain from everywhere, that the Ministry of Finance has not released sufficient money to cover operations of various agencies, or the Ministry of Finance has not released money on time. Yet we have not seriously bothered ourselves about mobilising revenue from domestic tax sources.
When we accuse the Ministry of Finance, we forget that in commercial law, we say that “nemo dat quod non habet” -- What you do not have, you cannot give. Therefore, if Ministries and Agencies complain of not having money, our attention should rather be on how to raise the money, so that we can give and the Ministries and Agencies can receive.
Looking at the estimates for the Ministry --
Mr Kpodo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my understanding of “Nemo dat --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
It is a commercial -- You do not have title to the thing, so you cannot give it. We are talking about a different thing. So, please, let us take the nemo dat out for the time being and --
Mr Kpodo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you but what I know is that if you do not have the money, you cannot give it out.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
But it is not the same as nemo dat. When you said it, I looked at the faces of all the lawyers in the House and they were smiling quietly.
rose
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
I am assisting you.
Yes, Hon K. T. Hammond --
Mr Hammond 12:05 p.m.
Thank you very much -- [Interruption]
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
I expect there to be order.
Hon K. T. Hammond.
Mr Hammond 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not so sure about the indication you have just given, if the title does not belong to you, you do not give it out or you do not purport to give it out”. What he is saying would figuratively amount to the same -- “You do not have it and so, you cannot give it.” So, why can he not borrow the legal terminology?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, your lawyer has come to your rescue, so you can use it.
Mr Kpodo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to thank Hon K. T. Hammond for coming to my rescue -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I have noted that, this budget for the Ghana Revenue Authority is asking for, would mean that, to every pesewa spent on the GRA, it would earn us GH¢32. I am beginning to think of whether this is very efficient. Is it possible that we can raise the GH¢17.1 billion the GRA is asking for, by increasing expenditure on GRA? This is because, I premised this thinking on the fact that, there are many taxable units which are not captured within the tax net on which the GRA is making the projection.
For instance, how many hotels do we know are not giving account of what they earn and how much tax we should collect from them? How many small and medium enterprises are not living up to their tax expectations? I think that, if we enhance the work of the GRA, we would be in a position to raise more money to meet the expenditures of the various MMDAs that we have in the country.
I would suggest that, within a short period, there should be a supplementary budget to enhance the expenditures for GRA, so that they can employ more tax collectors, they can get to more tax units that can bring in the added revenue that would reduce our budget deficit and enhance the operations of our MMDAs.
With these words, Mr Speaker, I support the Motion to approve the budget that GRA has asked for.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
I know that you have taken away the “few”. “With these words.” That is good.
Hon Akoto Osei, a few words, then I put the Question.
Dr A. A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know if you are trying to gag me.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Exactly so. I am seeking to gag you.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, would be very brief. Last year's performance on revenue, we all by now agree, has been abysmal. So, any attempts to increase the efficiency of the GRA to do their work, we should all support.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister is here -- I do not know where he is -- he has stepped out. Mr Speaker, you see, I had to speak to the Hon Minister but he is out --[Interruption] -- He is coming. He should not get out. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader said the Hon Minister is coming; he is coming to the House. He should not just say he is coming; he is coming to the House.
Mr Speaker, I would want to remind the Hon Minister that he has given an assurance at Committee, that he would at the appropriate time, brief us on the SUBA-Infosolution issue. So for that reason, I would not go there.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
What is the SUB-Infosolution issue please? What is SUBAH- Infosolution
Dr A. A. Osei 12:05 p.m.
It is a matter of public knowledge that the GRA is alleged to have paid some amount to --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Thank you. Thank you.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you understand? I think that the Committee has requested him to brief us properly, so that Parliament can also be briefed for us to make our judgment. The reason I am saying this is that, if, as we are doing, increasing the budget of GRA, then they
do not need any SUBAH-Infosolutions to help them. The budget has gone from 423 to almost 530, almost by a 100 million. So, there would not be any need to use any external agencies to do the work.
Mr Speaker, I sincerely believe that you increase your revenue not only by increasing taxes. I think that the biggest tool they have, is to improve tax administration. Mr Speaker, I would want to suggest to the Hon Minister, that at least, from my own estimate, GRA, by improving tax administration, can improve revenue by at least, 30 per cent and here, I am being generous. So, any attempt to enhance their capacity by increasing their budget, so that tax administration can be tightened, I think it is in the right direction.
In particular, I think Customs, Excise and Preventive Service should be a matter of priority. Everybody knows what is happening in CEPS. You hear about issues in the bonded warehouses and I think the image of CEPS ought to be changed. So, if you are giving them the 3 per cent of the amount collected and they can do the job, we all support it.
But I think that Customs must be a focus. Not that VAT and IRS cannot bring improvement but I think where we are lacking is the customs and the major places -- Tema, Accra Airport, Elubo and so on. I think, in fairness, GRA needs assistance as it is being integrated to do the right thing and I would want to commend the Ministry for finding it wise to increase their budget.
We would want to await your response to the queries of SUBAH-Infosolutions, that we can see which way forward. This is because we would want to prevent such issues from happening in the future.
Mr Speaker, with those words, I did not say a few -- with those words, I support the Motion.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, briefly, two issues have been captured under “Outlook for 2014” at page 4.
One -- Continue to embark on the exercise to monitor selected exemption beneficiaries in the other parts of the country to reduce the abuses in the system.
Two -- Continued operation of the special tax force to monitor rent tax.
Mr Speaker, I would have expected the Committee to have given it a bit of information on the monitoring of the selected beneficiaries who are abusing the system. This exercise they say they are going to continue; it means that they have already started and they have identified abuses about these beneficiaries.
Mr Speaker, to exempt somebody from paying tax and then go ahead and abuse the system, it is such a serious matter that we must look at. That is why I said that, the Committee should have told us that, this is what they have found -- that in the monitoring, they have found so and so and that they are going to continue with it and then extend it to other parts of the country. Finally, the continuation of the operation of the tax force on the monitoring of rentals.
Mr Speaker, if this thing has been done properly, the country stands to benefit and I am urging the Ministry to do that as a matter of fact.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢530, 444,425.00 for the services of the Ghana Revenue Authority for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Agbesi 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can go back and take item number (8).
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 12:15 p.m.

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢279,656,034 for the services of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point of information is that, the Speaker has directed that when the Ministers move the Motion, they should give a reason; they should not just get up - He just ruled today that, they should not just move the Motion, but give justification.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Thank you.
I think the position is that I do not know whether I am bound by that. Once the person who is presiding at any time takes decisions and Speakers are not bound by decisions of other Speakers. But by convention, I can disregard it; but I will not disregard it. So justify.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the justification is, this amount of money is needed for the programmes and services, payment of compensations for all the staff of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, including all the agencies and departments under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Your justification is not enough.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
Well, Mr Speaker, unless you want me to go into detail for the activities that --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
A little more detail.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
A little more detail-- Mr Speaker, if you must know, the details have been captured in part of the Report of the Committee.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Minister, rest your case.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
Even though the details have been captured in part of the Report of the Committee, Mr Speaker, we have instituted and initiated actions and policies directed towards ensuring the sustainable management of our natural resources and bringing sanity into the administration of land in this country. Mr Speaker, we have also on a policy, determined efforts to rid the mining sector of illegalities both in the large scale and the small scale sectors.
Mr Speaker, our forests are continuously under attack by farmers who want to encroach on the forest reserves for farming purposes, residents who want to encroach on the land for residential purposes and by chainsaw operators who clearly are not interested in following any of the legal procedures laid down by the Ministry and by law for the purposes of harvesting our forest resources.
Mr Speaker, we would need resources to be able to sustainably manage our natural resources and the utilisation of those natural resources for the benefit of the whole country and for the economic growth of this country. And that being so, we would need these resources to be able to perform activities, which activities have been identified and earmarked for the 2014 fiscal year. That is why we are coming before you for these resources.
Question proposed
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Albert Abongo) Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to support the Motion and in doing so, I present to the House, the Report of the joint
Committee on Lands and Forestry and Mines and Energy.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 fiscal year was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance Mr. Seth Terkpeh on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources were accordingly referred to the joint Committee on Lands and Forestry, and Mines and Energy for consideration and report pursuant to Orders 140 (4), 177 and 188 of the Standing Orders of the House.
During the consideration of the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini and key officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the schedule officers from the Ministry of Finance. The Committee lauds the Hon Minister and the officials for their assistance during its sitting.
Agencies under the Ministry
The Ministry has three sectors, namely, Land, Forestry and Mines. The Land sector is managed by two agencies, that is, the Lands Commission and the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands. The Forestry sector is also managed by the Forestry Commission. The Mines sector is managed by three agencies and these are the Minerals Commission, the Geological Survey Department and the Precious Mineral Marketing Company.
References
The Committee used the underlisted as reference materials during its deli- berations:
(i) The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
(ii) The Standing Orders of the House.
(iii) The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
(iv) The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2013- 2015 and the draft Annual Estimates for 2014 of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
(v) The Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for 2014.
Mission Statement
The Mission Statement of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is to ensure sustainable management and utilization of the nation's land, forest, wildlife and mineral resources for the socioeconomic development and growth of Ghana. This is to be achieved through:
(i) Efficient formulation, implemen- tation, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes of the sector agencies.
(ii) Efficient management of public and stool lands as a means to ensure equitable land delivery.
(iii) Promoting effective inter-agency and cross-sectoral linkages.
(iv) Promoting sustainable and efficient forest, wildlife and mineral resource management and utilisation.
(v) Creating an enabling environ- ment for effective private sector participation.
(vi) Promoting effective community participation in multiple uses of land, forest, wildlife and mineral resources.
Objectives
The Mission of the Ministry will be realised through the pursuit of the underlisted objectives:
(i) Develop and manage sustainably, land, forest, wildlife and mineral resources.
(ii) Facilitate equitable access, benefit sharing from and security to land, forest and mineral resources.
(iii) Promote public awareness and local communities' participation in sustainable management and utilisation of forest, wildlife, land and mineral resources.
(iv) Review, update and consolidate existing legislation and policies affecting natural resource management;
(v) Promote and facilitate effective private sector participation in land service delivery, forest, wildlife and mineral resource management and utilisation.
(vi) Develop and maintain effective institutional capacity and capability at the national, regional, district and community levels for land, forest, wildlife and mineral service delivery.
(vii) Develop and research into problems of forest, wildlife, mineral resources and land use.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.


(viii) Build regional and global linkages toward the management of natural resources.

Performance for 2013 and outlook for

2014

Land Administration and Management Programme

The Ministry completed comprehen- sive needs assessment of the Land sector agencies, Customary Lands Secretariat in consultation with Civil Society coalition on lands aimed at developing a capacity building strategy and a 2-year human resource development plan under the Land Administration Project (LAP).

The Ministry completed a new policy on National Spacial Data Infrastructure aimed at reducing duplication and cost among agencies and improving the quality and generation of geographic information. A National Survey and Mapping policy document, which provides the context, direction, guidelines and actions for mapping the entire country was also developed.

A pre-trial manual including the application of written witness Statement and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with the collaboration of the Judicial Service was developed under the Land Administration Project. In addition, the installation of intelligent scanning equipment to speed up the scanning of all manual records and a framework action plan for the sorting and consolidating of all land records was completed.

The Ministry will facilitate the passage of the land and land use planning Bills, refurbish and automate selected courts in Sekondi-Takoradi, Tamale and Kumasi and promote the review of policies on land related fees and taxes.

In addition, the Land Title Registry will be assisted to clear backlog of application for land registration in Accra and improve customary land administration through the establishment of ten (10) customary land secretariats.

Forestry and Wildlife Development and Management Programme

The Ministry will continue with the implementation of the National Plantations Development Programme in order to develop a sustainable resource base that will satisfy the future. To this end, 49,639 hectares of existing plantations will be maintained.

The Forestry Commission is implementing the Accra Eco-Park Development Project as a major ecotorism destination to provide Accra with a nature based recreational facility and also improve the protection and ecological integrity of the forest.

The forest and wildlife resources of Ghana have come under intense encroachment and destruction, especially in forest reserves and wildlife protected areas. Illegal settlements, farming, mining and chainsaw operations are the key threats to these reserves.

The Ministry will therefore, resource five (5) additional forestry protection teams to cover other forest reserves in the country.

It will also continue to promote the development of eco-tourism by implementing concession agreement for the construction of ecologes in Mole and Kakum National Parks.

Land and Maritime Boundary Manage- ment Programme

The Ghana Boundary Commission met the deadline for the submission to the United Nations Commission for the extension of the country's continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles and initiated engagements with Ghana's coastal neighbours towards eventual delimitation of her maritime boundaries.

The Ministry will conclude the continental shelf extension project with the United Nations and facilitate the

delimitation of our maritime boundaries with our coastal neighbours through negotiations.

Mineral Resource Development and Management Programme

Following the establishment of the inter-Ministerial Task Force under the directive of H.E, the President, to flush out illegal mining activities, about 5,000 foreigners engaged in illegal small-scale mining were deported. To ensure effective policing by the Distr ict Security Committees, a new reporting format was developed by the Minerals Commission for illegal mining activities.

In support of small-scale mining, the Ministry is currently undertaking geological exploration of 394 sq.km in 7 different geographical areas of the country to identify mineralised areas for small-scale miners. Exploration at Japa in the Western Region proved viable and mineral concessions are being acquired by small-scale miners.

In compliance with the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, (Act 703), District

Mining Committees were formed and commissioned in some mining areas to assist in the management of small-scale mining.

The Ministry will continue to provide the necessary platform for transparent engagement of all stakeholders in order to promote harmony in the mining sector. To this end, it will facilitate the establishment of a small-scale mining competency training centre at University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa to offer training to small-scale miners in proper mining practices.

To promote Alternative Livelihood Projects in mining communities based on the success of the Prestea-Huni Valley Pilot Oil Palm Plantation Project, another 23,000 acres of oil palm plantation is being established in the Dunkwa-Ayanfuri area of the Central Region. To this end, a 300,000 oil palm nursery was established.

Fiscal mine models on both macro and micro levels to improve mining sector revenue collection, management and transparency was developed and a multi- agency revenue task force established to enhance co-operation and collaboration among revenue agencies and the Minerals Commission.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.


Outlook For 2014

The budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

TABLE 2

Observations and recommendations

Main Ministry

The Committee observed that there had been no releases of budgetary allocation to the Ministry for most parts of the year except for compensation of employees. The situation has affected programmes earmarked for the sector such as the National Plantation Development, Land and Maritime Boundary Programme and the operations of the services of the Ministry.

The Committee recommends that allocations of budget for the Ministry be made available to enable the Ministry carry out its programmes.

Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands

(OASL)

The Committee also expressed worry about the non-payment of royalties by the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL). It came to the fore that payment of royalties have been outstanding since the second quarter of 2012, due to non- releases from the Ministry of Finance.

The Committee would like to appeal to the Ministry to engage the Ministry of Finance to find ways of addressing this problem.

Lands Commission

The Committee took note of some difficulties facing the Lands Commission

such as the lack of manpower and logistical support to carry out its operations.

The Committee further observed that the development of an integrated land information system is a vital component of the Commission's plan to ensure efficient land service delivery.

It is, therefore, important that the Commission be resourced to carry out its responsibilities. The Commission currently does not benefit from the revenue generated from stamp duty.

Having regard to the enormous task facing the Commission to execute its mandate, the Committee recommends that the Lands Commission retain 40per cent of monies received as levies, charges or fees and 6 per cent of the revenue generated from stamp duty.

The Committee urges the Ministry to liaise with Cabinet to expedite action on the retention of its internally generated funds as proposed.

Forestry Commission

The Committee was not happy with the fact that there was no releases for the National Plantation Development Programme which is aimed at increasing the forest cover. The failed releases also affected the private sector investors who had put in so much to grow seedlings for the plantation programme.

The Committee noted that there was ongoing negotiations for the importation of logs from Cameroun as a measure to address the dwindling timber resource that is creating unemployment in the timber industry.

The Committee recommends speedy action for the importation of the logs as that could earn foreign exchange for the country when processed timber is exported.

It is also important to indicate that the current situation in the wild life subsector is not creating a conducive environment to attract private investors into the sector.

Places earmarked for national parks are yet to be developed to tap their economic potentials. The lack of activity in these parks have resulted in encroachment, illegal settlements, farming, poaching, among others.

It is the expectation of the Committee that funds would be provided to the Forestry Commission to enable the Commission continue with the National Plantation Development Programme, the development of ecotourism, and propel initiatives in the timber sector.

Minerals Commission

The Committee observed that in view of the substantial amounts of funds collected by the Minerals Commission from charges on the issuance of licences and other sources of revenue as Internally Generated Funds, the Committee is proposing that the Commission could wean itself from Government subvention, even though in the case of special projects such as the implementation of alternative livelihood programmes that could be taken up by Government.

It was also noted that no provision had been made in the budget of the Mineral's Commission to establish a refinery which will process raw materials, diversify the economy and create employment for the people of this country.

The Committee is, therefore, recommen- ding the development of a comprehensive national policy on value addition to raw materials.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.


The Committee further observed that the illegal small-scale mining operation has greatly reduced following the successful clamp down on illegal mining operations.

The Committee was informed that adequate measures have been put in place to avert the return of the illegal operators. The Committee is urging the Ministry to sustain the achievements so far made.

Geological Survey Department

The Committee also observed that there were insufficient releases of the budgetary allocation to the Geological Survey Department which has affected their operations. The poor conditions of service of staff of the department has also led to the high attrition of critical staff to other institutions.

It is the expectation of the Committee that the Ministry would take up the concerns raised to enable prompt releases to be made to the department; and also resources allocated to improve the conditions of service of staff of the department.

Conclusion

The Committee, having carefully examined the estimates, recommends to the House to approve the sum of two hundred and seventy nine million, six hundred and fifty six thousand and thirty four Ghana cedis (GH¢ 279,656,034 .00) for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the 2014 financial year.

Respectfully submitted.
Mr Dominic B.A. Nitiwul 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are some inconsistencies and I would want clarification from the Chairman before the Ranking Member, actually contributes to the Motion.
On pages 6 and 7, just the figures, first of all, the compensation budgeted for 2013 was GH¢28.6 million and then the actual release was GH¢47 million, almost double. For 2014, compensation is GH¢78 million, that quadrupled the amount that was originally budgeted. The Committee has not told us anything. Why all these huge figures, why the inconsistencies in the figures?
Secondly, when we look at the internally generated funds (IGFs), first, he did not report on the IGFs on the goods and services of GH¢21 million, then he comes and IGFs is GH¢97 million this year
-- 12:25 p.m.

Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, is that your contribution?
Mr Nitiwul 12:25 p.m.
No, it is not a contribution, Mr Speaker. I would want him to explain before --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, it is not Question time; you cannot ask him questions. What contribution you could have done was to have sought clarification from him when he was -- but after he had sat down, you cannot ask him questions. So, you can raise it and if he wants to respond, I would recognise him to respond; but you cannot ask him questions directly.
So, raise it as part of your contribution, I will not call you again -- then when you raise it and he wants to respond, or I can invite him to respond. This is because you cannot seek -- I do not know the procedure you are following.
So, now that you have started, finish with your contribution.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP -- Bimbilla) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not want to challenge you but I could have arrested him before he concluded. But in the same way, instead of arresting him even if he finished as the Chairman of the Committee-- and that was why I did not allow the Ranking Member to speak before. But all the same, I will continue.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to get the clarification on these figures as we move along because it is important for the Committee to respond to these figures.
As we sit now, we do not know exactly what has caused the compensation to rise from GH¢47 million to GH¢78 million and the Committee needs to respond to that particular matter. Are they employing more people? What is the problem? It has not happened anywhere except here. No Committee has reported something like this and the Ministry of Finance has not given us any indication that this is going to happen, anyway.
Secondly, the IGFs -- It beats my mind that in 2013, goods and services, GH¢21.4 million was allocated and now, IGFs for this year alone, is GH¢97 million -- [Interruption] -- No, page 7, GH¢97.663 --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
IGFs is internally generated funds.
Mr Nitiwul 12:25 p.m.
Yes, internally generated funds.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
So, they are projecting that their internally generated funds would increase.
Mr Nitiwul 12:25 p.m.
And then I am just comparing it to 2013 because if they got IGFs of GH¢97 million, it means that in 2013, they might have got IGFs close to GH¢80 million or let us even say GH¢50 million and it has not been reported.
Mr Speaker, so these are the inconsistencies I thought that the Chairman of the Committee could have cleared before the Ranking Member and the other Members would contribute. Or even the Minister can respond.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you would realise that, in 2013, compensation budgeted for was GH¢28,690,741 but that was exceeded, meaning that there was under-budgeting for compensation. So, the 2014 is taking care of the under- budgeting and also imputing the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), and that has come up to the GH¢78,498,216.
Now, the IGFd under the 2013, goods and services was just a lump sum but this time, there is an effort to be more accountable and more transparent in coming out with goods and services. We are saying that the Government of Ghana (GoG), through GoG is providing GH¢8,643,695, and the IGFs through the departments and agencies -- the Lands Commission, the Minerals Commission and the Forestry Commission -- would generate GH¢97,663,175, while donor through the Natural Resources, Environment and Governance regime would contribute GH¢15,786,409. So, that is the explanation to this.
Ms Ursula Owusu 12:25 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Minister did not quite satisfactorily explain why the IGFs have increased. For his information, the fees and charges charged by the agencies under his Ministry were all increased in the recent Instrument, which was passed by this House, and that may account for the astronomical increase in IGFs, which could be generated by his Ministry.
But the Minister seems unaware of that because he did not factor that into the explanation that he gave to this House. This is just to assist the Minister.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was not oblivious of the increases and I did not talk about the increases. I was just saying that we are properly accounting for the IGFs which have been increased. But she has added further and better particulars of the reasons the IGFs have increased that way, but I did not talk about the taxes. It is not that I was oblivious, but I did not think that it was for consumption because this was what we had done here --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
I thought the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources one would be a very simple Motion but it is becoming a bit more complicated than I thought.
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (NPP -- Atwima Nwabiagya North) 12:35 p.m.
Thank you , Mr Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice for the approval of the sum of GH¢279,656,034 for the services of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, in 2013, non releases of funds to the Ministry and its agencies really affected the smooth operations of its programmes. A case in point is the approved amount for the National Plantation Development Programme, which was GH¢24.3 million but in the end, nothing was given to them.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry, in the year 2014, has projected that it is not going to expand the plantation project but rather maintain 49,639 hectares of existing plantations. This though a laudable idea, can only be achieved only if what has been budgeted for them is released and released timeously.
I make emphasis on timeous release of funds because we know that in plantation
development, for instance, if releases go to the Ministry after the rainy season, it will spell doom for the plantations.
Also, the Committee was informed that the total amount needed for the construction of the headquarters building for the Lands Commission was €6.5 million and KSW Germany is committed to provide €3 million while Ghana Government provides the counterpart funding of €3.5 million with an initial deposit of €900,000. For almost four years, this particular counterpart funding has been in arrears.
Mr Speaker, in the 2014 Budget, an amount of a paltry sum of GH¢700,000 has been allocated for the entire Land Administration Project. This amount, even if released, will only support the administration budget of the Project. What this then means is that, again, for another year, the proposed headquarters building will not take off.
Mr Speaker, article 267 (2) (a), (b) and (c) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana mandates the setting up of the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands and part of its mandate is to see to the distribution of mineral royalties to stakeholders.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote article 267 (6) 12:35 p.m.
“Ten per cent of the revenue accruing from stool lands shall be paid to the office of the Administrator of Stool Lands to cover administrator expenses; and the remaining revenue shall be disbursed in the following proportions --
(a) twenty-five per cent to the stool through the traditional authority for the maintenance of the stool in keeping with its status;
(b) twenty per cent to the traditional authority; and
(c) fifty-five per cent to the District Assembly, within the area of authority of which the stool lands are situated.”
Mr Speaker, the last time there was any release to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, it was in the second quarter of 2012. Since then the office has received nothing from the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Speaker, on record, mining companies have paid up to September, 2013, the third quarter, an amount of GH¢47,258,787.19. This amount is outstanding?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I am enjoying the debate of my Hon Colleague, but I regret that I have to come on a point of order because he just sarcastically said that when this House was making noise -- Mr Speaker, he is not making noise and no Hon Member in this House is making noise; if he can come properly.
Mr Owusu-Bio 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word “noise”.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, with respect, he was here. So, why is he saying that we all forgot? Maybe, he forgot, not us.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Akoto Osei, one thing that worries me also is that he said “when this House was making noise”, and he was asked to withdraw it. He said, “I just withdraw the noise”'. So, we have, “when this House was making . . .” [Laughter.] But I overlooked it. He said, “I withdraw the word “noise”'. So, he was making what? Or he should withdraw the whole sentence?
Mr Owusu-Bio 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hansard records got me right, what I said was that I withdraw the word “noise” and substitute “when this House was urging for the release of funds to the National Health Insurance Scheme”, the GETFund
-- 12:35 p.m.

Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, the problem we have is that “when this House was making noise”, when you withdraw “noise”, “when this House was making . . .” is still there. So, now you have substituted “noise” with “when this House was urging”. So, it is “when this House was making . . .” and “when this House was urging . . .” Please, withdraw the whole sentence.
Mr Owusu-Bio 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw the entire sentence and substitute one. The new sentence should read: “When this House was urging for the timeous release of funds for the various statutory Funds, we forgot about the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands.”
Mr Speaker, as we speak, this amount of GH¢47 million, we would want to know where it is and why it has not been released to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands.
Mr Owusu-Bio 12:35 p.m.


Mr Speaker, as we speak, the mining companies, on record, have paid their mining royalties. Since 2012 --They have paid the entire royalties for 2012 and even for 2013, they have paid up to September. So, where is this money? This money is meant, as the Constitution says, for the stakeholders -- these mining communities.

It even says that it should help the traditional authorities to keep up to their status. So, what it means is that we are depriving even the traditional authorities funding for them to keep up their status.

Apart from that, the impression being created in the mining communities is that it is rather the mining companies which have not paid the royalties and if we are not careful, very soon, we will have a lot of agitation within the mining communities who would want to demand their pound of flesh.

As a result, I would like the House to urge the Minister for Finance to improve the status of the chiefs by correcting this illegality which is being perpetuated.

Mr Speaker, all efforts were made to have the Minister for Finance or one of his deputies at our Committee sitting but it was not possible. They kept on bringing us a desk officer who came and all what he could say was that he did not know why the releases had not been done. This is very bad and the Ministry of Finance must always come to the aid of the Committee when they are called upon.

Mr Speaker, I would like to end by asking the House to support this Motion for the approval of the amount of GH¢279,656,034 but on the condition that they immediately release funds to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands for the benefit of the stools --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, how does conditional approval find expression in voting? Do you vote “yes” or “no” or you-- “abstain”? I thought you were approving, and you have created a condition. How does it -
Mr Owusu-Bio 12:45 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. I have created a condition. The condition is that they should assure us that immediately, funds would be released to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands.
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 12:45 p.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to add my voice to this request for approval.
As you are aware, this is a joint Committee Report. The Committee of which I happened to represent, looked at the mineral section of the Ministry.
In going through the request and in meeting officials of the Ministry, the Minerals Commission, and the Geological Survey Department, the Committee came to the realisation that there is a major need for the Minerals Commission to be more aggressive in its regulatory role.
The current practice where the mining sector has rightly drawn public criticism for practices arises largely as result of regulatory failure. And since the Minerals Commission has the statutory responsi- bility to regulate the sector, we on the Committee were of the view that, in approving their estimates, we should make demands for a more robust regulatory regime to protect our environment and natural resource wealth.
The current situation of commercialised large-scale galamsey, that is, if we define galamsey to mean “illegal mining” in any form, whether small-scale or large-scale, arises largely because of statutory
regulatory failure and the Minerals Commission must be held responsible.
In looking at the estimates, Mr Speaker, we realised that the Geological Survey Department, which is our first tier organisation in the management of natural resources, has historically and consis- tently been under funded. It would interest you to note that the highest paid person at the Geological Survey Department does not earn more than GH¢2,400 a month.
This is an organisation filled with geologists, geophysicists, and other high calibre technical personnel, and yet, the remuneration is not commensurate with their status, their training and professiona- lism. Therefore, the Committee would urge a second look at the Geological Survey Department.
If its existence as a Civil Service organisation is what leads to this anomaly, then we would recommend that the Ministry brings to this House appropriate recommendations for a new status.
Mr Speaker, in concluding, the Committee was of the view that, with regard to natural resource management, we have historically exported our natural minerals in raw state with very little value addition. We have religiously restricted ourselves to our colonial role assignment as an exporter of raw materials to be processed in other jurisdictions and for us to import these at a higher value.
It is on record that the terms of trade between raw material export and finished good export is always to the disadvantage of raw material export. I believe that as a sovereign nation, the time has come for this House to insist that value addition must become part of our minerals policy.
With these words, Mr Speaker -- I almost said “with these few words” -- With these words, Mr Speaker, I add my voice for the recommendation of the approval of GH¢279,656,034 for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Mr Francis Manu-Adabor (NPP -- Ahafo Ano South East) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to the Motion on the floor.
Mr Speaker, under the Ghana Lands Policy, all the land sector agencies are supposed to be under one roof. That is what we term the “one-stop shop”. This is supposed to be a building where all the land sector agencies would be housed, so that if you need the land service delivery, you would just deposit your document at one office and go for your result at the other office, without moving from one office to the other.
We are supposed to build this one- stop shop in Accra and Kumasi. But from the budget allocation, the donor agencies are ready with their money because it is a World Bank project, but the counterpart funding is not there. So, I would plead that if it is possible, we get counterpart funding for that project to start, just to put some confidence in the land sector agencies.
From last year, the decentralisation of the Lands Commission was supposed to begin, but to date, we have the Lands Commission only at the regional level. I think we have to start getting offices at the district levels, so that the land services delivery would get down to our people in the villages.
Mr Speaker, in terms of the land title registration, the survey data is digital, so I do not know why we still go to the Lands Commission and do manual search. This is because if you have digital data from the Survey Department, we can super
Mr John Gyetuah (NDC -- Amenfi West) 12:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion that has to deal with the approval of a budget estimate of GH¢279,656,034 for the services of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending
2014.
Mr Speaker, looking at your Committee's Report, the mission statement of the Ministry of Lands and National Resources, is to ensure sustainable management and utilisation of the nation's land, forest, wildlife and mineral resources for the socioeconomic development and growth of the country.
Mr Speaker, looking at your Committee's Report once again, page 5, paragraph 5.4, it is gratifying to note that - Looking at the dangers that illegal mining activities pose to this country -- about 5,000 foreigners engaged in illegal small- scale mining were deported. I believe that at the time, these illegal miners had already caused the harm, and that is the problem.
I would want to appeal to the Hon Minister that as a way of reclaiming the lands that have been destroyed -- When you get to such areas, for instance, my constituency, you will see a whole lot of trenches and sometimes manholes and people are falling into them. Last year, for instance, a school girl fell into the manhole and died.
I would want to appeal to the Hon Minister, as a way forward, that if they
Mr John Gyetuah (NDC -- Amenfi West) 12:55 p.m.


With these few words, I support the Motion.
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP -- Bekwai) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have been attracted to make a comment in view of the revelation that the Government is not paying to the occupants of stools, monies and revenues due the various occupants of stools and the traditional councils.
Mr Speaker, stool land revenue collected, and the portions intended for stools which are not released, in my view, are governance issues. They relate to how much respect the Executive has for the laws we pass in Parliament. [An Hon Member Yes.] In fact, if Government received the revenue and refused to pay out as directed by the laws which empowered them to collect the revenue in the first place, it is a sign of total disrespect for the laws of the land and, in fact, for this House.
This reflects in virtually all the statutory funds that Parliament has created --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
I am tempted to say that we have already -- I thought you would resume your seat.
Thank you.
I was tempted to say that --
This is not policy, but we are just discussing the principle -- But I see that it is on page 8 of the Report. Please, restrict yourself to what is on page 8, just expand it a bit because if we say we are going into all other Funds, we may not close today.
Mr Osei-Owusu 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am trying to use the Report to draw attention to the Executive arm of Government, that the Executive has no power to overlook the laws that Parliament makes and they are bound to respect the laws by paying out as required. In most of the instances, there are time lines given, the period within which they must pay the monies to the agencies or the Fund Managers and so on. But what we do have is that they often treat, particularly the Ministry of Finance, they treat the funds as they choose.
We must emphasise that monies due the chieftaincy institution is not a favour any government is doing the chiefs. It is what the laws have provided, to be paid to them and we must make sure they are done.
Indeed, Mr Speaker, Parliament must not take kindly to this kind of situation where the Ministry of Finance in particular, treats the Funds that have been created by this House anyway they choose. When they refuse to pay Road Fund, GETFund and Health Fund, Parliament must stand up to them and ensure that the laws of the land are respected.
With these words, Mr Speaker, I resume my seat.
Mr Agbesi 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, much as we want the debate to flow, my Hon Colleague on the other side of the House continues to use the word “Government refused”. That is, saying something which is not true. Government runs the country from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. If for some reason a particular release has not been done, that does not mean that categorically, Government has refused to pay.
It is true that some releases are delayed, it is no refusal. Mr Speaker, what I am objecting to are the words, “Government has refused”. The Government's delay in
Mr Agbesi 12:55 p.m.


releasing money does not amount to “Government's refusal”. I believe that he should be guided by the words he is using. Government has not refused to release Funds because delay in releasing the Funds does not amount to refusal.
rose
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, I will give an opportunity to Leadership to round up. This was a point of order.
He rose before Hon Osei-Owusu completed his submission. I recognised him earlier; so you cannot take a point of order on a point of order.
Mr Donald D. Soditey (NDC -- Sawla/ Tuna/Kalba) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has three sectors, namely, Lands, Forestry and Mines. The land sector is managed by two agencies and the forestry sector is managed by the Forestry Commission and the mining sector falls under the Lands and Natural Resources.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is to ensure sustainable management and the utilisation of the nations --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Members, order, especially those who have already contributed; I will not mention names.
Mr Soditey 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Land's and National Resources is to ensure sustainable management and utilisation of the nation's forestry, wildlife and mineral resources for the socio- economic development of the nation.
Mr Speaker, this Ministry has many responsibilities for the betterment of the nation. It is, therefore, prudent for the Ministry of Finance to release funds in good time for the Ministry to carry out its programmes.
Mr Speaker, I therefore, recommend to the House to approve the sum of
GH¢279,656,034 --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
The sum is in the Order Paper.
Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi (NPP-- Asante Akim Central) 12:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
rose
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Anyimadu-Antwi, would you want to yield to Hon Akoto Osei?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just 30 seconds.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 12:55 p.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I need your guidance.
We have before us a Report, and I repeat, of the joint Committee of Lands and Forestry and some Hon Members are talking about Lands and Natural Resources; the two cannot be the same. So, which is which? That is the Committee's Report that we are debating. Is it Lands and Natural Resources or Lands and Forestry?
The Report says “Lands and Forestry”.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Akoto Osei, let us look at the Standing Orders. I believe the Committee's name is “Lands and Forestry” but the Ministry is “Lands and Natural Resources”. So, it
is the Report of the Committee of Lands and Forestry and Mines and Energy on the estimates of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
I can see that Hon Opare-Ansah is looking at the Standing Orders. What does the Standing Order say? What is the name of the Committee?
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you are right; it is “Lands and Forestry”.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Anyimadu, please, continue.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
With respect, this is a very important Ministry that many a time we just overlook such an important Ministry.
Mr Speaker, I am sure your attention has been drawn to the objectives that have been stated in the Report of the Ministry and none of the objectives that have been stated can be ignored. But in order to achieve these objectives, what is most important is the proposals that are made, in respect of the budget, to be realised.
Mr Speaker, if you look at page 6 of the Report, apart from compensations that were overpaid and in three-folds, you would realise that -- four per cent of the amount that was budgeted for goods and services was released. But if you look at assets, nothing was released.
The Hon Ranking Member talked about an expectation of building, the head office. With the greatest respect, if nothing is released for assets, how is the Ministry going to put up the head office? It is just impossible.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the 2013 Budget and the figures that were shown at page 6, I can only conclude that it was a very unrealistic budget to the extent that compensation that was around GH¢28 million -- Well as of now, about 47.5 had been paid. I take consolation in the fact that the budget for the 2014 may be more realistic.
Mr Speaker, if you look at page 7, the last but one paragraph, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“The Committee observed that there had been no releases of budgetary allocation to the Ministry for the most part of the year except for the compensation of employees. The situation has affected programmes earmarked for the sector, such as the National Plantation Development, Land and Maritime Boundary Programme and the operations of the services of the Ministry.”
Mr Speaker, we are in a situation where minerals, timber et cetera are vested in the State. It means that an individual cannot, even if you have a farm as big as anything, you cannot fell timber for your personal use and whatnot. Everything is left to the State. Meanwhile, planting is not done and we keep on cutting the timber. How do we replenish our forest? If we were giving attention to our forest, we could attract investors and get a lot of foreign exchange.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member had referred to article 267(6) of the 1992 Constitution. I would humbly refer the House to article 267(2), particularly paragraph (a) --
Mr Agbesi 1:05 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is still debating along that line. He has not shown this Parliament a cheque he presented and it bounced. [Interruption] Where is it? He should show us a cheque he presented and it was bounced; let us see that cheque.
Mr Speaker, to say that ‘Government refused, “Government has neglected”, that is not the issue. I have said that Government manages the economy from January to December. If by September funds are not released, it is a matter that it has delayed. So, we make an appeal for Government to release the funds; it is not a refusal. I say it is not a refusal. So, that line of debate is not fair to Government.
Mr Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I originally got up to protect my Hon Colleague on the same point, but your wise counsel made me sit down.
The point that the two Hon Members have made, and I hope the Hon Deputy Majority Leader takes it, is that, it is a law that is very clear, especially with the GETFund, that 30 days after Government has taken the moneys, it is supposed to pay directly to the GETFund -- 30 days.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, be patient; patience is a virtue. I will call you because you are the last person. The two deputy leaders would be the last to speak. However, you can make your point. He made a point of order; a point of order upon a point of order. Please, I will call you and you will make that point. Do not worry, I will call you. You will have your day.
Hon Anyimadu, please, conclude c and Hon Agbesi, you will speak after him.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would want to react to what the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has said. I have in my hand a National Investment Bank Limited (NIB) cheque that was issued by the GETFund that had bounced. So, if he is interested, he should see me and I will give him further details -- [Interruption.]
Mr Avedzi 1:05 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member just used a document as an evidence. We do not know what it is; if he can tender in that document, he should do so.
Mr Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is doubting the authenticity of the cheque; it is a personal cheque. [Interruption] Mr Speaker, he cannot tender it unless we can get a guarantee from the Table Office that if he lays it, he would get it back. It is money we are talking about, Mr Speaker. It is not a document; it is a cheque and it is money we are talking about. So, if the Table Office is guaranteeing that if he lays it, he would get back his cheque, there should be no problem; he would lay it.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that it is my prerogative to say that I would want to lay the cheque or not. [Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that I am seeing the trend and once we have evidence that --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:15 a.m.
Order! Order!
Dr Kunbuor 1:15 a.m.
Once we have evidence that this is a cheque and the nature of that cheque can become complicated, I would advise that the Hon Member actually withdraws that matter and we do not have it on record. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I am saying this because an

The image of this House -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I really hope that Hon Members would have listened to our airwaves particularly this morning and that is why I am urging the Hon Member that wherever his cheque would have come from and for what purpose, it should not be a matter that would advance his contribution on this floor in anyway better than if he does not introduce it. So, he should just withdraw that matter and we have no evidence of a GETFund cheque.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, I am very reluctant because what I have said here is the truth. But for the respect I have for the Leader, I withdraw the aspect of the cheque and maintain the statement that Government is not responding to the statutory payments that it would have to do.
Mr David Assumeng 1:15 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I believe this issue should be referred to the Privileges Committee to handle -- [Laughter.] Because for an Hon Member to bring this cheque on the floor --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:15 a.m.
Hon Member, I believe you are totally out of order. You did not follow the trend. When the Hon Member mentioned that he had a

cheque, he was challenged by another Hon Member that he could not just say that he had a cheque. If you have a cheque and it is a cheque you are saying it is, then lay it. He was challenged. In this House, when you say you have any document, you can be challenged by another Hon Member to lay it.

The Leaders have spoken, sense has prevailed, and the Hon Member is saying that because of the respect he has for his Leaders, he is going to withdraw the cheque. Then you are suggesting that I should refer this matter to the Privileges Committee. What matter?

The Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo, Mr A. S. K. Bagbin and the Hon Member for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, may I have your guidance, please?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is nothing to be referred to the Privileges Committee. That is my position.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:15 a.m.
I do not know whether Hon Papa Owusu- Ankomah would want to add a word.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I totally agree with what the Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo has said, except to add that I am sure as it is normal in our proceedings, during debates, we sometimes make statements that we do not intend the Chair to pursue. I am sure it is in that regard that the Chairman for Works and Housing Committee made that statement.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:15 a.m.
I believe that I would take a cue from the two Hon Members.
I believe Hon Anyimadu-Antwi, you have concluded?
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:15 a.m.
Almost.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:15 a.m.
One sentence -- in conclusion.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:15 a.m.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the Ministry of Finance and for that matter, Government to respect the statutory requirements of paying moneys to the various Ministries and agencies in order that they could achieve their targets.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP-- Bimbilla) 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I really would not want to contribute. I actually rose to protect my Hon Members, but not to contribute. But once the opportunity has been given, I would still make that point.
The GETFund law is very clear, that three months, that is 90 days after Government has taken the GETFund, they are expected to pay that money to the GETFund. As we sit today Mr Speaker, Government has released money only for January and February.
Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini 1:15 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, he just said that Government is supposed to pay the money thirty days after receipt and he counted November as part of the outstanding.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:15 a.m.
Hon Member, you should have ended at October -- I agree with you.
Mr Nitiwul 1:15 a.m.
All right. Mr Speaker, I would end at October -- [Interruption]
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minority Leader knows that he is misleading this House. Mr Speaker, I challenge him to provide evidence to the fact that, it is only January and February
Deputy Minister. Mr Speaker, it is completely out of order for him to doubt the integrity of the Deputy Minister.
Mr Speaker, he wanted information, he gave him. What he could do is, if he thinks that his source is more accurate to provide us with the evidence , then he can pick it. But he should not be standing in front of you to say that “ I would come tomorrow and then the Deputy Minister would tell whether I am correct or he is correct”. Mr Speaker, that is impugning wrong motive into the statement made by the Deputy Minister for Finance and I thought that as a Leader in this House, he should not be going that way. He should leave it at that.
He is saying that as of today, he takes it, yes, there is still a challenge because as of today, if up to May has been paid, we know by law they should have paid beyond May. He should not be talking the way he is talking and challenging the Deputy Minister when he has solicited for information and he has given it to him.
So, Mr Speaker, call the Deputy Minority Leader to order. He should not impugn wrong motives in the statement made by the Deputy Minister for Finance.
Dr A. A. Osei 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised he is using different standards for our Deputy Minority Leader. The Hon Minister spoke and he did not provide any evidence; and this is the Deputy Minority Leader. Please, let us use the same standards. I am surprised, as part of the leadership, he is impugning wrong motive to his counterpart.
The Minister gave oral evidence, he did not table any motion -- [Interruption] -- He gave oral evidence. If he would want him to bring documentation -- [Interruption]
that is paid. I am challenging him that that is factually incorrect. Yes, there are some arrears that are overdue for payment; but I can tell him that it is not March to October.
So, Mr Speaker, the information that he has given, is factually incorrect and he must get his facts right or if he insists -- Mr Speaker, this is a House of facts. He should provide the evidence and I am telling him that the facts that he has given are absolutely incorrect.
Mr Nitiwul 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am telling him -- the Deputy Minister for Finance is here. This House is a House of records; you cannot tell a lie here. Let the Deputy Minister tell me that what I am saying is wrong. [Interruption.] -- and we should move on from the next level.
Mr Ato Baah Forson 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are factual errors in what he is saying.
Mr Speaker, the truth is that we have paid up to May; it cannot be up to February. And it means as at today, we have paid up to May.
Mr Nitiwul 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister has just told this House that they have paid up to May. But I am saying, even yesterday, I checked from my source and it says up to February. Mr Speaker, tomorrow - [Interruption.] This is a House of records - [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, tomorrow, I would return to this House and then the Deputy Minister would tell this House whether he is wrong or I am right.
Alhaji Muntaka 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to my Hon Colleague, the Deputy Minority Leader. He pleaded with you to let us get information from the
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Members, if I may continue from what Dr Akoto Osei just said -- if I may continue. We are debating the Report of the Lands, Forestry and Mines and Energy. The GETFund is an example that was given. Do not let us deviate into a GETFund argument.
The Deputy Minority Leader said that as of yesterday, it had been outstanding since February. He was corrected and said that it could not go to November because it was 30 days.
The Deputy Minister says that as of today, it is outstanding since May. We leave it at that; nobody should comment on it. If you have extra information, bring it tomorrow.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, conclude. You have given your example, so move on -- back to the Report.
Mr Nitiwul 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
But the point Dr Akoto Osei made is very relevant. In this House, not in the Ministry, because I do not work there, but in this House, my worth is higher than the person he is trying to impugn bad motive to -- [Interruption] -- Yes, that is the fact. Your worth is higher than his worth in this House; that is what I would want him to know -- [Interruption] -- so I am not impugning any bad motive to anybody --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Please, when I look at the Constitution, it talks about equality --
rose
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Please, resume your seats. I believe that in this House, administratively, we have leadership but in terms of the word, every single Member of Parliament is equal. So,
I do not see the Deputy Finance Minister as higher than you or you as higher than him. I believe your word, as well as his. If you have extra information to prove your word, or he has, he should provide it.
Please, continue.
MrNitiwul 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my status is never higher than his status; we are all Members of Parliament -- [Interruption]
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, please, continue.
Mr Nituwul 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will conclude.
My status is never higher than his status and if that is the impression he is getting, I withdraw that aspect. As for the status, he is a Member of Parliament like myself. We are all the same; my status is never higher. Maybe, that is it -- [Interruption] -- It is because of what he said, because he is telling me that I am impugning bad motives to somebody higher than me and that is why I said so. But I would leave it at that.
rose
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Muntaka, I will not recognise you. I want this little side issue -- you see, the side issue is threatening to become the main issue.
So, please, Hon Nitiwul, conclude.
Mr Nitiwul 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there was just the last point I wanted to make. If you take the Report, the title says “The Report of the joint Committee on Lands, Forestry, Mines and Energy.” But Mr Speaker, I just wanted to find out from the Chairman, the information I gather is that, it may not be the Report of a joint Committee. They did not meet as a joint Committee.
The Committee on Mines and Energy and Lands and Forestry did not meet as a joint Committee but it looks like the committees had different Reports and then they put them together because of the nature of our Standing Orders.
I was bringing this aspect, so that the Chairman would make that little correction and we will move on, because tomorrow there may be another issue like that. Because of that, that is why my attention was drawn to this particular one.
We may have to look at the rendition of the Long Title and then make that correction.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Leader- ship, the point the Deputy Minority Leader made, if there is a referral to a joint Committee, the joint Committee has to sit. Is that the case?
Mr Abongo 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that I will agree with the Deputy Minority Leader. We would have to relook at the captioning of the title of the Report. Indeed,they were separate committee sittings but we put the Report together. That was it. They considered the Mines sector and then we did the Lands and Forestry sector but then we met as leaders and put the Report together.
So, it was not a general joint Committee meeting of the two. We would have to actually look at the titling of the Report in subsequent meetings.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
So, it is a joint Report, it is not a joint Committee Report?
Hon Minister, so much has been said, Would you want to just wind up before I put the Question?
Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini 1:25 p.m.
Thank you so much Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, let me take the opportunity to thank all the Members of this House for their wonderful contributions to the debate in this House.
Actually, the debate has clearly enriched the information that the Ministry requires to be able to pursue some of the matters that have been raised on the floor of the House and to assure Members that the Lands Commission building would take off. This is because we have received assurances from the Ministry of Finance that they have got the counterpart funding ready and that they would support it.
Yes, the mineral royalties are out- standing. We have noted the recommen- dation of the Committee that the Minister should follow up and expedite action on the release of the funds from the Ministry of Finance and we would work with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the traditional authorities who are entitled to these funds get their funds to use them for purposes that have been stated.
Yes, a suggestion has been made that we need a robust regulatory regime in the minerals sector to deal with certain perceived irregularities that are presently happening.
The irregularity of Parliament ratifying leases that have not been ratified up to now, the irregularity of not being able to police, monitor and supervise small scale mining activities by the regulatory authorities and I can assure the House that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is putting in place certain institutional measures to ensure that the regulatory institutions that have the mandate to regulate, supervise and monitor these activities are up to the task.
Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini 1:25 p.m.


Yes, the Geological Survey Department is a matter for concern by all of us and also the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources because they are a purely civil service organisation. Their remuneration is low and that does not attract the requisite manpower. The Ministry is working assiduously to ensure that a Bill is brought to this House to change their status into a semi autonomous body to be able to continue to attract the requisite manpower to perform their duties.

Yes, for over 100 years, mining has been taking place in Ghana but we have not been able to integrate downstream to provide for the value addition that is required to take all or maximize benefits from the exploitation of our natural resources.

Presently, I wish to assure the House that the PMMC is putting in place a small medium scale refinery for the purposes of starting the process of adding value to the exploitation of mineral resources that we have here. In fact, diamonds are cut polished in Ghana. Today, if you need diamonds for them or gold chains for them, just walk to PMMC and you are able to get polished diamonds for them.

Mr Speaker, also the Mineral's Commission is building an assay laboratory at the Airport to be able to assure itself and the country of the purity of gold that leaves this country, so that we are able to attach values to the quantities, and determine whether or not the taxes that we receive are commensurate with the values of gold that are exported. So, something is being done to assure ourselves that at least, we are not being shortchanged in the exploitation of our natural resources.

The open pits -- and that is why when we cleaned up the small-scale mining sector, we said we were entering the second phase to reclaim the lands. That will take time because of the massive scale of degradation that took place. It is happening in piecemeal and as time goes on, we should be able to cover all the open pits so that we do not open people up to the dangers of falling into those open pits.

Statutory payments somehow got us into a debate that moved us off lands and natural resources but we understand why. We understand it because royalties have not been paid and I will work with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the traditional authorities have their due from the royalties.

Thank you so very much.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Minority Leader, I know you have a special liking for lands, after that the Majority Leader, then we will take direction from the Majority Leader.
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- MensahBonsu) 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I had wanted to make some observations and invite the Hon Minister to provide some answers before, maybe, the Minister came in.
But Mr Speaker, if you may indulge me, there are a few issues that I would want to raise with the Minister if he can provide some responses for these issues.
The first one relates to the list of observations under the office of the Administrator of Stool Lands where the Committee expressed worry about the non-payment of royalties by the office. I wanted to know from the Minister because we are told that since the second quarter of 2012, no such royalties have been paid. Now, in the event that they come to be paid, will they come with the appropriate interest to the destinations? That is number one.
I also notice under the Forestry Commission that the Committee noted that there were ongoing negotiations for the importation of logs from Cameroun as a measure to address the dwindling timber resources that is creating unemployment in the timber industry. I know as a matter of fact, that these negotiations started in 1998, 15 years ago. When are we going to conclude these negotiations, 15 years ago?
Second, you do not just import the round logs into the country. You would want to furnish the companies that are in downstream processing, to furnish them with these round logs. Now, the only firm that was in this league is Scanstyle which today is about collapsing. So, if you succeed in bringing the logs, what are you going to do with them?
We would not just want to saw them and then re-export because that will not add any value to them. That indeed, because of the factor of kiln drying these days, they will not even make any profit on that if they do not go further downstream. So, what is the sense in this, 15 years, we have not been able to conclude negotiations on this?
Third, the places earmarked for national parks. The typical one is near Akuse. You wanted to have a real national park. What is happening? It has been lingering over the past 14 years, and it has not been concluded. Meanwhile, settlement is moving towards that place and it will become difficult to stop them once you do not conclude this early enough.
Finally, the Plantation Development Programme, Mr Speaker, people are going for these licences, cutting down timber -- they claim that they do afforestation.
Along the line, because we were not doing it, we set up this Plantation Fund to encourage people to move into these areas. Unfortunately, it does not come with the rapid development of the species. You do not expect somebody to maybe, invest into this and leave the legacy to his grandchildren. Odum for instance, takes about 200 years to mature. Who will invest in the plantation of Odum?
So nobody goes into that. Everybody is going into teak plantation. It is only teak and then sydrela that mature fast now, by the hybrid that they have developed and that is even respectively over 12 years and 15 years. Who goes into this? People who are going into this plantation are suffering. You do so for three or four years, it is not yielding any dividends to communities, they then set fire to the plantations that they have started.
So, it is not proving profitable. What is it that the Ministry is doing because otherwise, it becomes ritualistic? We come back to the same problem every year. I expect to hear something very positive from the Minister --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Members, it was most improper for me to allow somebody to speak after the Minister and that opportunity turned into a whole Question time. So, this is the last time that somebody will speak after the Minister and I do not believe that -- Hon Minister, if the matter was not considered by the Committee -- I do not know whether you still want to respond to it because it can be put as a Question and then you would come and respond properly.
Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseini 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with due deference to you and with the high esteem in which I hold the Minority Leader and for the deep regard I have for this House, I believe it is only appropriate to attempt to answer some of the questions and I will so try to answer some of them.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
As I said before, because of my respect for the high office of leadership, that is why after the Hon Minister had wound up, I invited the Hon Minority Leader to also make his contribution.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢279,656,034 for the services of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, any indication?
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can just lay a Paper that is now ready on item 4(l) and you may suspend Sitting and Hon Members can go and have their lunch and return to the House.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Item 4(l), Chairman of the Committee?
PAPERS 1:45 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
For one hour or for forty-five minutes?
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, for one hour.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Members, Sitting is accordingly suspended.
1.49 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
3.20 p.m -- Sitting resumed.
MR SPEAKER
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, could we take item 12?
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Where is the Chairman of the Committee?
Yesterday, there was this understanding that some of the clauses may have to pass through a Second Consideration Stage.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move that --
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
No, you cannot move your Motion. It has to be arrested. So, if the person who is supposed to arrest the Motion is not available, then we may have to defer it to when he comes -- [Pause.]
Hon Majority Leader, you were here yesterday when there was a general understanding that some of the clauses may have to pass through a Second Consideration Stage? That cannot be done by the Minister for Trade and Industry. It is when I call the item that somebody gets up to move that we pass it through a Second Consideration Stage; it cannot be done by him. So, we would want to know --
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Minister to move his Motion for the Third Reading and the arrest will be done.
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Members, item 12, Minister for Trade and Industry.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Export Trade, Agriculture and Industrial Development Fund Bill, 2013 be taken through a Second Consideration Stage in respect of a number of clauses.
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Yes, I would want to get the clauses.
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would specifically want us to look at clauses 24, 6, 37, 39, 40 and the Long Title.
I beg to move, Mr Speaker.
Dr A. A. Osei 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. However, I would want to crave the indulgence of the Majority Leader to add clause 38, the part about the Regulations.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resoleved accordingly.
BILLS -- SECOND 1:45 p.m.

CONSIDERATION STAGE 1:45 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that we reconsider clause 6 of the Bill and leave the original rendition as it was in the original Bill and not the amendment that was proposed and taken.
Mr Speaker, this is intended to take into account the representation of the Controller and Accountant-General or his representative that was on the original Bill, for the simple reason that in financial matters like this, the official Government Accountant ought to be represented in it.
I beg to move.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the amendment proposed by the Majority Leader and to call on Hon Colleagues to accept the rendition on page 5 clause 6 as the original which was the intendment of policy.
The original Bill had a 13 member Board and because it was a management Board, they are normally constituted into different groups, like we have a new Committee on audit and due diligence. For purposes and reconciliation and other issues, it is important that the Controller and Accountant-General serves on this particular Board.
So, it is just to revert to what was provided in the original EDIF legislation. Mr Speaker, I believe that there is proposed in the Bill for committees of the Board. There are times that they may call people from outside.
Mr Speaker, I sent two missions abroad to study best practice and I just got a Report from the Committee which went to Hong Kong to study for purpose of developing their Regulations that they have a 17 member Board. We cannot be same like them but I support the Leader's amendment.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about clause 6(1) as a result of the earlier amendment, (f) was reduced to 4; it means it should also be --
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Yes, it is the whole clause 6; so, we are just restoring the original rendition.
Mr Chireh 1:45 p.m.
Yes, the reason is that, there was also on subclause 2, something that does not affect it; so, that should be clarified. That is where they say -- “Chairperson and Members” was inserted. I hope that one too will be retained as an amendment.
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Yes, I get you. It is only clause 6(1) -- in actual fact.
Mr H. Iddrisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with my Hon Colleague that clause 6(1)(d) and (f) as captured in the original Bill be maintained. Clause 6(1) (d)--
“the Controller and Accountant- General or the representative of the Controller and Accountant- General;”
We have reduced the five other persons from the private sector to four, in order to be able to get an odd number. So, I respectfully support the amendment in clause 6 (1) (d) and (f); it will not affect the two and others --
Thank you.
Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Minister wanted the odd number of 13; so, if you keep it as it is with the five other persons, it takes you to 13; if you reduce it by 1-4, it takes you to 12.
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
He is not reducing; what we are doing is that we are restoring the Controller and Accountant-General in clause 6(1)(d) and then in (f) instead of four, we are restoring the five. That is what we are doing, so that the total then becomes 13.
Mr Joe Ghartey 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, sorry for not catching your eye earlier.
I would want to say in support of the amendment that it is very important that the Controller and Accountant-General is a member of such a Board. Especially so, when the nature of this Board is that it is going to hold public money and also disburse public money. Indeed, I believe
it was said this morning by Hon Akoto Osei the importance of such expertise in our Ministr ies, Departments and Agencies of people who are qualified in terms of accounting for matters and so on.
And so to remove the Controller and Accountant-General from this Board, is a disaster in the making. So, we thank God that the Leadership and Hon Members in the House see it fit to restore the Controller and Accountant-General to this very important position and I urge everybody to join hands with Parliament in order to pass this amendment.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 6 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 24 --
Mr Mahama Ayariga 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 24 (2), which reads --
“An Equity Fund Manager shall co- invest in any business provided in the Regulations --
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
Hon Member, the point raised yesterday on the floor of the House was that, we do not have any word like “co-invest.” And I made the point that if you use the word “investment” it can include all kinds of arrangements. So, we just use “invest.”
Hon Akoto Osei, you raised the issue yesterday?
Dr A. A. Osei 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is going to amend clause 24, subclause 2 to delete “co-invest” and substitute “invest”. I think that is the amendment --
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
That is all we are going to do?
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
We are going to amend that. There would be a consequential amendment and so, once we agree on the word we would use here, when we get to the Interpretation column, we would know what to do there. So, let us sort out this one first.
The argument is that if “co-invest” does not exist, then “co-investment” too cannot exist -- [Interruption] -- Does it exist?
Mr H. Iddrisu 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, “co- invest”, according to my technical experts, means “where an Equity Fund Manager together with the Fund invest in a particular investment vehicle”. That is what “co-invest” would mean. And I consulted with the chairperson of my technical review committee, Dr Oteng- Gyasi and he said that it is possible tomorrow that the EDIF Fund, together with another person may invest in a particular activity. For that purpose, that would stand as a co-investment.
So, for them, it is a technical term and I would persuade my Hon Colleague that we would leave it as it is, but when we go to the interpretation column, we would define “co-invest” and not “co- investment” as was wrongly done.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:30 p.m.
I thought yesterday, it was made clear that there was no such word in the English Language as “co- invest”; that is a fact. And “investment” includes what you are talking about -- joint venture. So, you do not need to play
with that. Investment includes all kinds of things. It does not limit you. So, this matter of “co-investment” should not even play a part. We should delete it even before we get there.
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
Hon Minister, before I call the Hon Yieleh Chireh, if you use the word “Invest”, is it going to prevent “co- invest”? I would want to find out from the House.
Mr Chireh 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as the Hon Minister is saying, some words are coined by certain industry players and they have a different meaning assigned to them. And so long as they agree that it is an industry term, this one, I believe, is a term of art in that industry. We should not be talking about English dictionary definition or the presence of it.
If it has been used by the industry for a long time and it is understood by them, then we should be advised by the technical people. But if we look at it purely on the basis of it not being found in the English dictionary, then we would have a problem.
Dr Kunbuor 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I really found out yesterday, when I went back to look at my investment dictionary. The word really exists but it is described as something that has found its way into the lexicon of investment thinking. And what Hon Yieleh Chireh has said, if you have gone through our past legislations, words have been used in legislations that do not exist in the dictionary but they have not been defined. And one typical example is “galamsey”. If you go to what we have always referred to --
Mr Speaker 3:30 p.m.
Do we have “galamsey” in any of our legislations?
Dr Kunbuor 3:30 p.m.
The small scale mining or “galamsey”; I have worked on that Act and they have gone to define what exactly “galamsey” means as part of artisanal
mining. So, it has happened in legislation before and that is why I believe that it should come on.
Mr Speaker, actually, when I read it, there was a very detailed narrative in relation to how the term “co-invest” comes in. In fact, Mr Speaker, “bification”, it is yet another word. “Bification” has never been known in the legal terminology until the International Court of Justice introduced it as a procedure and today, what is otherwise a biological term has found its own way into international civil procedure. So, these things do happen from time to time.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 3:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Majority Leader when he says “co-invest”, is a term of art. But Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, why do we limit ourselves here to the word “co-invest”? Mr Speaker, let us read the whole clause; it says --
“An Equity Fund Manager shall co- invest in any business provided in this legislation.”
In fact, when you read the clause, the word should not be “co-invest”; it should be “invest in any business provided in this Regulation.”
I agree that “co-invest” is a word but it is a word that is limited. And we would want the regulator to be able to invest. So, the word “co-invest”, Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry will agree with me, it limits and that it is not necessary here. We are giving the power of the Equity Fund Manager to invest in any such business provided in the Regulation. So, we should drop “co- invest” or replace it with the word “participate or invest in anything” Mr Speaker.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what we are finding out is that, and for the avoidance of doubt, they would want the word “co-investment” in there. But really, investment includes all kinds of -- including “co-investment.” But they believe if they do not emphasise co- investment, somebody might think that cannot happen. Even though we have --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Then what we need to do is that at the Interpretation column, we can then introduce that investment includes co-investment; but it is not limited to.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
Exactly.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
It is a matter of legal engineering.
Dr Prempeh 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the word “co-investment” be dropped and replaced with the word “invest.”
Dr Kunbuor 3:40 p.m.
Why do we not make it consequential that at the interpretation, it should be defined --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
When we get to that clause, we would do the consequential reading.
Hon Members, I will put the Question.
The Question is that clause 24, subclause (2) delete the word “co-invest” and substitute it with the word “invest.”
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Dr Prempeh 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, everywhere, the word “co-invest” appears in this legislation which is not limiting, it should be replaced with the word “invest.”
2767Export Trade, Agric. & Indust. Dev.12 December, 2013 Fund Bill, 2013-- 2 Con. Stage 2768 2769 Export Trade, Agric. & Indust. Dev.12 December, 2013 Fund Bill,2013-- 2 Con. Stage 2770
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
We would address that at the Interpretation column. [Interruption.] What point are you making; let me hear you?
Dr Prempeh 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that every where, the word “co-invest” has been used, it should be replaced with “invest” because “invest” includes “co- invest.” It is a consequential ruling.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
I must satisfy myself that we can find that word in other clauses of the Bill. Because as at yesterday, when we were struggling to locate the “co- invest”, they only drew attention to clause 24, subclause (2). But before I give that consequential ruling, I must satisfy myself that there --
Dr Prempeh 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I hundred per cent agree with you to satisfy yourself. But it is better to give it and not find it, than not give it and when the Bill comes out --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Member, what I would do is that, in the Interpretation column, we would define it to include “co- invest.”
Clause 24 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The clauses mentioned by the Majority Leader includes clause 37.
Mr H. Iddrisu 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there was a general consensus that we should delete the entire clause 37 and therefore, I beg to move, clause 37 be deleted.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is part of the story; the second leg is that, it should find some way under clause 38 -- Regulations. I would want it to be clear that -- [Interruption.] It is mentioned.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 37 accordingly deleted from the Bill.
Clause 38 --
Dr Kunbuor 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ranking Member has drawn my attention that there was a view about reconsidering clause 38 and that was why it was added. I thought the Hon Member was here to move his amendment, otherwise --
Mr H. Iddrisu 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the advice was that, in respect of clause 38, for you to give a directive that when the Minister, on the advice of the Board is coming to make the Legislative Instrument, it should cover matters relating to public/private dialogue in a discussion of the Fund. Public/Private dialogue is part of the Regulations which would be developed under clause 38.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
What are we adding?
Mr H. Iddrisu 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, add a new subclause (i), which would be on Regulations, to cover public/ private dialogue. So, in clause 38, there would be a new addition of (i), depending on the numbering. That Regulations may also give directives as to an engagement between the public and the private sector, for purposes of transparency in discussing how the Fund is being used and how it should be disbursed in future, instead of it standing on its own as a public forum.
I beg to move.
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Members,what the new subclause is seeking to do, is to make a provision for a public/private dialogue.
Mr Chireh 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was not here yesterday, so I cannot get the tenure of the arguments. But the issue is that, if we are deleting clause 37, there would be no basis for us to be talking about --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
No! They want to delete it and capture it --
Mr Chireh 3:40 p.m.
I am saying so because it is rather when you create a substantive clause, say there should be a forum, then how the forum is organised, can then be by Regulation. But if there is no forum for private/public dialogue and then you are now asking that it should be by Regulation. What regulation?
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
That is why they are putting in clause 38 to provide for it. Clause 38 is part of the Bill.
Dr A. A. Osei 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member would advert his mind to yesterday's Order Paper, there was an amendment to clause 38 and what the Hon Minister is seeking to do, is to add clause 38, subclause (2) (l); that the regulation should cater for a public/private dialogue. So, the Hon Member needs to go back to the argument that was made to see what he is adding.
Mr Chireh 3:40 p.m.
I do not have any problem with that. But I am saying that if you want to put something in the Regulations, it must be mentioned in an earlier clause -- something. So, even if you want you can just say it should be a public/private dialogue in one clause. Now, the regulation would then elaborate on how it should be done. So, my point is that, the reason to delete altogether clause 37, which was trying to create that forum and then adding this --
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Chireh, is this your submission that if we do not make a specific provision in the Bill for the private/ public dialogue, we cannot make the regulations to give effect to it?
Dr Kunbuor 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess this thing has come up time and time again. The regulations would only offend a substantive Act. And what we have now is the substantive Act. There is only a
heading which provides that regulation should be made. But it does not specify the regulation. So, the sub heading now becomes the substantive provision that entitles the regulations to be made to provide for private/public dialogue. So, if you are looking at the regulations section as if it is the regulations, that is where you have that problem.
But it is actually a substantive provision of the statute. And anything that has not even been mentioned before, can be asked to be provided for by regulation and it is a substantive matter.
Mr Ghartey 3:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to say that this time, I side with Hon Yieleh Chireh. I believed that regulations cannot be a pass in a dark. The fact that you have a section named regulations, does not mean that you can do anything you want to do. Regulations must flow from the Act and must be related to that. And if you look at the current regulations, every single regulation is referable to something in the Act. In fact, if you look, for example, at the one that says that -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 3:40 p.m.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, if you make that submission, then why should we have (k)?
Dr Kunbuor 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point of orderI am rising on is that, that is not the situation. If you take clause 38(k), where is the substantive matter for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act?
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
In fact, that is the question I am posing to the Second Deputy Speaker.
rose
Mr Ghartey 3:50 p.m.
No Mr Speaker. I have not finished with my submission.
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, the point being made by the Hon Yieleh Chireh is that, if we cannot find anything of public/private dialogue, we cannot provide for it in a regulation. And I am asking, what about, to give effect -- effective implementation? Do we have any specific clause dealing with effective implementation before we put the omnibus clause there in subclause (k)?
Mr Ghartey 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was going to say that -- [Interruption]
Several Hon Members -- rose --
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Members, one at a time. I will give a chance to everybody to express his opinion.
Mr Ghartey 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when you look at clause 7(2)(i), and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“For the purpose of subsection (1) the Board shall --
(i) perform any function that is incidental to the achievement of the Fund.”
Mr Speaker, under that omnibus section, for example, regulations can be made to certify matters that are incidental. But this one is an accountability clause and this one refers to a forum that we are going to create. Is it not better drafting? Mr Speaker, I am not asking you, it is a
rhetorical question; for you to have a line there, that “there shall be a public/private forum” than have regulations that show how the forum should be done, rather than to bring it like a rabbit out of a hut and --
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, would you be breaching any clause of the enactment or the Bill where we should make regulation for public/ private dialogue, if we put it there that the regulation should allow for that sort of engagement? Would we be offending any clause of the Bill?
Mr Ghartey 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you would be offending the proper rules of drafting. You would not be offending any clause in the Bill, but the proper rules of drafting dictate that when you do regulation, there is some reference to what you are regulating in the Bill itself even if it is remote.
Dr Kunbuor 3:50 p.m.
I agree perfectly -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Members, then what is the essence of the omnibus clause in clause 38(k)?
Dr Kunbuor 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it looks like we are speaking across purposes. That principle is an accepted principle, that every regulation must not be ultravires, the substantive Act. And we are dealing with a substantive Act and the Hon Member is saying that anything in the substantive Act that refers to regulation, is not substantive.
This is the argument that he is raising and I am saying that it is substantive. You have raised the issue -- [Interruption] -- Wait! The issue you raised when I asked that what is substantive about effective implementation of the provisions of this Act and he said we should go to clause 7(i), which states:
“…perform any function that is incidental to the achievement of the object of the Act.”
The object of the Act is there but we are talking of effective implementation; the two are different. And I am saying that he also has this one; where is it in the body of this, that he is providing for in the regulation? I am saying that it is a substantive matter.
Dr Prempeh 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Minister still wants the public/private partnership, which I now realise that he does not want, if the Minister wants it, then, as the Hon Yieleh Chireh said, clause 38(k) says, and with your permission, I beg to quote,
“. . . for the effective implementation of the provisions …”
It is only for the provisions in this Act.
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Members, if we can do it by Regulation, why can we not put it in the enactment? If we can do it by Regulation under paragraph (k), why can we not put it in the enactment?
Let me hear from the Ranking Member.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what we went through in our decision not to include this was that, it was superfluous, it was not necessary. The Minister can hold the forum whether it is in the law or not. So, it does not matter whether it is here or not. I do not think we would have to bring it back into some clause indirectly.
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
So, what are you suggesting?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what I am suggesting is that, let us delete clause 37 and end it there. We should not include it in the Regulation.
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Members, that is also acceptable as a compromise.
rose
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Dr Akoto Osei, I thought we had arrived at a compromise?
Dr A. A. Osei 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, but we are talking as if there was no amendment. Yesterday, they introduced an amendment. Hon Dr Matthew Prempeh is referring to the original clause; that is not what we are dealing with. If you look at Wednesday's Order Paper, they have brought the old paragraph (k) as subclause (1). Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me read:
“The Minister may on the advice of the Board, by Legislative Instru- ment make regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.”
It does not say provisions of this Act. That is what we are dealing with. We cannot stick to the old clause. So, we are talking across purposes.
Then when you go to subclause (2), it said:
“Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the Regulations may provide for …”
The list is there and the Minister is seeking to add a small thing about public/ private dialogue. So, we cannot be referring to the old clause any more. An amendment was effectively introduced; that is where we stopped. So, if we go to the old clause, we are missing the point.
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Member for Old Tafo is right. If you look at the Votes and Proceedings of yesterday, page 15, under “Regulations”, we do not have (k). And so, we have to
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.


reinstate the (k) to address -- We thought that the (k) would address the concern “for the effective implementation,” but for some strange reason, the House decided to delete the (k). But I do not know why they deleted it, because for the avoidance of doubt, we put it there to allow for some flexibility in the drafting of the Regulation. I do not know why the House in its wisdom -- [Interruption] -- Where is it?
Ms Ursula Owusu 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the new clause 38(1) --[Interruption]
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Oh, they have changed the position?
Ms Ursula Owusu 3:50 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. It is there.
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
Then that is all. There is no problem.
Very well.
Hon Members, so no Question will be put on clause 38.
rose
Mr Speaker 3:50 p.m.
We have addressed the problem, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Chireh 3:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my problem has not been resolved because of what he said. When you have that omnibus last sub paragraph, it says that you should provide for effective implementation of the Act. So something is not mentioned in the Act; and then we are coming to effectively implement an Act and provide for it -- [Interruption] -- No! I would want to make a point.
The point about all Regulations is that, there should be something mentioned in the Act, which cannot put out detailing and therefore, the provisions of the Regulations would give out the detailed one.
Now, all the Acts that we have passed, there is always that last one where they talk about effective implementation of the Act. What it means is that, there would be some provisions that are general. When you are making the Regulation, you must refer to that provision and the Subsidiary Legislation Committee has to look at it, and find out if this thing part of the Bill?
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Hon Yieleh Chireh, I am persuaded by the position taken by the House, that we should allow the Minister under the new rendition -- for the effective implementation of this Act. This is because if you look at subclause (2), without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the Regulation may provide for, which means that it can go beyond what is provided for in subclause(2). So, that addresses the concern.
So, let us move on to clause 39.
Clause 39--
Mr Ayariga 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 39, delete.
Clause 39 provides that the Board of EDIF is dissolved by this Act. Mr Speaker, the Board is often dissolved by the appointing authority and not to be provided for in the legislation. So, that is why we are moving for the deletion of clause 39 from the Bill.
Mr H. Iddrisu 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I support the proposed amendment for the deletion of clause 39, which was ably articulated by the Hon William Ofori Boafo yesterday, that we should leave the power in the appointing authority for the dissolution of the Board. Also, subsequent to the fact that in the Bill, there are repeal and savings and other transitional provisions.
I accordingly associate myself with the proposed amendment.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
I think clause 42 addresses the concern.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 39 accordingly deleted.
Clause 40 --
Mr Chireh 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 40, define “invest” to include “co- invest”.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
How are we going to capture it, Hon Members?
Dr A. A. Osei 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we need to delete “co-invest” from the Interpretation Column and leave it. Because the word we have used is “invest” and “co-invest” is a subset of “invest”. So, if we leave the word “invest” and delete “co-invest” from the interpretation -- delete “co- investment” from the interpretation column and let us leave it like that.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Can we not have “invest” and say that it includes “co-invest” which is known to the industry? Why can we not have “invest” and say that “invest includes” --
Dr Prempeh 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we can do that but we have to insert “invest” and define “invest” as --
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Yes, that is one way of going about it.
Mr Chireh 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, we delete “co-investment” in the definition column and then put “investment” and “investment” includes “co-investment”.
Mr Ghartey 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we seemed to be bound by this word “co-investment and co-invest”; we want to find space for it somehow. If investment includes “co- investment” it includes several other
things, several other forms of investment. If investment can be defined technically, why are we seeking to interpret it here? So if we say “investment”, we delete the whole thing, so that when it comes -- In fact, section 24 (2) says that “the Equity Fund Manager shall invest in any business provided for by the Regula- tions.” Then you do not need to define what he does.
Dr A. A. Osei 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what we are being informed about is that, the practice has been that, for the avoidance of doubt, if you do not put it there, some people have interpreted it to mean that it did not specifically say “co-investment”, so they refused to go into that area. So, it is for the avoidance of doubt. It is a practical matter. It does not --
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Hon Member, fortunately, under the new Interpretation Act, the debate on the floor is taken into account. So, the sense of the House is that, we know that it includes “co-invest”. So, whether we put it here or not, when you go and look at the Interpretation Act, you can interpret it to mean “co-invest”. They would take the sense of the House into consideration. Then there is no need to define “co-invest”. So, we are only --
Hon Yieleh Chireh; Your amendment is to delete “co-investment”?
Mr Chireh 4 p.m.
We delete “co-investment' as defined in the Interpretation column and then instead, we put “investment”. We are defining “investment” and “investment” includes “co-investment”
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
No! The sense of the House now is that, we just delete it and leave it there because it includes all kinds of investments.
Mr Ayariga 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, rightly so. That once we delete “co-investment”, we should not try to insert anything. Just delete “co-investment” and leave it. As
Mr Ayariga 4 p.m.


you rightly noted, we all understand investment to mean that whether you are investing solely or you are investing in partnership with others, I think it all amounts to the same investment.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Hon Members, I will put the Question. The Question is to delete the definition of “co-investment” from the Bill.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Yesterday, the Hon Minority Leader also made reference to definition of “strategic” -- Hon Minister, do you remember he made that point about “strategic”?
Dr Kunbuor 4 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he was raising a concern about why we should even put in the words “a strategic investment” and that why must the word “strategic” --
Mr Speaker 4 p.m.
Which one is strategic and which one is not strategic? We create problems for ourselves.
Dr Kunbuor 4 p.m.
And the view I was discussing with him later on was that strategic investment is also a term of art. It is not all investments that are strategic. This is because when you are making an investment, you are also looking at your equities and you are looking at the future. You can do a general investment just because you want to make your income or break even.
You can make an investment for strategic reasons in the future, which might not yield profits today. So, the two would not be the same. So, any investment that is being done in relation to this, should be strategic.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
So, if somebody goes to court to say that the investment is not strategic, who determines it? When we are making laws, we should take all these things into account.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I tend to agree with you. If you bring the term “strategic” in here, you are leaving room for somebody subjectively to define ‘strategic”. If you just delete “strategic” and say it means, “the intervention to achieve the object of the Fund” is alright. Page 17, the term “project”. Then you bring so much difficulty. The Minister woud have to justify what “strategic” is and so forth.
So, I think we can delete “strategic” and leave it at, “means intervention to achieve the object of the Fund approved by the Minister.” I think that would cover that.
Mr Ghartey 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we go to the next page, “project means a strategic intervention to achieve the object of the Fund approved by the Minister.”
On the next page, “strategic intervention” is defined and it says, “strategic intervention means a policy initiative supported by a study that sets out the details of the nature, aims and benefits and the cost of the intervention.” So, it is defined.
It is defined on the next page. So, it does not raise an issue. If you go to court --
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Once they have defined it, it solves the problem. But whether that makes it strategic, is another matter. But for the purposes of this Bill, that is what they mean by strategic intervention.
Mr Ghartey 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when you come to the word “strategic”, I do not know whether it is in the new Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Act. But the old GIPC Act, there was strategic investment and so on. There has to be some subjectivity in this. We cannot legislate because what is strategic today may not be strategic tomorrow. We have to trust some of the people who govern us at some point in time, that they would use their best judgement to do what is right for us.
Mr H. Iddrisu 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would persuade Hon Colleagues to maintain the word “strategic”. Indeed, it finds reflection in the revised Ghana Investment Promotion Council Act. Mr Speaker, if you advert your mind back, since former President Kufuor, for a decade or more, we have made some pledges of strategic interventions in other parts of the country to address poverty-related issues like Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Central Regions.
Mr Speaker, it is gratifying but regrettable to note that, if you take the entire northern Ghana, almost all electr icity consumers are domestic consumers; this is because there is no single industrial activity in those areas as economic. So, for strategic reasons, we are also not attracting the needed foreign direct investments into those areas.
Dr Kunbuor 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is just that we cannot delay this Bill unnecessarily. But there is a good reason the words “strategic investment” are used.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
“Strategic intervention”.
Dr Kunbuor 4:10 p.m.
Yes. Mr Speaker, go and take market -- [Interruption] -- No! Why do you have some investments that you do it strategically? When we say an investment is strategic, it is because it is not necessarily a financial or economic investment; it is being done for other purposes than financial or economic.
Let us take as an example, the market. The market can be a good market; it can be a bad market. So, the elements or the particular situation of a market at any time does not show that you do not know the meaning of a market.
So, investment would be there; the idea of strategic investment would be there, but the essential elements would change as Hon Joe Ghartey has said. But it does not mean that it ceases; it is just that what makes the definition of “strategic” is what would change because the elements have changed. But that does not mean that the concept of strategic has also changed. It is the element; it would always be there.
If you decide this time that market premium is what is strategic, that is strategic. Tomorrow, it is not market premium, something else comes up, that still makes it strategic. This is because if we just leave it loosely because it is an investment arrangement, then it can have a challenge in relation to it. I thought what they would have done was to bring permissible and non-permissible areas of investment, then that is the area you use to deal with this problem, then you can invest in this or you might not invest in this.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought we had settled the matter because “strategic intervention” is defined. It says: “supported by a study that sets out the details of the nature, aims, benefits and cost”. That is the end of the matter. Once it is defined, then it does not matter.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Members, initially, my attention was not drawn to the fact that it was defined. The Hon Second Deputy Speaker drew my attention to it; so, it resolves the issue as to what is strategic intervention and what is not strategic intervention. Initially, when the Hon Minority raised the issue yesterday, we did not know that definition was provided in the Bill.
Mr Chireh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was wondering which one we are amending. Is it to remove “project” or the “strategic”? The word “project” is so commonly used, perhaps, in this document, that sometimes, the attempt to --
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
It is not about “project”; it is about the “strategic” that was raised yesterday.
Mr Chireh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying there is a definition for “project” here. But the point I am making is that, if we say a “project” is defined in terms of what is “strategic” then “strategic” is also defined; which one should we leave? I think that “project” is commonly understood.
But my main reason is that we have defined “Minister” and immediately below, we are defining “Ministry”. I think we should rather drop the “Ministry”. Normally, the purpose for Minister --
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
But that is a different point. Move the amendment and let me put the Question. That is a different point.
Mr Chireh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with what you are saying about this one. But I am saying that --
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
So, move the amendment.
Mr Chireh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that we should remove “Ministry” from the definition, because “Minister” is already defined and it is better to leave it at the “Minister”.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Where is the word “Minister”?
Mr Chireh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is on page 17, under the “Minister”. Immediately after the “Minister” the “Ministry” is defined again.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
No! One is “Minister”; one is “Ministry”. It should be there.
Mr Chireh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that, once we have defined “Minister” there is no need for “Ministry”. The issue is that, it should be “Minister” alone. “It should be Minister responsible for”. If we do not bring the “Ministry” but “Minister responsible for”. So, we should drop “Ministry” and keep the definition of “Minister”.
Dr Prempeh 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like the Hon Minister to read these two Interpretations: “project” and “strategic intervention”. Mr Speaker, both cannot co-exist in the Interpretation section. This is because, if you read it, it says: “project” is the strategic intervention to achieve the object of the Fund approved by the Minister. Then when you come to the “strategic investment” it says: “It is a policy initiative supported by a study”. Mr Speaker, let us replace “project” here.
We should decide on what we want. If every project that is approved by the Minister is a strategic intervention, fine. But if we leave that one and come back again to come and define “strategic”, that means even if the Board decides on the policy, they can label it as strategic intervention. Mr Speaker, the two cannot.
Either we remove “Minister”, as he is saying or we delete totally one of the two interpretations. The two cannot. If we are talking about policy, it is the Minister that sets the policy and the Board must comply; that is in the law. So, what are we talking about? One should be there; one should be -- or we should remove the word “Minister” as Hon Yieleh Chireh is saying.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is good to marry the two because, at the minimum, for a project to qualify as strategic intervention, it must be supported by a study that sets it out. So, any project that does not have a study does not qualify. It must marry the two. There is a minimum definition here. [Interruption.] No -- strategic supported by a study that sets out the details of the nature of its aims, benefits and cost. So, if you do a project that you do not define the aims or the benefits, it would not qualify.
Mr Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I will put the Question on clause 40 --
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, strategic intervention indeed, is a project that is not necessarily an economically viable project but maybe, set up in national interest. So, you can go in there and set up an airline even though it is not going to be commercially viable but it is in the security interest of the nation.
That is why the interest is strategic. If we have to define it, this is the definition that I would provide, “strategic intervention means a project driven by national security interest rather than economic interest”. That should be the definition of a strategic interest, otherwise, what is strategic about anything else when in fact, there can be any project where you only have a study done. I can do a study --
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Boamah, let me hear you.
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just to draw your attention to the powers that --
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
That matter?
Mr Boamah 4:20 p.m.
It is related to the same provision that you want to put the Question --
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
It is “strategic intervention”?
Mr Boamah 4:20 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Very well. Let me hear you.
Mr Boamah 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, “project means any strategic intervention to achieve the object of the Fund approved by the Minister”. This Bill or this law that is coming into force has a Board.
So, if the Hon Minister so decides that a project is so strategic in his view without consulting the Board and goes ahead to approve of it --
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
He would have to read all the clauses of the Bill to have the net effect; you cannot just take one clause and leave the rest and get the net effect.
Mr Boamah 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my worry is the powers that are being given to the Minister instead of the Board or in consultation with the Board. It is very important. Otherwise, there would be so much power given to the Hon Minister to approve of what he thinks is strategic and intervention. That is my humble submission.
Mr Chireh 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, his case is not good because we have already passed there and we have already given those powers to the Minister. So, he cannot come to the Interpretation and reduce it.
2787Export Trade, Agric. & Indust. Dev.12 December, 2013 Fund Bill, 2013-- 2 Con. Stage 2788 2789 Export Trade, Agric. & Indust. Dev.12 December, 2013 Fund Bill, 2013-- 2 Con.Stage 2790
Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a concern about the whole clause whether it is actually necessary. “Strategic investment” or “intervention”. I ask myself, what policy initiative of a business environment does not undergo a study, does not have details about the nature? -- [Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I am frightened because I guess the Hon Member is thinking of an item in the clause, that is the whole of clause 40.
Dr Appiah-Kubi 4:20 p.m.
‘Strategic Intervention.'
Dr Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
Yes, it can only be one definition or item in the clause but not the whole clause. We should look at the clause -- go and start from clause 40.
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Dr Appiah-Kubi, do you get the point being made?
Dr Appiah-Kubi 4:20 p.m.
I am talking about the interpretation, -- “strategic intervention”, just the interpretation. My problem is that, what policy initiative does not undergo a study, a detailed study of the nature aims and benefits and cost of intervention? Every intervention must undergo a study in a business environment. Even the strategic intervention presupposes -- [Interruption] -- So, what is the other intervention? Is it the tactical intervention that we are discussing here?
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Members, my view would have been different if the framers of the Bill have not provided an interpretation. The framers of the Bill used the words “strategic intervention”. The point made by the Hon Minority Leader yesterday was that, what do you mean by “strategic intervention” without drawing attention to the fact that it was defined in the Bill?
Today, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker drew our attention to the definition. Once the definition is there, the best we can do is to improve upon that definition if the House in its opinion thinks that that definition does not satisfy what they want in this law.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague, just for your information, said that every initiative must come with a study.
Mr Speaker, Akonfem did not come with a study? [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the forest thing, did it come with a study? So, it was nowhere-- so, there was no law -
- 4:20 p.m.

Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Members, I intend putting the Question on clause 40.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 40 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Long Title --
Mr Ayariga 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, the Long Title should be amended to be consistent with the language of the provision, defining the object of the Fund. To that extent, I propose that “agricultural” in the Long Title should be deleted and in its place, be inserted “agriculture related to agro-processing”.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Members, look at clause 2(1) of the Bill, the word used there is “agriculture related to agro-processing” not “agricultural” and they want to bring the Long Title to be in sync with the “Object of the Fund”. That is the essence of the amendment.
Hon Members, the Question is that, the Long Title, line 2, delete “agricultural” and insert “agriculture related to agro- processing”.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, why should we remove “agriculture” in most cases, where agro-processing is concerned? We do not have enough of the product. If you say they should bring 10,000 metric tonnes of a produce, it is always very difficult to provide that. So, there should be an element of production.
The agricultural activity should be there. Otherwise, you are going to put your plants up and you would not have enough inputs to serve the machinery. So, I would object to the removal of “agricultural” as an activity.
Mr Chireh 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will try to let him agree that --once they have put there, if you look at the object that they are talking about, you have agriculture related to “agro-processing”. So, once “agriculture” is there, it means if you are going to plant plantain, pineapple or any such thing, what you need to do is to relate it to the agro-processing part. But if you want to go and farm some cocoyam, which has nothing to do with it, you do not qualify, so long as agriculture is there --
Mr Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Members, look at the Object of the Fund; so, all that we are doing is to bring it -- In any case, this is just the Long Title but the object of the Fund really, is talking about “agriculture related to agro-processing” and that is what they are putting in the Long Title. That is all that they are doing.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, the argument was raised by the Hon Majority Leader, this last part “and to provide for related matter” would take care of any other concerns, so that we would be sure that we are on safe grounds. Even though you are removing “agriculture” it does not take it away because it is a related matter.
Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that the Long Title should remain “agriculture”, because my emphasis is on the developments and we should know that it is a Fund, you may be funding agro- processing and there may be the need to fall backwards one step to generate production, so that the processing can go on.
If the Long Title is amended currently, it then means that, it is restricted to only funding agro-processing when you need materials to do it. So, I think we should not --
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Hon Members, we are all saying the same thing. The Short Title of the Bill itself used the word “agriculture”. So, let us leave it.
Dr Prempeh 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not taking us back and I do not intend, but I would want to draw our minds to a fact.
Is it the intention of this Bill that every project that is in this Bill must only be endorsed by the Hon Minister? Mr Speaker, why I am saying this is that, when we go to clause 21, when we talk about projects, the projects must be endorsed by the Hon Minister. When we come to the interpretation of the word “project” as used in any part of this Bill, it must be endorsed by the Hon Minister.
So, without the Hon Minister endorsing a project,it cannot happen as far as this Bill is concerned. If it is not the intention, then the word “Minister” should be dropped from the interpretation where Hon Chireh said. Let us not overlook it.
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that this matter is clear and any lawyer would be able to walk through the mace. Why “project” has been defined in relation to “intervention is that,we have gone to define strategic intervention to show
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.


clearly that a completely -- [Interrup- tion] -- that it is a completely different genre. You are asking whether old projects and I said no; they are projects that amount to strategic intervention; those are the only ones that the Hon Minister is bound. That is why they have circum- scribed it by saying that those projects that the Minister must approve must satisfy some conditions.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Hon Members, all of you are out of order. We are at the Second Consideration Stage of a Bill. When the Hon Majority Leader moved it, I asked him in respect of which clauses. I have exhausted the clauses and the Long Title, which he has informed the House. If somebody wants to pass the Bill through a Second Consideration Stage, he must move a new Motion and the House must agree to it before we consider those clauses again.
So -- [Interruption] -- I have put the Question on clause 40. I have to put the Question on the Long Title.
Dr Prempeh 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I totally agree with you but since the Standing Orders are in your bosom now, and what I am raising, the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry just said now that, that is not the intention of the Bill. All I am saying is that, if that is not the intention, before we let it leave this House, then we should clean the Hon Minister from --
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Hon Members, let me put the Question on the Long Title, then you can raise your point if you want us to put it through a Second Consideration Stage. I would allow you to do so if the House agrees.
Hon Members, I want to put the Question on the Long Title -- [Interruption] -- No! There is no Question to be put on the Long Title
because the amendment has been withdrawn. That is the understanding of the House. So, there is no Question -- [Interruption] -- Yes; no, the House has withdrawn the amendment.
Mr Ayariga 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw the amendment.

The Long Title ordered to stand part of the Bill
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, does anybody want to pass the Bill through a Second Consideration Stage to improve upon it?
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I moved the original Motion and I do not think that there is any procedure that is available at this point.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
No! It is not so. You can move your Motion to the clauses that you want to put through a Second Consideration Stage. Another Hon Member can also move in relation to the clause he wants to put through a Second Consideration Stage. So, I have finished with your business.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he should advert his mind to clause 21, so that he can reassure himself. There are several accounts; this is one and that is where the project is defined. So, the Hon Minister cannot do anything -- [Interruption] -- No! I am saying that this strategic intervention applies to this particular account because it comes from policy initiatives. There is a credit operating account --
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Yes, that clarifies the point.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the Second Consideration stage of the Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund Bill, 2013.
BILLS -- THIRD READING 4:30 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we will take item number 7.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to crave the indulgence of the Hon Majority Leader, if it pleases him.
This is perhaps, the largest budget in terms of the agencies that we are going to look at. The last time I checked, the report is 35 pages, 58 cost centres, several strategic interventions -- SADA, MASLOC, NPRA, Aids Commission et cetera. Mr Speaker, this is one time that you need to allow Hon Members of Parliament to read the report carefully, so that they can contribute properly.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, is there any other item? They think Office of Government Machinery should be given some time. So, is there any other item you would want to take?
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. You remember that we were about moving the Motion on the Audit Service and then some complications did come up and you directed that we should go and do the reconciliation.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Yes.
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have since done that reconciliation and we have also done consultations across both sides. We did discover where the error is and the position we came to was that, we can actually move for the appropriation
in terms of the figure as it stands in the Committee's Report and then adminis- trative measures would be used to correct the original communications. This is where we reached on this matter. And if leave could be granted, we can continue with moving that particular Motion to get it out of the way.
Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Very well. You can now move the Motion and the Committee's Report would be submitted and the debate --
Dr Prempeh 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before the Hon Leader moves the Motion, I suggest he withdraws the Presidential Paper he laid on Audit Service. Mr Speaker, on the record, we would have two Papers laid and since we agree that the GH¢119 million is correct, let us withdraw the letter from the Office of the President before we move -
- 4:30 p.m.

Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
Hon Member, we cannot withdraw it but we can amend it.
Hon Members, we cannot withdraw it because, if that is withdrawn, we have nothing before us. Under the law, it must come from the President and be laid. So, he would move it and we would then amend the record and do the necessary communications.
Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why I said others would be cured through administrative procedures.
Mr Speaker, I would like that Motion number 6 be amended and the figure to read GH¢119,115,792. And with that amendment, Mr Speaker, I proceed to move Motion number 6 on the Order Paper.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 4:30 p.m.

  • [Resumption of debates from column 2658]
  • Prof George Y. Gyan-Baffour (on behalf of the Chairman of the committee) 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude the presentation of the Report of the Committee.
    Mr Speaker, I believe just for clarity, the meeting that we held this afternoon has to be explained how the thing arose.
    The Audit Service initially applied for the GH¢132 million to the President. But in that request, they had GH¢13,136,259 as a donor component coming from KfW. So, the President approved all of that including that GH¢13 million. That is what brought it to GH¢132 million.
    But when they went to the Finance Ministry, the Minister told them that the KfW loan had not been signed yet, so, it could not be added to the budget for this year and that if it should be available next year, it would be released to them. So, when you take that GH¢13,136,259 from the GH¢132 million approved by the President, you have exactly the GH¢119 million that is in the budget.
    I believe Mr Speaker is following what I am saying? You know they applied for GH¢132 million. --
    Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
    I am getting you, so you finish; I will ask you one question.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 4:30 p.m.
    So, that is the reason. Actually, it confirms what you are saying that we do not have to withdraw the letter from the President now. This is because the President has given the approval for Government of Ghana (GoG) component, which is GH¢119 million and then what they can get from KfW, if that should come. So, for now, we can keep that letter --
    Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
    Is the KfW facility coming back to this House or it is a grant?
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 4:30 p.m.
    Maybe, it would pass through the House. But it has not. They were doing their arrangements and when they submitted the request to the President, that is, earlier in the year, they thought they were going to get it and the President approved of everything, the GoG plus the KfW loan. They have not signed the agreement. I do not know whether --
    Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
    But are these not estimates? These are estimates, Hon Member for Wenchi; they are not actuals. So, what would be the harm caused?
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the harm is that, if the loan or the grant or whatever has not been approved yet, you cannot appropriate it; you cannot put it as part of the appropriation for this year. But in anticipation that they may get it, they sent that request including that amount to the President and he approved everything. That is why they said they had all that they wanted. But that amount has not been either signed or --
    Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am going to continue with the Report where I left off ealier.
    Again, the Committee observed that, in 2014, an allocation of GH¢ 23,577,737 has been made to the Service to take care of staff allowances that are not paid through the IPPD and reimbursable expenditure.
    However, considering the problems faced by the Audit Service in 2013, with regard to release of these allowances, the Committee strongly urge MoF to endeavour to adhere to the cash plan which will be submitted to it for the release of the 2014 allocations made to the Audit Service for reimbursable expenditure and allowances that are not paid through the
    IPPD, to forestall a repeat occurrence of the 2013 problems.
    Special Audits
    The Committee observed that the Audit Service has not been including the auditing of certain national programmes such as general elections, preparation and participation in the World Cup and other international competitions as part of its audit activities. In the view of the Committee, these are special programmes where huge amount of public funds are expended.
    The Committee therefore urges the Audit Service to include the auditing of such programmes as part of its special audit activities.
    Conclusion
    The Ghana Audit Service is one of the key anti-corruption agents whose financial and administrative indepen- dence must be safeguarded by all stakeholders to ensure the discharge of their constitutional mandate without fear or favour. The first step towards its financial independence has been secured with Ministry of Finance allocating the entire budgetary requirement of the Service without the normal review. Given that, most audit activities and reporting are time-bound, it is hopeful that, funds required for the execution of such audit assignments should be timely released for the intended purposes.
    The Committee, therefore recommends to the House to approve an amount of one hundred and nineteen million, one hundred and fifteen thousand, seven hundred and ninety-two Ghana cedis (GH¢119,115,792) for the Audit Service to execute its planned programmes and projects.
    Respectfully submitted.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House hereby approves the sum of GH¢119, 115,792 for the services of the Audit Service for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
    Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we just have two items to lay. That is, item 4 (j) (i) and (ii). The Chairman of the Committee has alerted me that the Reports are ready; if he could be obliged to lay them.
    PAPERS 4:30 p.m.

    -- 4:30 p.m.

    Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Members are beginning to indicate to me that diminishing returns are setting in. I would have been minded --
    Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
    But is there any Motion ready?
    Hon Members, with the greatest respect, the rate at which we are approving the estimates, our work output for the week so far is not the best compared to previous years. And if we are going at this rate, we are going to Sit into the night sometime next week. It is very clear the rate at which we are working. If there is a Motion that is ready to be taken, I would want to plead with the House that we take one or two, then we adjourn.
    Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
    Motion numbered 13, Mr Speaker. I was taking a cue from you because of the Government Machinery matter that --
    Mr Speaker 4:30 p.m.
    No! They raised an objection to Office of Government Machinery and I agreed with them.
    Dr Kunbuor 4:30 p.m.
    So, we would take Motion number 13, Mr Speaker.
    BILLS -- SECOND READING 4:30 p.m.

    Minister for Finance) 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2013 be read the Second time.
    Mr Speaker, this Bill seeks to amend the Customs and Excise Duties and other Taxes Act, 1996 (Act 512) to exempt raw materials used for the manufacture of HIV/ AIDS drugs and printing of textbooks and exercise books for import duties.
    Question proposed.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 4:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion and in doing so, present the Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2013 was presented to Parliament by Hon. Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson on behalf of the Hon. Minister for Finance and read for the First time on Thursday, 28th November, 2013 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 174(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    Mr Speaker further directed the Committee to determine whether the Bill is of urgent nature to be taken through all the three stages of passage in a day, in accordance with article 106 (13) of the Constitution and Order 119 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth E. Terkpeh, Deputy Minister for Finance, Hon George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan, officials from the Ministry of Finance, Attorney-General's Department and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and considered the referral.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister, the Deputy Minister and officials from the Ministry, Attorney- General's Department and the GRA for their assistance.
    Reference
    The Committee referred to the following documents at its deliberations:
    The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
    The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    The Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) Act, 1996 (Act 512).
    Background
    The Minister for Finance in presenting the 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government outlined policy measures that the Government intends to undertake to promote and increase the printing of textbooks and exercise books as well as the manufacture of the HIV/ AIDS drugs locally. And it is to give effect to these measures that the Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) [MR
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Avedzi 4:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the rate for both materials for the manufacture of HIV/AIDS drugs and that of the printing of textbooks is the same at 20 per cent.
    So, Mr Speaker, I amend the first column where we have “paper -- raw materials for printing of textbooks/exercise books.” I amend that one to read; “material for the manufacture of HIV/ AIDS drugs”.
    Mr Speaker, I accordingly amend the Appendix attached to the Report, the first column that, instead of “paper” -- raw material for printing of textbooks/exercise books”, it should read “materials for the manufacture of HIV/AIDS drugs”.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:50 p.m.
    I wanted to put the Question.
    Dr A. A. Osei 4:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted the Chairman to make the appropriate amendments before I contribute.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:50 p.m.
    Would you suggest the amendment?
    Dr A. A. Osei 4:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I support his amendment in the Appendix.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:50 p.m.
    Hon Dr A. A. Osei, have you finished?
    Dr A. A. Osei 4:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I never started. Mr Speaker, we are told this is intended as it were, to promote some local industries in a sense. We are told further that, in the health sector, perhaps, we are only talking about one manufacturer who is producing HIV/AIDS material, maybe, on two drugs. So, it is not that we are extending it to a lot of companies.
    In the education sector, we would notice that the Committee is saying that the tenders should be administered by the Ministry of Education and we are told that it is for a purpose to ensure that only the textbooks and exercise books recom- mended by the Ministry of Education are covered. Here again, we are talking about six or seven local people. If that is the case, the exemption as indicated here does not exceed GH¢6 million.
    So, I do not look at it as a revenue measure per se, whether up or down but as an employment policy to promote local manufacturers but not because we want to lose revenue; because GH¢6 million out of GH¢17 million is not much. If those are the intended purposes, then I think that we should support it because on the balance, the employment objective far outweighs the potential loss of GH¢6 million.
    In the health area, it is really a serious matter. We were told by the National AIDS Commission in an earlier discussion, that there have been shortages in the stocks of some forms of drugs and if this would encourage local producers to produce to avoid the shortages, then I think it is a good policy.
    So on those bases, notwithstanding the minimum loss of GH¢6 million, I think that I support the Motion.
    SPACE FOR APPENDIX 1 --
    PAGE - 5 - 4.4.40 P.M.
    Minister for Information and Media Relations (Mr Mahama Ayariga) 4:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe this is a major initiative by Government to encourage the local printing of textbooks and exercise books. Contrary to what the Hon Member indicated, I think on both the revenue side and the employment side, there is an opportunity for gain.
    Hitherto, we have a situation where publishers would take contracts from the Ministry of, Education and procure the services of, let us say, Indian companies to print the books. This leaves out local manufacturers and the opportunity for them to earn a portion of that income from the manufacturing or the printing of the books.
    So, if we now have a situation where there is an incentive to print the books locally, and local manufacturers are contracted to print the books, they would take some of that money, they would pay tax to Government for that industrial activity. So, in terms of the revenue side, we would gain from them in terms of corporate income tax arising from having won the contracts for the local printing of the books.
    At the same time also, we would have saved, in terms of the losses, the exchange rate issues and so on. So, on all sides, Mr Speaker, I believe that this is a policy initiative that inures to the benefit of our country.
    In addition to providing an oppor- tunity for driving forward government major policy, which is creating more employment opportunities. We know that the printing industry is a large employer in terms of numbers, and so, when we get all of them on board, they would be able to create more jobs.
    It is not just about six companies as he is indicating. There are many printing firms in this country, which are reluctant to expand their companies because they are not sure about getting contracts from
    publishers. But once this obstacle is removed, they would have the opportunity to expand their printing presses and to be able to provide the service. So, we are very soon likely to see what would appear clearly to be a major expansion in terms of the activities of printers and producers of textbooks in this country.
    I believe, on all sides, this is clearly a very laudable policy that should be encouraged, that should be supported, and I think that Hon Members should vote overwhelmingly for this particular tax legislation.
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia) 5 p.m.
    Very laudable project, I totally agree.
    Mr Speaker, let us go through the memorandum very well. In the memorandum, the second paragraph, we are told that currently, the import of textbooks and exercise books into the country does not attract any import duty. I would want to end there. The import of the textbooks and exercise books does not. When you come to the last paragraph, it says that: “The amendment therefore exempts from import duty the import of raw materials for the manufacture of textbooks and exercise books”. Very good.
    If we want to create employment, if we want to generate revenue by the businesses growing, when we come to the amendment, why do we limit it to only tenders administered by the Ministry of Education? If we want to promote local industry, which I believe is correct, if we want to expand the business, which I believe is correct, we must encourage, through this legislation, our local printers to even export.
    So, I think if the HIV medicines-- we are not restricting it to only those who are going to do tenders through the Ministry of Health, we should not turn round in education --
    Mr Ayariga 5 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a reason this policy initiative is tailored to meet a specific challenge. The Government of Ghana is the largest procurer of textbooks for schools across the country. In fact, sometimes, in a year, we can procure up to 25 million pounds of textbooks, like we did a few years ago. The contracts are awarded to publishers, not to printers.
    The contracts are awarded to publishers and the arrangement is such that publishers will be given the syllabi, then they will procure the service of authors who will write for them, then they will present it to a group that will evaluate and decide on the quality. If it meets the requirement of the Ministry, then the publisher is awarded the contract.
    Our expectation is that, when they take the contract, which runs into millions, they will procure the services of local printers,
    so that they will benefit. But when they take it, they go abroad to print the textbooks. So, we are tailoring this measure to target the procurement of these textbooks.
    The reason it cannot be opened as wide as he is proposing is that the same materials can be used for so many different purposes. For instance, they can be used for birthday cards; they can be used for so many activities, and so if you open it up, it is likely to lead to abuse.
    Secondly, it will have a major impact in terms of the revenues to the Ministry of Finance. We want to restr ict it to Education, also because Education should benefit from certain tax incentives. We are trying to deal with the situation where the publishers do not go abroad to print the textbooks but actually procure those textbooks from local printers.
    I think that we should leave it where it is. This is a major initiative in itself and we believe that it will boost the local printing industry as it stands. If in the future, looking at revenue flows, we find it necessary to extend it to other printers, I mean, people who paint campaign materials, posters, et cetera, we can look at that. But for now, we want to limit it to educational materials.
    Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah (NPP -- Abuakwa-North) 5 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the arguments being professed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee and the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations seem very cogent but they are very theoretical.
    Mr Speaker, if you read the last paragraph of page 3 of the Report, it says, and I beg to quote:.
    “The Committee, however, is of the view that since the exempted raw materials, particularly those meant

    for printing of textbooks and exercise books could be used for other purposes, the Ministry of Finance should tighten the control measures to ensure that the system is not abused.”

    Mr Speaker, we live in a country where instant milk is described as infant milk and, therefore, they do not pay the requisite duties and taxes. They have put in a report that Ministry of Finance should check that there are abuses -- They know there are abuses.

    In the same vein, if you take the next page, it tells you that the loss is only GH¢6 million, knowing fully well that the base upon which this GH¢6 million is calculated, is a narrow one and now, we are going to expand the base and therefore, the loss will not be GH¢6 million. It could go as high as GH¢20 million.

    So, please, when they make these arguments, as theoretical as they make them, they should please, let us look at the practical side. This Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill will be abused. The intended purpose, that the publishers will use the printers or the local producers will not take place because they themselves, their argument is that “it is our intention”.

    If they want the publishers to use the services of the local printers, then it should be in the contract of the publishers when you issue the tenders to them. That is how you guarantee.

    So, please, if they want to make this amendment, I can assure them, the losses to the State will exceed GH¢6 million and the intended purposes of widening the production and improving manufacturing and the workforce generation will not happen. In the end, the economy will

    suffer; we would remain where we are and just increase taxes and taxes and overburden the economy as we see today.
    Mr Mathias K.Ntow (NDC -- Aowin) 5 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the fact that if we are putting something into action, we think about negativity of that project. This is a very laudable idea.
    The Hon Deputy Minister has explained that it is going to boost the local industry. Why do we have officers who are employed by Government and they are paid every month at the borders? If they cannot check and they allow other people to abuse this privilege, then we are not going anywhere in this country.
    So, Mr Speaker, I am of the view that so far as this laudable idea is coming in, it is better we support it and then implore everybody, and ensure that everybody takes up their responsibility to ensure that it becomes very fruitful for the benefit of this country.
    We do not know the number of textbooks and exercise books we import into this country. Now, if there is an avenue to ensure that we produce them here in Ghana, I think it is very laudable and all of us need to embrace it.
    So, I urge Hon Members to support this and ensure that we produce them here. We eat what we produce and produce what we eat.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
    Hon Member, the sense of the House that I get is not that any Hon Member is against the local production. It is just the methodology. Some Hon Members are suggesting other methods. The Bill suggests that we use taxation or we use tariff measures. So, I do not think any Hon Member has said here that they do not support that measure.
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to crave the indulgence of the Hon Chairman for him to make a further amendment of the Appendix. Column 2 - - the sum cannot be GH¢13.3 million. I believe it has to be GH¢25 point something million so, if the Chairman can just -- column 2, Appendix 1, GH¢12.19 million plus GH¢13.59 million should be way about GH¢25 million. So, I think it is a typographical error. It is at column 2. So, if the Hon Chairman can make the amendment.
    Mr Avedzi 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Ranking Member should come back again. He talked about GH¢12.198 million --
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the total in the last row cannot be GH¢13.5 million.
    Mr Avedzi 5:10 p.m.
    All right. Mr Speaker, I will sum up the two and then give the correct figure.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    The Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2013 was accordingly read a Second time.
    MOTIONS 5:10 p.m.

    Minister for Finance) 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 128 (1) which require that when a Bill has been read a Second time, it shall pass through a Consideration Stage which shall not be taken until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed, the Consideration Stage of the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2013 may be taken today.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
    Item 15 -- Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2013 at the Consideration Stage.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 5:10 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, there is only one clause, so the clause --
    The clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    The Long Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage.
    Suspension of Standing Order 131 (1)
    Deputy Minister for Finance (Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson) (on behalf of the
    Minister for Finance) 5:10 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 Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2013 may be moved today.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    BILLS -- THIRD READING 5:10 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
    Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item 18.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Finance, item 18.
    Mr Forson 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:10 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I was trying to draw the Hon Deputy Majority Leader's attention that item 18 would require a bit of a debate because of the implications. Item 33 -- Because the Committee is rejecting the Minister's recommendation, really, there is no decision to be taken except to reject it.
    So, since we would want to do one more, it would be easier to do that to avoid -- If you go to what he is bringing, Mr Speaker will necessarily have to allow us a long time to debate. So, I am craving his indulgence that we go to item number 33, which is more straightforward and then we can close.
    Mr Agbesi 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we agree that we should go to item 33. So, we should step down item 18.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
    Item 33.
    BILLS -- SECOND READING 5:10 p.m.

    Minister for Finance) 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2013 be now read a Second time.
    Mr Speaker, the Bill seeks to amend the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy, Act 862, to revise the end date of the levy from 2014 to the end of June, 2014.
    Question proposed.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr. James K. Avedzi) 5:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, I present the Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was presented to Parliament by the Hon Deputy Minister, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance and read for the First time on Thursday, 28th November, 2013. The Bill was referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 174 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    Mr Speaker further directed the Committee to determine whether the Bill is of urgent nature to be taken through all the three stages of passage in a day in accordance with article 106 (13) of the Constitution and Order 119 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr. James K. Avedzi) 5:20 p.m.
    anticipation of an improved or stabilized fiscal economy by June, 2014. The Bill should rather be introduced in June, 2014 when the fiscal situation has improved and stabilised. It is important to note that this decision is expected to generate additional revenue of approximately GH¢78.05 million.
    Conclusion
    The Committee has thoroughly examined the Bill and considers the passage of the Bill to be premature and accordingly recommends to the House to adopt its Report and not to approve the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
    Respectfully submitted.

    Ranking Membr of the Committee (Dr Anthony A. Osei): Mr Speaker, prior to making a contribution, I need your guidance. If you listen to the Committe's recommendation, items 34 and 35 should not have been put on the Order Paper.

    Mr Speaker, I support the Chairman.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, I remember it was Hon Akoto Osei who said that if the work of the Committee was not subject to approval by the House, then there would be no need to bring it here. So, the Committee has recommended that -- The Report says the Bill should be rejected; the House can reject the Report. So, these items will appear on the Order Paper. But when the House agrees with the decision of the Committee, then we will not go on.
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I asked for your guidance.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    You guided me the last time. [Laughter.]
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:20 p.m.
    Thank you so much.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the last but one paragraph that the Chairman read is self - - explanatory. The Committee feels strongly that why it was brought in - We have no reason to anticipate that the stabilisation will come earlier than is being said. So, if after June, 2014, the Hon Minister really believes that fiscal stabilisation has occurred, he could come back but for Parliament to anticipate that some estimates will come through, it is not reasonable. That is why we rejected it.
    So, I urge Hon Members to support the Committee's recommendation to adopt the Report.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    That the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2013 should not be read a Second time.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    Sorry, this reading should be expunged from the Hansard because the decision of the House is that it should not be read. So it should not have been read. That is the decision of the House.
    Mr Agbesi 5:20 p.m.
    So, Mr Speaker, we adopt the Report and that is the end, that it should not --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    Yes, I agree with you. So the Report of the
    Committee is duly adopted and the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2003 will not be read a Second time.
    I direct that what was read therefore should be expunged from the records, it was read mistakenly.
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we need to capture it correctly. The Motion the Hon Minister moved was to read it a Second time, so what we were doing was to reject the Motion. But that is not what you read. The Motion he read was for us to read it a Second time. Our decision was to reject his Motion. But the way it was read, it was captured as if we are adopting his Motion. So, I think we should be clear in our minds.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    The Motion by the Hon Deputy Minister was that it should be read a Second time. The Chairman of the Committee got up and said that the Committee says it should not be read a Second time; the Ranking Member supported the Chairman. The Deputy Minister 's Motion was not seconded because it was the Minister -- I stand corrected --
    Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah -- rose
    -- 5:20 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    Hon Opare-Ansah, do not worry, I will give you an opportunity.
    My understanding is that the Deputy Minister's Motion was not seconded. This is because you cannot second a Motion and amend it. You second it as moved or you do not second it.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 5:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my understanding was that the Hon Chairman was seconding the Motion as moved by the Hon Deputy Minister. So, the proper thing to have been done, would have been
    for the Hon Chairman to have moved a counter- Motion and once that counter- Motion is approved by the House, it automatically nullifies the original Motion that the Hon Deputy Minister moved.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
    So, I direct that what the Hon Chairman moved was a Motion and was seconded by the Ranking Member who supported it and we have put the Question. No Hon Member has seconded the Hon Minister's Motion and if it has not been seconded, it cannot be considered by the House. So, there is a counter-Motion.
    Hon Ayariga, you do not seem happy? Can I help you?
    Mr Ayariga 5:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just for your guidance.We are looking at a Second Reading here. Whether or not -- If the Second Reading does not take place today, the Bill has been defeated. If the Second Reading does not take place, has the Bill been defeated? [Some Hon Member: Yes] It is just the Second Reading that has not taken place, but the Bill still remains pending in the House. [Interruption.]
    An Hon Member 5:20 p.m.
    How?
    Mr Chireh 5:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister moved for us to adopt the Motion that he was reading it the Second time. After he has wrongly seconded, you will put the Question and we will say “No” and when we say “no”, it means we have defeated the Minister's Motion. That is simple; because any time we say “Ayes”, it means the Bill has been read a Second time.
    Mr Agbesi 5:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman read the Report of the Committee. In its conclusion, he said that:
    “The Committee has thoroughly examined the Bill and consider the passage of the Bill to be premature
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think -- that is why I raised it. The Hon Chairman started by saying that he is supporting the Motion, which is wrong. But he did not offer any counter-Motion and you called the Question on the Motion on the Order Paper. That is how it happened and that is why I wanted to bring your attention to it that it looks as if the Hon Chairman was supporting the Motion but he was not.
    So your directive, if it is accepted, should be that the Chairman moves a counter-Motion to reject the Hon Minister's Motion and adopt this Report and then if your directives are such, then we would take it as such.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
    Order 81 of the Standing Orders says:
    “Unless otherwise provided in these Orders, every motion unless made at the Second Reading or Consideration Stage of a Bill, must be seconded, and if not seconded shall not be debated or entered in the Votes and Proceedings.”
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:30 p.m.
    But Mr Speaker, the problem is that he started by saying that he is supporting this Motion; that is the problem.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 5:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there are several ways to deal with this. In fact, if you proceed to read Order 82, the Hon Deputy Minister could simply withdraw his Motion and the matter would have been resolved. If you go by what Hon Chireh said, after the Chairman presented the Report of the Committee, we could vote “No”, which is, not to approve the Hon Deputy Minister's Motion for a Second Reading, which will solve the problem. Or he could move a counter-Motion and when that counter-Motion stands, as I earlier proposed, that could also solve the problem.
    So there are several ways, indeed, to kill a cat.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
    I believe, to make it procedurally neat, the Hon Deputy Minister should withdraw his Motion. When the Hon Deputy Minister withdraws his Motion -- Or if he likes, he should keep his Motion, no Hon Member would second it; then the Hon Chairman would move a counter-Motion. That would be seconded and then we would put the Question.
    For the avoidance of doubt, just to make it neat, because what has happened is that the Hon Deputy Minister moved a Motion, that Motion when it was being seconded, the effect of what was said was that it was not seconded. This is because when you move a Motion and I second it and say that -- I have to support you. Seconding means I support you. I cannot second you when I do not support you.
    So, as I listened to him, at the end of it, he said that it is premature and that this matter should be brought in June. So, for the moment, he is not supporting it. That meant that he had not seconded the Motion. In effect, what I interpreted it to mean was that, he had moved a counter- Motion. So, when the Hon Ranking
    Member got up to support him, then I took it that the Hon Ranking Member had seconded his Motion.
    The Hon Deputy Minister's Motion was left unseconded, and so, I put the Question on the counter-Motion, not on the Deputy Minister's Motion. I said that the Question was that the Bill shall not be read a Second time; that is how I put the Question. So, the Question was put on the counter-Motion, not on the Motion.
    That was why when the Clerk-at-the- Table read it out, I told them that, they could not read it out because that is not the Motion, that I put. I did not put the Motion, that it should be read a Second time.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
    So, Hon Members -- Hon Ayariga, are you worried about something? I will give you one second to express your worry.
    Mr Ayariga 5:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it is important for us to go back to article 106 (6) of the 1992 Constitution and see whether we may not get some guidance regarding how to proceed on this matter. And it says, with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “106(6) the report of the committee, together with the explanatory memorandum to the Bill, shall form the basis of a full debate on the Bill for its passage, with or without amendments, or its rejection, by Parliament.”
    Mr Speaker, as for the Second Consideration Stage, it is essential for us to go through it -- [Interruption.] Yes,
    sorry, the Second Reading. This is because if you look at subclause (5), it talks about the procedure for getting into the Second Reading, and it says that:
    “106(5) Where a Bill has been deliberated upon by the appropriate committee, it shall be reported to Parliament.”
    So, this Bill has been deliberated upon by the Committee and it has been reported to Parliament. Then subclause (6) says that;
    “106(6)The report of the committee, together with the explanatory memorandum to the Bill, shall form the basis for a full debate on the Bill for its passage, with or without amendments, or its rejection by Parliament.”
    So, my contention is that, we have to actually go through a process of debating and voting on it -- [Interruption] No!What you are saying is that we should have had a counter-Motion. That, we should not even go through a Second Reading. That is the effect of saying that there should have been a counter-Motion. -- [Interruption] -- No! Mr Speaker, the effect of saying that there should have been a counter-motion is to say that we should not have accepted to go through a Second Reading.
    But from the Constitution, we need to go through a Second Reading, which entails looking at the Report and, maybe, amending or not amending, but voting to say “No”. That is what Mr Speaker put before us -- To vote to say “No”, and we voted and said “No”. So there is no need for a counter-Motion.
    The way Mr Speaker presented the issue is the right procedure. That, we actually went through the process of a Second Reading, which is, to have the Report and the Memorandum debated --

    [Interruption.]After the debate, then we would vote on whether would want the Bill passed or we want it not passed. And so, what we allowed to happen was for the Motion to be moved for a Second Reading, which is the debate, and that debate actually took place; in which we contributed. So, you do not put the Question to us, that based on the Report of the Committee, we are to reject the Bill and we said: “Yes, we are rejecting the Bill”. So, I do not see any irregularity in this matter.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    I think that unless you have very strong feelings, which I am prepared to listen to, I suspect that even what Hon Ayariga has said, and even the reading of article 106 (6) of the Constitution, has strengthened me further. It says that:
    “The report of the committee, together with the explanatory memorandum to the Bill, shall form the basis for a full debate on the Bill for its passage, with or without amendments, or its rejection, by Parliament.”
    So, what happened was that when the Hon Deputy Minister moved, then the Committee came in and presented its Report. The Report of the Committee, in my view, amounted to a counter-Motion because they did not support the Second Reading. Then the Hon Ranking Member got up and supported what the Hon Chairman had
    said. So, in effect, he was seconding what the Hon Chairman said, and when I was putting the Question, I put it in the negative that it shall not be read a Second time. So on that basis, I think that it is finished; it is done.
    The Motion moved by the Chairman of the Committee and seconded by the Hon Ranking Member that the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2013 should not be read a Second time has duly been carried.
    Thank you, Hon Members.
    Hon Leader, any indications?
    Mr Agbesi 5:30 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. At this stage and looking at the mood of the House, we would want you to adjourn the House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Ayariga 5:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
    No! For this one, it is after two o'clock, so, the adjournment is entirely at my discretion. He has moved that -- I wanted just to give him the opportunity, if he had something to say.
    On that basis, the House is accordingly adjourned to tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon and so soon, after that, we shall meet.
    ADJOURNMENT 5:30 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 5.42 p.m. till Friday, 13thDecember, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.