Debates of 13 Dec 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

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

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 10:10 a.m.

Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to present the Business Statement.
Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 12th December, 2013 and arranged Business of the House for the Eighth Week ending Wednesday, 18th December, 2013.
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 10:10 a.m.
Arrangement of Business
Statement(s)
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 70(2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Your goodself may also admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members in accordance with Order 72.

Bills, Papers and Reports

Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day, in accordance with Standing Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.

Motions and Resolutions

Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.

Extended Sittings/Sitting of the House on Monday

Mr Speaker, the Business Committee hereby informs Hon Members that the House is scheduled to Sit on Monday, 16th December, 2013.

Mr Speaker, depending on the exigencies of the state of business, the House may have extended Sittings to enable the completion of scheduled business.

Attendance of Ministers upon the House to move Motions on estimates of MDAs and other institutions

Mr Speaker, the Business Committee notes with displeasure the failure of some sector Ministers to attend upon the House to assist in the consideration of Motions on the estimates relating to their respective Ministries. The Business Committee, therefore, suggests to the House that no Motion of a Ministry shall be moved if the Minister in charge of that Ministry fails to attend upon the House and Parliament would not be compelled to Sit beyond Wednesday, 18th December, 2013, solely because of the absence of a Minister.

Mr Speaker, the House is expected to adjourn sine die on Wednesday, 18th December, 2013.

Mr Speaker, the Business Committee wishes to express gratitude and appreciation to your goodself and all Hon Members for the sterling performance during this Third Meeting.

Mr Speaker, the Committee wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Conclusion

Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport on the Suppliers Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Liaoning Huanghai Automobile IMP/EXP Company Limited of the People's Republic of China for an amount of forty million, thirty thousand, four hundred and sixty-three United States dollars (US$40,030,463.00) for the acquisition of 200 Huanghai CBU MRT buses and spare parts for the Metro Mass Transit Limited.

(b) Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport on the request for waiver of customs duty, VAT, NHIL, expatriate income taxes and other related taxes amounting related to the Suppliers Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Liaoning Huanghai Automobile IMP/EXP Company Limited of the People's Republic of China for the acquisition of 200 Huanghai CBU MRT buses and spare parts for the Metro Mass Transit Limited.

Motions --

(a) That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢209,055,215 for the services of Parliament for the year ending 31st December, 2014.

(Minister for Government Business in Parliament)

(b) That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,246, -761,983 for the services of the General Government Services for the year ending 31st December,

2014.

(Minister for Finance)

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Plant Breeders Bill, 2013 (Continuation of debate)

Committee sittings.

Statements

Presentation and First Reading of Bills --
CONSIDERATION STAGE OF BILLS -- 6:04 p.m.

THIRD READING OF BILLS -- 6:04 p.m.

PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 6:04 p.m.

OFFICIAL REPORT 6:04 p.m.

CONTENTS 6:04 p.m.

CONSIDERATION OF ANNUAL ESTIMATES -- 6:04 p.m.

SECOND READING OF BILLS -- 6:04 p.m.

THE 6:04 p.m.

PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC 6:04 p.m.

OF GHANA 6:04 p.m.

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

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

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 10:10 a.m.

Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to present the Business Statement.
Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 12th December, 2013 and arranged Business of the House for the Eighth Week ending Wednesday, 18th December, 2013.
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 10:10 a.m.
Arrangement of Business
Statement(s)
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 70(2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Your goodself may also admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members in accordance with Order 72.

Bills, Papers and Reports

Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day, in accordance with Standing Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.

Motions and Resolutions

Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.

Extended Sittings/Sitting of the House on Monday

Mr Speaker, the Business Committee hereby informs Hon Members that the House is scheduled to Sit on Monday, 16th December, 2013.

Mr Speaker, depending on the exigencies of the state of business, the House may have extended Sittings to enable the completion of scheduled business.

Attendance of Ministers upon the House to move Motions on estimates of MDAs and other institutions

Mr Speaker, the Business Committee notes with displeasure the failure of some sector Ministers to attend upon the House to assist in the consideration of Motions on the estimates relating to their respective Ministries. The Business Committee, therefore, suggests to the House that no Motion of a Ministry shall be moved if the Minister in charge of that Ministry fails to attend upon the House and Parliament would not be compelled to Sit beyond Wednesday, 18th December, 2013, solely because of the absence of a Minister.

Mr Speaker, the House is expected to adjourn sine die on Wednesday, 18th December, 2013.

Mr Speaker, the Business Committee wishes to express gratitude and appreciation to your goodself and all Hon Members for the sterling performance during this Third Meeting.

Mr Speaker, the Committee wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Conclusion

Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport on the Suppliers Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Liaoning Huanghai Automobile IMP/EXP Company Limited of the People's Republic of China for an amount of forty million, thirty thousand, four hundred and sixty-three United States dollars (US$40,030,463.00) for the acquisition of 200 Huanghai CBU MRT buses and spare parts for the Metro Mass Transit Limited.

(b) Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport on the request for waiver of customs duty, VAT, NHIL, expatriate income taxes and other related taxes amounting related to the Suppliers Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Liaoning Huanghai Automobile IMP/EXP Company Limited of the People's Republic of China for the acquisition of 200 Huanghai CBU MRT buses and spare parts for the Metro Mass Transit Limited.

Motions --

(a) That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢209,055,215 for the services of Parliament for the year ending 31st December, 2014.

(Minister for Government Business in Parliament)

(b) That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,246, -761,983 for the services of the General Government Services for the year ending 31st December,

2014.

(Minister for Finance)

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Plant Breeders Bill, 2013 (Continuation of debate)

Committee sittings.

Statements

Presentation and First Reading of Bills --
AND 10:10 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Members, any comment on the Business Statement as presented?
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 1, there is (iii) (b), which says that “This House approves the sum of GH¢1,246,761,983 for the services of the “General Government services”, and I am wondering what is “General Government Services”? I do not know of General Government Services, but I know of “Other Government Obligations”. Maybe, there is a new thing that the Minister may want to advise us.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Yes, we all need to be on the same page. So, what do we mean by “General Government Services”? Is it “different from other Government Obligations”?
Dr Kunbuor 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, when I received the draft, I did underline that particular section and I have asked that they should get clarification for it. I guess that there seems not to be any explanation of the change in nomencla- ture.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, is it a new head of expenditure or it is the same as “Other Government Obligations”?
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson 10:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
The name is “Other Government Obligations”.
Dr A. A.Osei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if that is so, then could the Deputy Minister explain why the sum there is different from what is on page 213?
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Is there a marked difference?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:20 a.m.
Substantial, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Majority Leader, please take this matter up and clarify. When I saw it, I was wondering what we meant by “General Government Services”, whether it is a new head of expenditure since we have never handled anything like this in this House.
Dr Kunbuor 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would reconcile it and duly inform the House.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have heard from the grapevine that there would be a Carols Night on the 18th December, 2013. Unfortunately, it is not stated anywhere in the Business Statement. So, I would want to know from the Chairman of the Business Committee whether it came to his notice.
Dr Kunbuor 10:20 a.m.
Yes, we have all received cards on that matter but that was not brought to the Business Committee. So, they did not consider it. I guess that it is part of the normal order of things.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, the Christmas Carols Night is an annual event. You mean nobody has briefed you?
Dr Kunbuor 10:20 a.m.
No, Mr Speaker. I received a card inviting me to the Carols Night and that is all I know about it.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you see, I would not use the word “ritual”, but it is a yearly thing that is being done for Parliament itself and if it is an oversight, I think that maybe, we need to reconsider it. Otherwise, I am not sure whether each Member had an invitation. I had an invitation; maybe, you have. I do not know whether each Member has also had the invitation; otherwise, we need to put it here to be able to get Members invited. Otherwise, Leadership is going to sit down there with Mr Speaker alone and that is not right.
Dr Kunbuor 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we certainly would want it added to the Business Statement and Hon Members are accordingly informed of the Carols Night.
But we would direct the appropriate persons involved to make sure that invitation is extended to all Hon Members.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Members, I have looked at page 214 of the Budget Statement, we have General Government Services there. So, we have to be sure exactly what we are doing because it is part of the Business Statement. This is because the Deputy Minister for Finance created the impression that it is “Government Obligations”. But we have it in the Budget. So, I would want you to reconcile that and know exactly what it is; what head of expenditure that it is so that we know what we are doing.
Mr Nitiwul 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to reiterate paragraph 4 of the Business Statement and say that the House is not happy about the attitude of some of the Ministers. It is very appalling and I believe that we on the Minority side support that particular decision by the House, that the Ministers must be present.
Mr Speaker, I am just looking at the reports, and trying to see how many Ministers were present. I can see that most of them were Deputy Ministers who were present to defend their own budget. First, you do not defend your budget with the Committee and when it is on the floor of the House itself for you to come to answer and make sure that you get money to run your Ministry, you would not want to come. I do not know what they take the House for. This is because without the budget, you will not be able to run your Ministry effectively and the mandate handed over to them to do it on behalf of
the President would not be achieved. I really do not know why they believe that there are other activities or interests that are more paramount to them than the Budget.
The Budget should take precedence over any other thing, unless the President so decides, otherwise, the Budget takes precedence over any other thing and this House should not take excuses again.
It is not good, Mr Speaker.
Paragraph 4 is so important to us and I believe this House in taking the decision, would keep reminding the Ministers about this until we rise.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just to note the observation and for purposes of information, I am aware that His Excellency the President, in a pre-budget and post budget engagement, directed all Ministers to demonstrate absolute responsibility and punctuality in ensuring that the Appropriation Bill is approved accordingly, particularly those standing by sector Ministers.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Minister, you are always in the House to transact your business. Where are the rest of your Colleagues?
Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, you are always in the House. Yesterday, we passed a Bill that you introduced in this House; you are always here to transact your business. What about the rest of your Colleagues? In fact, the information you have provided has even made the matter worse. If they are not
respecting the President and they are not respecting the House, then I do not know who they would want to respect in this country.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry has said the President had given directives. That is a very serious statement. In spite of the President's directive, Ministers are not coming.
Mr Speaker, some of us have had the opportunity to serve, and I remember very well that I was at a conference in the United Kingdom when I was instructed by the President to return to Ghana and come to Parliament. Even my ticket-- Before he had called me, he had directed the High Commission to make arrangements.
Mr Speaker, so, if the President has given instructions and he does not wield the stick, I am sorry, it is going to be very embarrassing and this has been brought to our attention.
As a House, we ought to assist the President rule and govern effectively. [Hear! Hear!] So, the recommendation of the Business Committee is in the right direction. I am sure, for next week, no Minister has an excuse.
Mr Speaker, even though it is something that is not normally done, for you to direct the Clerk to write to His Excellency the President, bringing the concerns of the House to his attention because -- even the President's Minister for Government Business in Parliament sometimes throws up his hands in the air in despair. It is not good for our country, neither is it good for the presidency.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe it was important that this has to find expression in the Business Statement. This is because as you may see, we get the heat of the frustration trying to get our Hon Colleagues to come in.
But Mr Speaker, you can see in the Chamber a number of them are here. [Uproar.] Since yesterday, when the Hon Majority Leader instructed me to send some kind of caution to many --
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Majority Whip, you are the Chief Whip for the Majority side and in the British Parliament, you are the Government Chief Whip. Look at the Motions that we have listed. How many Ministers are here, and tell me whether all the Ministers in whose names Motions stand on the Paper are here.
Alhaji Muntaka 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I perfectly agree with you, that is why I am saying that -- [Interruption.]Mr Speaker, as we speak now, all the Motions that are ready have their Ministers seated in the Chamber. Some, that are not yet ready are at the printing room and we are getting the Ministers on their way to be here. But as we speak now, all the Motions that are ready have their Ministers sitting in the Chamber.
Mr Nitiwul 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in fact, yesterday, we should have taken Office of Government Machinery but where is the Minister for Finance?
Alhaji Muntaka 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought, with the permission of this House, the Minister left behind his able Deputy and we have been working with him since yesterday. That permission was granted by us when he came to explain the challenges that he had and we agreed that his deputy -- and the Deputy Finance Minister has been sitting here since yesterday to assist us.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip, are you aware that this week we had to suspend Sitting for one hour because there was no representative for Ministry of Finance?
Alhaji Muntaka 10:30 a.m.
Rightly so, and I am saying that, that is why since yesterday we have seen this drastic change. Mr Speaker, I am not saying this because I am trying to defend them. I am agreeing with the House that they need to be up and doing. I am only drawing attention that since yesterday, we have had some encouragement and many of them are sitting in the Chamber today to assist us.
But that notwithstanding, I perfectly agree with the Hon Member for Sekondi (Papa Owusu-Ankomah) that you should assist us by getting the Clerk to write to the Office of the President, to ensure that everybody that needs to be here, is here on time, so that we do not have the unfortunate experience of having to suspend the House or move a Motion later than when it is supposed to be taken.
Mr Daniel Nii K. Titus-Glover 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to believe that the over- protection by the Majority Chief Whip of the Ministers of State is too much.
I recall on a number of occasions that you have given stern warnings to Ministers of State to appear in this
Chamber to transact business. With the greatest of respect to your Chair, the way some Ministers are treating your Chair with that disrespect, must not be tolerated at all in this House. We are here to do business. Mr Speaker, where is the Health Minister, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Transport Minister, Education Minister, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Energy-- where are they?
Mr Speaker, we need to be careful because we would not want a situation where when on the 18th December, we would be saddled with a lot of responsibilities, we have overworked ourselves. We would want to work and the Ministers are running away from the Chamber. So, I would want you to let it be known to the Executive and the Majority side, that they need to show respect to your Chair.
Thank you very much for the opportunity.
Dr Kunbuor 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess we do not need many more words to register the position of the House on this matter. We would also on our part follow through the request that was made by the Business Committee and Mr Speaker's own directive on the matter.
Giving the number of items that we have on the Order Paper, I would entreat Hon Members if there is no very strong position, that they adopt the Business Statement and we proceed.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Business Statement for the Eighth Week.
I must say that I identify absolutely with the sentiments expressed by the Business Committee on the matter and indeed, the comments made by Hon Members on the floor.
I would want the Hon Ministers to go back and read the Standing Orders and the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana in terms of the relationship between the House and them.
I have informed my two deputies to be available to work on the matter. At times, I leave the Chair and I come back to take over from them, so that we can facilitate government business. Nothing is more frustrating than calling a Motion and the person to move it is not there. Nothing can be more frustrating to the Chair than that.
So, I hope all of us would take the sentiments expressed on the floor of the House serious, so that next week, we do not go through the experience we have had this week.
Hon Members, I thank you very much and on that note, the Business Statement for the Eighth Week is accordingly adopted.
Hon Majority Leader, at the Commencement of Public Business --
Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we will take item number 4(d).
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Item 5 or 4?
Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
Sorry. Item 5(d).
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
(b)?
DrKunbuor 10:40 a.m.
(d) for David.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
What about (a)?
Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was just informed that they are in the processing of getting that to the House.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, item 5(d) -- by the Chairman of the Committee?
Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee is bereaved and he is temporary away. So, the Vice Chairman will do it.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
PAPERS 10:40 a.m.

-- 10:40 a.m.

Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can take Motion number 7.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs?
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 10:40 a.m.

Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs (Dr Henry S. Daannaa) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢20,227,991 for the services of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, in so doing, permit me to draw the attention of the august House to some of the very important responsibilities for which the amount of money is required.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kobena M. Woyome) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 financial year to the House on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992
Constitution. Pursuant to Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs to the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture for consideration and report.
Subsequently, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Henry Seidu Daannaa and his team on Tuesday, 3rd December, 2013 and considered the referral.
The Committee expresses its apprecia- tion to the Hon Minster and his team for their co-operation.
Reference documents
The Committee made reference to the following documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 Financial Year.
iv The 2014 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs.
v. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
Mission Statement
The Ministry exists for the development of effective interface
between Government and civil society on matters relating to chieftaincy and
traditional affairs for the promotion of peace, good governance, national cultural values and international partnership for the overall development of Ghana.
Performance for Year 2013
Table 1
The Committee noted that, out of the total budgetary allocation of GH¢l9,250,153 for year 2013, only GH¢7,745,284.55 constituting 40.2 per cent was released. It is worth noting that, only GH¢6,637,844.30 (46.7 per cent) out of an allocation of GH¢ 14,215,973.00 for compensation had been released.
For goods and services, GH¢439,954.25 representing 25.02 per cent of an allocation of GH¢1,758,450.00 was released. An amount of GH¢667,486.00 (20.4 per cent) out of an allocation of GH¢3,275,730.00 was released for assets.
The Committee expressed concern about the fact that a high percentage of the Ministry's allocation for goods and services (74.98 per cent) and assets (79.6 per cent) was not released, thus making it extremely difficult for the Ministry to fully and effectively implement its planned programmes for the year.
The untimely and non-release of approved funds affected, among others, the ability of the:
Houses of Chiefs to engage experienced counsels in the resolution of chieftaincy cases, and also acquire offices and residential accommodation;
Ministry to acquire office equip- ment and a permanent office accommodation.
The above, notwithstanding, the Ministry undertook the following activities:
i. Processed sixteen (16) Legislative Instruments indicating lines of succession to sixteen (16) stools/ skins for passage into law.
ii. Launched the Royal Codes of Ethics for Chiefs and Queen
SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE
3 - 10.40A.M.
Mr Solomon N. Boar (NPP -- Bunkpurugu) 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢20,227,991 for the services of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would like to look at the allocation and releases for 2013 fiscal year. If you come to compensation, you would realise that an amount of GH¢14,215,973 was allocated to the Ministry. At the end of October, 2013, an amount of GH¢6,637,844.30 was given out to the Ministry, forming 53.3 per cent of the total budget. Then when you come to “goods and services”, you would realise that out of GH¢1,758,450, only GH¢439,954.25 was released to the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, undoubtedly, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs is an important Ministry in the country. So,
if a budget is due such a Ministry and at the end of the day, they are not able to get the needed allocation to be able to do their work, then one can just imagine what would happen to such a Ministry.
When it comes to compensation, the Committee observed that the outstanding amount that has not been released to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs are allowances meant for our traditional rulers in the country. And these are people who are important or significant in ensuring that there are peace and unity for us to do our work.
So, if from June till now, such people are not able to get their allowances, one can imagine what would be going through their minds as we address this issue today. So, we would want to urge the Ministry of Finance to try and ensure that this amount is given out, so that the various chiefs would get their allowances to be happy and to do their work well.
Mr Speaker, if you look at goods and services, you would realise that even though an amount of GH¢439,954.25 was released to the Ministry, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs has been able to do a lot of things. That tells us that this is a Ministry that is really ready to do what is good for the country.
So, if they are able to get the needed resources, I can assure you that they would go a long way to ensure that the necessary peace and security that we need in the country is brought to the fore. This is because they are occupying a significant place in the country and we must work out to ensure that when it comes to the releases of the Ministry's amount nothing is delayed. This is something that is significant.
Mr Speaker, it is also heartwarming to note that the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs is poised for action. This is because if one looks at the things they intend to do with this paltry sum that is going to be given to them, they are ready to undertake chieftaincy research to establish and codify clear lines of succession in 16 traditional areas in the country. This is significant.
They are also going to organise 50 advocacy programmes on harmful customary practices and disputes. So, we would want to urge the Ministry of Finance to work assiduously to ensure that the Ministry does not experience delays in the release of its funds in 2014. This is because this is a Ministry that we should not take whatever they do for granted.
On this note, I would want to call on all Hon Members to work hard to try and ensure that the budget is approved for them to do their work.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢20,227,991 for the services of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would take item number 13 and then number 17 after that because they all belong to the same Committee.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Majority
Leader, when we were leaving yesterday, there was an agreement among the Leadership that we would be looking at the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) budget. Some Hon Members were going to travel, so, we agreed that we would take it first, so that they could travel. But now, they cannot travel because we are not going to take those two; and it creates a problem for some of our people.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that particular Report is an important one and because of that, we are watching the sizes and numbers in the House. Immediately we think we have sufficient numbers, we would take it, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, we have sufficient numbers, that is why we are taking all the Motions.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
What I actually mean is that --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
We have the number.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
Those who showed sufficient interest in the --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, let us take Trade and Industry and then we move to reconsider your application for Office of Government Machinery.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 10:50 a.m.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I beg to move, that the Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢256,532,193 for the services of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, let me state that it is the determination of Government to improve upon our export regime. We recently launched the National Export
Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 10:50 a.m.


strategy and accordingly, we are encouraging Ghanaian entrepreneurs, particularly young people, to venture into exports with the initiation of a National Entrepreneurs Export Award which would be to encourage young people to identify niche markets for purposes of export.

Mr Speaker, we would continue our aggressive trade promotion and investment drive, working in tandem with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GOPC) and the Ghana Free Zones Board. We intend to open trade offices in Turkey, Japan, China and South Africa to facilitate trade.

Mr Speaker, one of the major concerns of the Ghanaian private sector is the cost of doing business and they want an ease to do business. With the passage and assent of the new GIPC Act, Government would establish the one-stop shop which would have a technical committee to ensure speedy registration of companies.

We are also expanding the scanning infrastructure at the port to reduce congestion, in order that importers do not suffer penalties or demurrage for delays in the clearance of goods. Therefore, we would continue to work to reduce the time and cost associated with the clearance of goods and services.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, we have also launched the third phase of the rural enterprise programme, which is intended to improve rural livelihood and rural income. 161 districts would benefit from this, with rural technology facility. So far, about 27,000 jobs have been created in terms of rural enterprises that have been supported and facilitated.

We would continue work on our industrial path and we intend that in each region of Ghana, we will develop an industrial path with dedicated access to water, electricity and ICT to promote industrial development in the future.

I will also in the course of the year, submit to the House, a revision of the Ghana Standards Authority in order that we improve its tenure.

Question Proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B Sorogho) 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion moved by the Hon Minister responsible for the Ministry and by so doing, present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 financial year was presented to the House on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh.
Mr Speaker referred the annual estimates for the 2014 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution of Ghana and pursuant to Orders 140(4) and 159 of the Standing Orders of the House.
In considering the annual estimates, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Haruna Iddrisu, his deputy, Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, and the technical team from the Ministry, Departments and Agencies under the Ministry. The Committee appreciates their invaluable assistance.
Reference documents
The following documents served as reference guide during the Committee's deliberations:
i. 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
ii. Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
iii. MDA's 2013 actuals
iv. 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy
v. Programmme-Based Budget estimates for 2014 for the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Mandate and mission of the Ministry
The mandate of the Ministry is to formulate and develop strategies, plans and programmes that promote a vibrant, technology-driven, liberalised and competitive trade and industrial sector that significantly contributes to economic growth and employment creation, particularly involving mass mobilisation of rural communities and other vulnerable groups including women.
In realising this mission, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will use its professional officers and its implementing agencies to serve the business and industr ial community with utmost efficiency, transparency and promptness.
General Sectoral Policy Objectives
The general sectoral policy objectives of the Ministry are as follows:-
i. To diversify and increase the export base.
ii.To accelerate economic integration with other regional and/or sub- regional states.
iii. To ensure increased access of industr ies to reliable and adequate energy supply.
iv. To increase competiveness and enhance integration into domestic and international markets.
v. To ensure the creation of enabling environment to enhance industrial growth and provide the momentum to achieve global competiveness.
vi. To improve Ghana's position in global and regional markets.
vii.To enhance Government's capacity for private sector policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
viii. To ensure the health, safety and economic interest of consumers.
ix. To strengthen firms' competency and capacity to operate effectively and efficiently.
x. To develop and strengthen Ghana's creative industry to actively participate in international trade.
xi. To accelerate the development of strategic sectors and
xii. To enhance women's access to economic resources
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B Sorogho) 10:50 a.m.


Key Agencies under the Ministry

For the realisation of the general sectoral policy objectives, the Ministry will implement its policies and strategies through the following agencies:

Ghana Standards Authority -- GSA

National Board for Small Scale Industries -- NBSSI

Ghana Export Promotion Authority
-- GEPA 10:50 a.m.

GCNET 10:50 a.m.

GRATIS 10:50 a.m.

Mr Daniel Titus-Glover 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to support the Motion for the approval of the budget for the Ministry of Trade and Industry on behalf of the Ranking Member, Prof. Gyan-Baffour.
Mr Speaker, the mandate of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and with your permission, let me quote some few points-- “That it has the mandate to formulate, develop strategies, plan programmes that promote vibrant, technology-driven, liberalised competitive trade and industr ial sector, that significantly contributes to the economic growth and employment creation, particularly involving mass mobilisation of rural communities and other vulnerable groups including women.”
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Yes, the last contribution, then the Hon Minister will wind up.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP - Nsawam Adoagyiri) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
I rise to support the Motion for the budget for the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Mr Speaker, just to say a few words.
I heard the Chairman of the Committee made reference to attempts by the Ministry to support the pineapple industry and largely non-traditional export crops in this country.
Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the Committee as well as the entire House to present happenings in the country and particularly --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, we are dealing with the estimates. You know this is at the estimate stage. Otherwise, I will put the Question.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your kind indulgence, this is an issue which is relevant to --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, you are a Member of this House. There are a number of tools at your disposal and you can raise this matter using any of those tools. But as at this stage, the Motion is about the estimates.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11 a.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Minister, wind up.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me thank Hon Colleagues and I would want to conclude by emphasising that following the revision of the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund, we would elevate support to the agriculture sector, particularly in irrigation. Over a two or three year period, we expect to begin work on Tamni in the Upper East Region, Kamba in the Upper West Region, Klokpe in the Volta Region small holder and also to extend support to small-holder farmers and the private stimulus package.
I thank Hon Colleagues for the opportunity and emphasise that Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) would also receive support from Government for this year.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this House approves the sum of GH¢256,532,193 for the services of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, since it is the same Committee, I suggest we take the Motion at item number 17 then after that we come to Government Obligations.
Mr Nitiwul 11:10 a.m.
Apart from his suggestion, Mr Speaker had assured him that the Motion at item number 7 would be taken after --
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
I said that we should take this one then we look at it.
But he has made a point that, since it is the same Committee, I do not believe it is going to waste time, so from there, we move to the Motion at item number 7.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:10 a.m.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts (Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu- Agyare) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the House approves the sum of GH¢33,705,525 for the services of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts for the year ending 31st December,
2014.

The Ministry and its 14 agencies carry out key programmes, including management and administration, tourism product development, tourism research

and marketing, tourism quality assurance, culture, creative arts, heritage development and management.

In 2013, the sector was allocated GH¢18,585,375 out of which GH¢7,893,361 was for goods and services; GH¢3,288,379 was for assets GH¢2,635,167 for goods and services was released. Asset vote is yet to be released.

The programme for 2013, however, received some success. The Ministry continued with its effort to repackage tourism, culture and creative arts products for both domestic and international market, to maximize investment opportunities offered by such programmes, including participation in international fairs and events such as paragliding and carnival.

As part of harnessing national culture for development, activities undertaken by the culture agencies included organisation of national drama festivals for schools and colleges, organisation of cultural exchange programmes for artists-- [Interruption] -- that is the “stress- away” exhibition of cultural heritage materials and collection, conservation and documentation of sites, artifacts for museums.

The Ministry is currently also holding KIDDAFEST and Artifact Bazaar at the National Theatre.

The outlook for tourism in 2014 is good. In 2014, the Ministry will intensify its efforts to market Ghana's tourism products in targeted markets in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, by showcasing Ghana's tourism to travel trade practitioners, the media and investors at international tourist fairs.

Tourism product development would be done. Tourism quality assurance programme would be dealt with. Culture, creative arts and heritage management programmes would be done.
Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts (Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu- Agyare) 11:10 a.m.


The Ministry would pursue actions to prepare a legal and regulatory framework.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, I would like to move the Motion for Hon Members of this august House to consider and approve the Ministry's 2014 budget amount of GH¢22,705,525 for the implementation of the above programmes.

Question Proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 Financial Year was presented to the House on Tuesday,19th November, 2013 by the Hon. Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh.
Mr Speaker referred the 2014 annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts (MTCCA) to the Committees on Trade, Industry and Tourism and Youth, Sports and Culture for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution of Ghana and pursuant to the Orders 140(4), 159 and 187 of the Standing Orders of the House.
In considering the annual estimates, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, her deputy, Hon Abla Dzifa Gomashie, and the team of officials from the Ministry, Departments and Agencies.
Reference documents
The following documents served as a reference guide during the Committee's deliberations:
i. 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. Standing Orders of the House
iii. MDAs 2013 actuals.
iv. Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2014 financial year.
v. Programmme-Based Budget Estimates for 2014 for the Ministry' of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
vi. Executive Instrument (E.I. 2013).
Mandate and mission of the Ministry
The mandate is to provide a firm, stable policy environment for effective mainstreaming of Ghanaian culture into all aspects of national life and to ensure creative economy to the Tourism Industry. It exists to create a conducive environment for sustainable development of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. This will be achieved through the formulation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of sector policies and plans in partnership with stakeholders.
Implementing agencies
1. Ghana Tourism Authority
2. Hotel Catering and Tourism Training Centre (HOTCATT)
3.Ghana Tourism Development Company
4. National Commission on Culture
5. Bureau of Ghana Languages
6. Ghana Museums and Monuments Board
7. National Theatre of Ghana
8. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
9. W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Centre
10. National Symphon Orchestra
1 1. Ghana Dance Ensemble
12. Abibigromma Theatre Company
13. National Folklore Board
14. Pan African Writers Association
Performance for the year, 2013
The total budget of GH¢18,585,375 which was allocated to the Ministry and its 14 agencies was woefully inadequate. This puts a major limitation on the implementation of mandatory pro- grammes and activities of the Ministry.
Coupled with this was the fact that some line items such as assets and donor components had no releases, while goods and service fell short by 67 per cent.
In the case of assets (capital expenditure budget) out of the approved three million, two hundred and eighty- eight thousand, three hundred and seventy-nine Ghana cedis (GH¢ 3,288,379.00), no release has been made so far; resulting in real challenges for the replacement of old equipment and vehicles. This situation is bad, particularly as the Minister and her Deputy as well as Directors do not have vehicles, making movements difficult.
However, the Committee noted that releases for compensation far exceeded what was approved. This was basically as a result of the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy. The details are outlined in Table 1:
Table 1: Variance Analysis as at October, 2013.
Programmes and activities of the Ministry in 2013
Organised the 8th Okwahu Hang and Paragliding Festival at Atibie during the Easter festival. Organised the National
Chocolate Day on the 24"1 of February,
2013
Participated in the UNWTO 20 th Session General Assembly at Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zimbabwe/Zambia.
SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE7
- 11.10A.M

Organised PANAFEST of which over 5000 African diasporas patronised the event.

Participated in the World Travel Market International Tourism Fair in Excel, London, UK.

Commemorated the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. W.E.B Du Bois and also the celebration of his birthday.

Organised the second edition of African Choral festival in Cape Coast

Organised an exhibition titled “Ankobra Gold Route': Ghana- Dutch Common Cultural Heritage in collaboration with an Italian NGO, Ricercae Cooperazione in the Western Region.

Nomination Dossier updated with maps for submission to World Heritage Committee (Tongo Teng Zuk, near Bolgatanga).

Produced and distributed Efo Kodjo Mawugbe's “In the Chest of a Woman” and Sackey Sowa's “Firestorm” by Abibigromma to 45 second cycle schools in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Southern Volta.

Restructuring of the Ministry

The Ministry and its implementing agencies are being restructured to reflect the mandate of the re-aligned Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. This

was to develop their new vision, mission, mandate and functions in collaboration with Management Services Division (MSD)/ Office of The Head of Civil Service

(OHCS).

Restructuring of the Ghana Tourism Authority

The Ghana Tourism Authority restructuring process in line with the Tourism Act 817 is on course. This is to facilitate the collection of one per cent levy paid by patrons of tourism enterprises into the Tourism Development Fund.

The Ghana Tourism Authority inspectorate division

The Ghana Tourism Authority inspected over 100 up-market hotels country-wide. The outcome was the issuance of the registration and operating licenses to hotels in order to maintain standards and quality service delivery.

Budgetary allocation for 2014

For the implementation of its programmes and activities, a sum of GH¢33,705,525 has been allocated to the Ministry in the 2014 fiscal year to cater for compensation of employees, Goods and services and assets for itself and the fourteen (14) departments and agencies which fall under the Ministry. Budgetary allocations by cost centres and programmes are shown in Tables 2(A) and (B) respectively.
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 11:10 a.m.


Programmes and activities for 2014

To contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the National Medium Term Development Plan (2014-2017), the Ministry will carry out five (5) programmes as follows:

Management Administration

Tourism Product Development

Tourism Research and Marketing

Tourism Quality Assurance

Culture, Heritage Management and promotion of creative arts

Under these programmes, the following activities will be undertaken:

Organise Greater Accra Regional Homowo (HOMOFEST) to boost culture,

Creative arts and tourism enterprises for national cohesion

Complete Accra Visitor Information Centre

Complete receptive facilities

Organise national tourism photo competition and job creation

Undertake feasibility study for marine drive tourism masterplan

Erect five (5) signages in regional capitals to promote tourists sites

Conduct research and collate data for tourism statistics

Promote Ghana in the international media

Market Ghana through participation in eight (8) international exhibitions and fairs

Produce tourism promotional materials (brochures, maps, CDs, fliers)

Market Ghana's tourism, culture and creative arts through participation in four (4) UNWTO/UNESCO international conferences

Organise World Tourism Day Celebration 2014

Organise familiarisation tours to tourist sites for policy and decision- makers, corporate Ghana and diplomats

Organise meridian festival to commemorate the Founder's Day celebration to signify Ghana's position as the centre of the world in Tema

Conduct inspections and license tourism plants in the ten (10) regions

Develop standards for new tourism enterprises (conference centres, SPAs', parks, health farms etc.)

Operationalise task force to enforce service standards and revenue generation

Organise training for 300 school leavers into the industry (HOTCATT)

Organise National Drama Festival for schools and colleges

Organise cultural exchange programmes for 60 artists and other officials

Establish Ghana Culture/Creative Arts development indicators suite (databank)

Complete regional theatre in Eastern Region

Organise training workshops for artisans in the regions

Organise annual KIDDAFEST and provide support for performing artistes

Organise national and international tours to promote Ghana's performing arts.

Rehabilitate the National Theatre.

Observations

Achievements

It is worthy to note that the Ministry maintained its position as the Fourth (4th) highest foreign exchange earner after gold, cocoa and remittances. It contributed about 4.7 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Total employment created in both formal and informal tourism enterprises was estimated at 319,000, out of which 91,000 were direct jobs.

The Committee lauds the fact that international arrivals and receipts grew by 10 per cent by rising from 903,300 in 2012 to 993,600 in 2013 resulting in corresponding increase in receipts from US$ 1.7 billion to US$ 1.9 billion.

Critical projects

The Committee observed with dismay the inadequate allocation of thirty-three million, seven hundred and five thousand, five hundred and twenty-five Ghana cedis

(GH¢33,705,525) for 2014 against the Ministry's budget proposal of one hundred and sixty-two million Ghana cedis (GH¢ 162,000,000) to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts for the performance of its functions.

The Committee further noted that this may hamper execution of critical projects, such as Accra Visitor Information Centre (AVIC), tourist receptive facilities at Axim, Kpetoe, Gwollu, Wli, Saltpond, Salaga.

The Committee also observed that marketing and promotion of Ghana's tourism, culture and creative arts products and events will be constrained as well.

Again, requisite logistics such as equipment and vehicles for supervision, monitoring and ensuring of standards by hospitality service providers is constrained.

The Committee further observed that no special allocation was made to the creative arts as was done in 2012 and 2013 budget statements and economic policy documents.

Ghana Tourism Authority

The Committee was informed that the Board which is to manage the Tourist Development Levy under the Ghana Tourist Authority is yet to be established and as such the levies collected are yet to be utilized.

It was further revealed that the Authority was not efficient in the collection of Tourism Development Levy which is its mandate.

The Committee lauded the idea that the Minister has established an audit Committee to evaluate the efficiency of the collection of the Tourism Development Levy undertaken by the Ghana Tourism Authority.
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 11:10 a.m.


National Commission on Culture

It is worthy to note that the Ministry through the National Commission on Culture will re-launch the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) and have it celebrated in 2014.

The Committee was happy to note that the Commission was working hand in hand with UNESCO to come out with cultural indicators and redefine the parameters to include the informal village entertainment.

The Committee was also informed that the regional cultural centres organises drama festivals every year for second cycle schools. The Commission is planning to organise a national festival on culture in Accra.

The regional centres for culture are in the process of producing cultural books which are yet to be completed.

National Theatre of Ghana

The Committee lauds the idea that the National Theatre is organising a Bazaar on “made in Ghana” products as part of the KIDDAFEST.

However, the Committee was not happy with the maintenance culture of the National Theatre as most of its assets and buildings are in a deplorable state.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

Notwithstanding the financial constraints, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park was able to achieve 29 per cent of its set objectives for 2013.

The Park also collaborated with the Actors Guild on some programmes.

Dubois Centre

The Committee was informed that nothing was released to the Dubois Centre for its 2013 activities. However, the Centre was able to run some of its programmes through the renting of the Open Air Theatre for programmes. The location of the Centre at Cantonments has made it reduce the number of programmes it organises because of the nuisance it causes its neighbours.

Accra Visitor Information Centre

Further, the Committee was informed that the Accra Visitor Information Centre was 90 per cent complete and needed to have it fully completed to enable it begin to function.

Maximization of internally generated funds

The Committee further noted that efforts should be made by the various agencies to raise more funds internally through innovation and creativity.

Anything short of this means, that there is no value for money. For instance, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park could charge levies on foreign dignitaries and could also establish a Donation Board, which would oversee donations from both foreign and local dignitaries.

Commitments of the Ministry

The Committee further observed that previous arrears and commitments of the Ministry and its agencies had to be met from the same ceiling. This adversely affected the promotion of traditional programmes and ongoing investment activities, namely:

i. Participation in the international tourism exhibitions and fairs. For instance, World Travel Market Fair 2012, FITUR, VAKANTI and ITB 2013 could not be attended.

ii. CNN “Eye on Ghana Project” initiated to enhance global access to Ghana's tourism for over 1 billion people which was estimated at US$ 1.5 million had to be shelved.

iii. Completion of ongoing tourist reception facilities to enhance patronage at tourist sites and create jobs in the communities and management of over 28 sites is also marking time.

iv. New initiative to provide skill training for 10,000 youth and women at tourist sites is under- funded.

v. Expansion of new Ministry's mandate calls for the supply of adequate logistics, equipment and vehicles for proper coordination, supervision and/ monitoring of tourism and cultural programmes and projects.

Development Plan

The Committee was informed that implementation of the 15-year National Tourism Development Plan 2013-2027 requires preparation of investment profiles and proposals for the development of identified tourist sites, circuits and zones.

It came to light that the Ministry took a decision to organise 2013 PANAFEST

in order not to lose its organisation to several African countries including Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia and others, who are competing with Ghana to take over its organisation. For now, funding for it from the allocation has been inadequate.

The Committee is, however, of the view that funding is required for completion of unfinished projects such as the National Science Museum, rehabilitation of abandoned regional centres of National Culture and establishment of district centres for the National Culture.

The Committee noted that proposals from various communities for the development of cultural villages must be considered for funding.

Recommendations

Based on the above observations, the Committee wishes to make the following recommendations:-

The Ministry of Finance should ensure the upward adjustment of the Ministry's budgetary allocations and the timely release of the approved allocations to enable the Ministry perform its functions effectively.

The Committee recommends to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts as a matter of urgency to establish the Governing Board to manage the Tourism Development Levy so as to facilitate its utilization.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts should ensure that the Ghana Tourism Authority is well- resourced to improve upon its efficiency in the collection of the one per cent Tourism Development Levy.
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 11:10 a.m.


Conclusion

The joint Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism and Youth, Sports and Culture having examined the 2014 Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, recommends to the House to approve the sum of thirty-three million, seven hundred and five thousand, five hundred and twenty-five Ghana cedis (GH¢33,705,525) allocated to the Ministry to enable it carry out its programmes and activities for the 2014 fiscal year.

Respectfully submitted.
Mr Daniel Nii K. Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity once again, to support the budget estimates for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts on behalf of the Hon Ranking Member, Prof. Yaw Gyan-Baffour.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts has given us what they intend to do in terms of the mission statement of the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, I have a serious passion for tourism in this country because when one travels across the world, there are certain countries that do not have natural resources that we have in this country.
A typical example is The Gambia, which produces only groundnuts but tourism is a very important part of their national life. For that matter, seriousness is attached to tourism because that is what the country really stresses on.
Mr Speaker, I would always want to go back to history. In this your Committee's Report, the performance for the year 2013, a total of GH¢18,585,375 was allocated. What they had, Mr Speaker, is nothing to
write home about. When one travels to Nzulezu -- I was part of the Committee that travelled to Nzulezu and wish to state that, what we need is the partnership between the public and the private sectors for infrastructure to be developed in that area and one can imagine the amount of money that we would make from that area.
Mr Speaker, in 2013, under goods and services, it fell short by 67 per cent.; only 33 was available. What can one do with this money?
Mr Speaker, I am scared but I believe that the Hon Minister for Finance is going to do justice to make sure that something substantial is going to be released for the year 2014.
You would be surprised, Mr Speaker, under capital expenditure, they still have obsolete machinery and how can we promote -- [Interruption] Hon Chairman, please, let me speak.
Vehicles for the two Hon Ministers -- the Hon Minister and the Hon Deputy Minister do not have one. In the workings of the Committee, we made it known that the Chief of Staff must work hard to make sure that the Hon Minister and the deputy have their vehicles to do their job. It is sad that you have given them ministerial appointments and they do not have machinery to work with.
So, Mr Speaker, I am very happy and I believe that we will make sure that the right releases are given to the Ministry to enable them perform what is due.
With this opportunity, Mr Speaker, I am so grateful.
Thank you, very much.
Mr Kobena M. Woyome (NDC -- South Tongu) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to urge the House to approve the estimates for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
Mr Speaker, we have all observed that, for some time now, the reason, and I am sure the spirit behind the movement of culture to the Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Ministry, is to provide that good synergy, so that they are able to provide that immediate vehicle for us to enjoy and provide the platform to be able to attract tourists into this country and also promote internal tourism.
It is also because we cannot divorce the culture aspect from tourism. But we are yet to realise any good results from that wonderful move.
It is my wish that the Ministry of Finance is -- here to, I have realised that there is the need for funding for many of the wonderful projects and plans they have outlined in this Report for the year 2014, to be achieved because it is really critical. In certain jurisdictions, it is tourism that moves the entire economy and I believe we have so much to showcase to the whole world if we are able to showcase ours.
In fact, we have identified a lot and we are even identifying more of our tourism potential and that can ride best on the vehicle of culture. So, there is the need to really see these two work together and then create that wonderful platform for even job creation and to increase and add to the economy of the country.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, the Motion is about the estimates. Conclude.
Mr Woyome 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is my wish that the entire allocation in 2014, if possible, be released, so that they are able to perform and add to the economy.
With this, I urge the entire House to approve of the estimates for the Ministry.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is the Report of the joint Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism and Youth, Sports and Culture on the estimates for 2014.
Mr Speaker, the amount allocated to the cultural aspect of this Ministry is about GH¢10 million and when we consider the fact that culture defines us as a people, and the totality of our lives. So, if we consider this paltry sum being allocated to culture, it is something that is unfortunate and we would urge Government to do something about it.
Mr Speaker, culture has a lot to offer this country. We cannot talk about tourism without culture. Culture is the fundamental basis for any tourism development, therefore, we must do something about it.
Mr Speaker, the Report also talks about the creative arts. Mr Speaker, the amount is very small because if we should be more concerned about the creative arts, it has got the potential of offering jobs for Ghanaian youth and also revenue to the State. So, let us do something about the creative arts. There are a lot of potentials out there -- our musicians, and even protecting intellectual property rights. They are composing all the time.
Mr Speaker, some compose and they get missing because as you know-- protecting intellectual property is something we need to critically look at as a country.
Musicians are doing a lot; they are writing and composing, but how do we protect these creative arts? So, it is something we must do more on and next year, I do not expect us to be sitting here
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minister, do you intend winding up, otherwise, I will put the Question.
Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say a big thank you to Hon Members of this august House and urge the House to support the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
Question put and Motion agreed to
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢33,705,525 for the services of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:30 a.m.

Minister of State (Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo)(MP) 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,
that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢326,838,620 for the services of the Office of Government Machinery for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, the Office of Government Machinery comprises the Office of the President as the seat of Government, the National Security Council Secretariat and agencies under it, the 10 offices of the Regional Co-ordinating Councils, including the Regional Budget Offices and some organisations which do not fall under the existing sectoral delineations, and have therefore, been placed under the Presidency for the supervision and co- ordination of their work.
The Office of the President, which is the core government machinery, exists to provide administrative, managerial and technical services to the President of the Republic of Ghana, leading to improvement in the social, economic and political direction of the nation in the best interest of all Ghanaians.
Mr Speaker, the policy objective of this sector is to provide transparent, accountable governance through the provision of security; strengthening the rule of law and provision of requisite logistics to agencies in the sector to enable them play their expected roles in governance.
Mr Speaker, there are several other objectives that would be addressed when this provision is made and I would therefore, be grateful that Parliament approves this allocation for the Government Machinery.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion for the House to approve for the Office of Government
Machinery a total amount of GH¢326,- 838,620 for the year 2014.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2014 was presented to the House by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth E. Terkpeh, on Tuesday 19th November, 2013, and pursuant to article 179 of the Constitution and Order 140 (4) of the Standing Orders of the House, the 2014 Annual Budget Estimates of the Office of Government Machinery were referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.
The Committee subsequently met with Ministers of State at the Presidency, Hon Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo and Hon Alhasan Azong, Regional Ministers from the various regions, the Chief Director at the Presidency, heads and technical teams from the various departments and agencies under Government Machinery, to consider the estimates. The Committee is grateful to them for their assistance.
Reference documents
In considering the estimates for the Government Machinery, the Committee was guided by the following documents:
1. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
2. The Standing Orders of the House.
3. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern-
ment of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
4. The 2014 Budget Estimates for the Government Machinery.
Background
Government Machinery embraces the Office of the President as the seat of Government, the Regional Co-coordinating Councils (RCCs) and those organisations whose operations fall outside traditional areas of sectorial responsibility, for which the Office of the President (Government Machinery) exists to provide administrative, managerial and technical services.
The Office of Government Machinery comprises the following;
i. Office of the President.
ii. Office of the Head of Civil Service.
iii. Management Services.
iv. Scholarships Secretariat.
v. Public Records and Archives Administration Department.
vi. Ghana Aids Commission.
vii. Commissions and Councils.
viii. National Identification Authority.
ix. National Population Council.
x. Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.
xi. Internal Audit Agency.
xii.Savannah Accelerated Development Authority.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 11:30 a.m.


xiii. National Pensions Regulatory Authority.

xiv. Microfinance and Small Loans Centre.

xv Office of the National Security.

xvi. Regional Co-ordinating Councils.

xvii. Office of the Administrator General.

xviii. Office of the Chief of State Protocol.

Goals and Objectives

The Office of Government Machinery exists to institutionalise open, trans- parent, and accountable governance for the attainment of government's development agenda of improving the quality of life of Ghanaians. The Office of Government Machinery policy objectives among others include the following;

a) Improve the balance among arms of government, governance institutions and their functioning.

b) Ensure inclusive and equitable political system.

c) Ensure effective implementation of the decentralisation policy

and programme.

d) Ensure efficient and effective resource mobilisation, internal revenue generation and resource management.

e) Strengthen policy and deve- lopment planning process for equitable and balance spatial and economic development.

f) Rationalise and define structures, roles and procedures for State institutions.

g) Enhance supervision and productivity in the public service.

h) Improve the responsiveness of the public service in service delivery.

i) Mainstream development commu- nication across the public sector policy cycle.

.

2013 Budget allocations

During the year under review, the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) was allocated an amount of three hundred and twelve million, three hundred and forty-five thousand, five hundred and twenty-one Ghana cedis (GH¢312,345,521) to undertake its activities for the 2013 financial year. The breakdown at item level is shown in table 1 below:

2013 Performance

Underlisted activities were undertaken by the agencies of Government Ma- chinery during the year under review:

Office of the Head of the Civil Service

a) Organised a sensitisation workshop for MDAs on the revised Annual Performance Reporting System aimed at improving performance assessment reporting of the Service and also prepared and submitted the Annual Performance Report on the Civil Service for 2012 to the Office of the President.

b) Started the construction of a 3- storey 15-unit classroom block for the Civil Service Training Centre in Accra and trained the first batch of civil servants from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

c) Organised a one week induction course for newly appointed Chief Directors of the Civil Service and re-introduced the signing of performance agreements to assess their performance.

Scholarships Secretariat

Paid the second term fees of 73,675 students on scholarships in second cycle institutions as well as allowances for the first half year for 671 students on bilateral scholarship awards in 12 countries.

National Pensions Regulatory Authority

a) Submitted for passage and gazette, two (2) Legislative Instruments on the Basic National Social Security Scheme Regulations and the Occupa-

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tional and Personal Pensions Schemes Regulations.

b) Organised orientation and sensitisation workshops for stakeholders on the Three-Tier Contributory Pension Scheme and sensitised informal sector groups on special pension schemes for workers in that sector and :

c) Developed public information, education and communication strategy and completed guide- lines for registration and registered Schemes, Pension Fund Managers, Custodians and Licensed Trustees.

Internal Audit Agency

a) Undertook audit inspections based on reviewed 299 of the 610 internal audit reports of MDAs and MMDAs and presented inspection reports to their respective management for redress.

b) Assisted the National Health Insurance Authority in their regional financial and operational audits of the Mutual Health Insurance Schemes throughout the country and submitted the requisite reports to the Authority for further action.

c) Trained 50 heads of Internal Audit Units (IAUs) in quality management and conducted reviews at 50 IAUs to improve the quality of Internal Audit Reports received from IAUs of MDAs and MMDAs

Microfinance and Small Loans Centre

(MASLOC)

a) Imported and distributed 1,000 outboard motors and 6,450
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bundles of fishing nets to fishermen in all the fishing communities in Ghana.

b) Funded 48 poultry farmers to produce table eggs for sale and provided training, supervision and markets for their produce under the Poultry Finance Scheme to improve incomes, livelihoods and economic welfare of farmers.

Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC)

a) Embarked on a drive to increase HIV testing and counseling uptake through the “Know Your Status'' campaign and implemented activities that increased the number of Persons Living with HIV on Anti-Retroviral Treat- ment (ART) and the uptake of preventing mother to child transmission of HIV.

b) Worked with civil society organisations to undertake community outreach through peer education, one-on-one and group discussions, community mobilisation for HIV testing and counseling, condom promotion and distribution, film shows and drama and Information, Educa- tion and Communication (IE/C) materials distribution. Through these interventions, a total of 3,934,449 people were reached with HIV messages and information during the year under review.

Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD)

a) Developed a draft policy on records management and began the establishment of a records management system at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and as well decongested 7 records offices of MDAs.

b) Trained various categories of staff of the Civil Service in records management and conducted orientation for newly recruited Records Class staff and commenced the appraisal of semi-current records at the Centre to decongest the National Records Centre.

National Population Council (NPC)

a) Developed the 6th Country Programme (2012-2016) with the support of UNFPA and other partners.

b) Produced the final report of a research on Tourism, Sexual Violence and HIV and AIDS in selected districts in the Central and Greater Accra Regions.

National Identification Authority (NIA)

a) Completed the establishment of the National Identity Register and began the full operation of the national identification system.

b) Completed data collection in the remaining three northern re- gions, bringing the total to 15,216,450 the number of registered persons. This represents 69 per cent of the total

registerable population. Also printed and distributed 800,000 Ghana cards in the Greater Accra Region.

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre

Attracted and registered 199 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the areas of solar power generation, financial services, manufacturing of beverages, real estate development, growing and milling rice with Thai technology, as well as the cultivation and procession of rubber and oil palm. This achievement has brought in a total inflow of FDI US$ 517.35 million and created 75,161 jobs comprising 63,781 Ghanaians and 11,380 expatriates.

Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA)

a) Supported 2000 farm families to grow mangoes, whiles a Private Company was engaged to create employment for about 5,000 youth to grow 5,000,000 trees and contribute to greening the North, protecting river bodies and promoting good environ- mental practices.

b) Provided 2,075 tractors to poor farmers for the 2013 farming season. In addition, 20,000 households in the NSEZ received subsidised fertiliser, seed and agronomic support to increase farm outputs and contribute to household income levels, address food security and create opportunities for actors in the various value chains of maize, soya and rice within the Northern Sector Ecological Zone (NSEZ).

Millennium Development Authority (MiDA)

a) Completed 252 educational facilities comprising 129 school blocks, one teacher's bungalow and extended electricity supply to 10 post-harvest facilities on large scale farms and 1 irrigation project;

b) Working with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to define potential projects for Ghana's Second Compact, which would seek to address the country's challenges in the energy sector. Subsequently, it has submitted detailed project proposals outlining proposed compact investments in genera- tion, distribution and access to electricity.

c) Completed 56 boreholes, 5 small town water systems and pipe extensions across 52 communities in 25 districts. In addition, 14 post- harvest infrastructure projects in the Southern Horticulture Belt, comprising a perishable cargo centre at KIA, 3 pack houses at Mariakrom, Otwekrom and Akorley were completed. Also completed the rehabilitation of 2 irrigation schemes at Golinga and Bontanga, then constructed a 75km trunk road from Agogo to Dome in the Afram Basin and a 46km feeder road in the Volta Region during the 2013 year of review.

2013 Expenditure Performance

Office of the President

The Office of the President was allocated an amount of GH¢63,117,747 for its activities in 2013. As at September, 2013, an amount of GH¢77,057,922.67 has been disbursed. The expenditure relates to the following cost centres:
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 11:30 a.m.


As at 30th September, 2013, the total expenditure is as follows:

Compensation of Employees: --

Council of State -- 2,351,001.54

State Protocol 858,896.84 -- GH¢3,209,898.38

Goods and Services:

Council of State 92,500.02

State Protocol 265,000.00 -- GH¢ 357,500.02

Capital Exp.:

Council of State --

State Protocol -- -- --

Total -- GH¢ 3,567,398.40

National Security

The 2013 appropriated sum and expenditure of National Security are as follows:

Table 6: Expenditure Returns of National Security.

Regional Co-ordinating Councils

A total amount of GH¢16,999,549.00 was allocated to Regional Co-ordinating Councils for their operations in 2013: The amount was distributed among the Councils as follows:

Table 7: Expenditure returns for Regional Co-ordinating Councils as at September, 2013

Ghana AIDS Commission

In the 2013 financial year, the Ghana Aids Commission was allocated an approved sum of GH¢41,082,748.00. A summary of expenditure is in the Table 8 below.

Table 8: 2013 Expenditure returns of Ghana AIDS Commission

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Scholarships Secretariat

The Scholarships Secretariat approved budget and expenditure for the 2013 financial year are stated in the table 9 below.

Table 9: 2013 Expenditure Return of Scholarship Secretariat

National Identification Authority

The performance of 2013 budget allocation of the National Identification Authority is summarised in table 10 below.

Table 10: 2013 Expenditure returns of NIA

Office of the Administrator-General

The OAG was allocated a total amount of GH¢725, 360 .00 .A total of GH¢332, 285.85 has been expended. Below is the breakdown:

Compensation of employees -- GH¢ 7,448.92

Goods and Services -- GH¢ 52,234.93

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Capital Exp. -- GH¢272,602.00

Total -- GH¢332,285.85

National Population Council (NPC)

The 2013 approved budget and expenditure for the National Population Council are summarised in the table 11 below:

Table 11: Expenditure return of the NPC as at September, 2013

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)

The Ghana Investment Centre was allocated an amount GH¢12,609,175 for its operations in 2013. As at September, 2013, an amount of GH¢7, 010,702 was released, out of which an amount of GH¢4,905,143 was spent. The breakdown is as follows:

Table 12: Expenditure return of GIPC

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Internal Audit Agency (IAA)

The Internal Audit Agency's approved budget and expenditure for 2013 are as follows:

Table 13: Expenditure return as at September 2013 of IAA

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Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA)

The 2013 approved budget and expenditure for the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority are as follows:

Table 14: Expenditure return as at September 2013 of SADA
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 11:30 a.m.


Outlook for The 2014

Key areas and policy objectives of Government Machinery for the 2014 financial year include the following:

Institutional Development Programme through:

a) Development of a comprehensive human resource and training plans to aid the professional development of Civil Servants and operationalise the Annual Performance Reporting System and review the Civil Service Code of Conduct and Rules and Regulations, continue the construction of the 3-storey 15- unit classroom block at the Civil Service Training Centre and the training of another batch of Civil Servants from Liberia and Sierra Leone. In addition, a manpower hearing would be conducted for MDAs to ensure that the Civil Service has the right numbers and skills mix of officers.

b) A recruitment of senior grade experts for the Policy, Research, Statistics and Information Management Unit and the General Services and Administration Unit, as well as design a manage- ment information system for compilation and storage of data on Government owned vehicles, assets and properties. Using the very latest technology, the Office would assist MDAs to acquire the capacity and know-how to assume total and effective management control of all vehicle assets on a full life cycle basis.

c) Complete proposals for the review of Act 845 for legislative amendment, due to implementation challenges is yet to be forwarded to Parliament

Investment Promotion and Management Programme

This will be achieved through intensifying the investment drive to increase Foreign Direct Investment by 20 percent and stimulate US$1.0 billion worth of domestic private sector investment. This will lead to a 30 per cent increase in new jobs.

Security and Safety Management Programme; by

a) Ensuring the expansion and improvement of the National Identification System to increase its efficiency and performance by making the National Identification Authority fully functional and decentralising its operations to all the regions.

b) Prioritise and intensify HIV and AIDS prevention interventions among key population and vulnerable groups which include the youth, women and children, Most at Risk Populations (MARPs), people living with HIV and scale up coverage of preventing mother to child transmission towards elimination target by 2015.

Office of the Administrator-General

a) Hold sessions with Ministers, Chief Directors and Directors on modalities and framework for the preparation of hand-over notes and compilation of Asset Registers in the public sector.

b) Facilitate the introduction of a new semi-automated framework (Integrated Stewardship Acco- untting and Reporting Me- chanism) for the preparation of hand-over notes.

2014 Budgetary Allocation

For the implementation of the above programmes and activities, an amount of three hundred and twenty-six million, eight hundred and thirty- eight thousand, six hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (GH¢326,838,620) has been allocated to Government Machinery for the year 2014;Out of this, GoG is, three hundred

and fourteen million, five hundred and eight thousand, seven hundred and twenty- eight Ghana cedis. (GH¢314, 508, 728) while twelve million, one hundred and twenty-one thousand, one hundred and eighty Ghana cedis (GH¢12,121,180) is IGFs and DP Funds is allocated two hundred and eight thousand, seven hundred and twelve Ghana cedis (GH¢208,712.).

The breakdown of the allocation is as follows:

Table 2: Summary of 2014 allocation for Government Machinery

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2014 Allocation by sector

Office of the President

The Office of the President caters for the following departments; General Administration, Office of the Chief of Staff (COS), Vice-President's Secretariat, Cabinet Secretariat, Press Secretariat, Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), African Fund for Bio Fuels

Development, State Enterprises Com- mission, Divestiture Implementation Committee, Policy Evaluation and Oversight Unit, Public Sector Reform Secretariat and Policy Co-ordination and Delivery Unit.

For the 2014 financial year, the Office of the President has been allocated a total amount of GH¢ 29,560,763 to cater for the following expenditure items:
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Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I was at the Committee meeting when the issue was raised by the Hon Akoto Osei and an explanation was offered.
The reason he raised the issue was what he just said, that this is an NGO limited by guarantee and that it did not find expression in the last budget and so, it could not be seen as a cost centre.
Mr Speaker, I explained to him that if Government seeks to register an organisation that would attract funding and approvals by Parliament, Government has a way of doing it. That Brand, “Ghana”, itself was taking it upon itself
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
That really is not a point of order. You are expressing your opinion.
When you come to do the winding up, then you can explain. So, let him continue. I will give you the chance to wind up and during the winding up process, you can explain.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as he was saying -- [Interruption.]
Mr. James K. Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think we agreed on how to handle that issue. The amount allocated for the Brand Ghana Office, because it is not known to us as a Committee, we all agreed as a Committee that, let us add that figure to that of the Office of the Chief of Staff, so that they can, during the course of the year, if they think that it is something that they need to come to Parliament to seek approval, then that can be handled. So, that amount --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Member has raised a very fundamental, legal and constitutional issue. Can Parliament appropriate moneys to an organisation that is not known to the House? That is the point that the Hon Member is making, and I thought he had already solved the problem, that we get the opinion of the Hon Minister for Justice
and Attorney-General on this matter. In my opinion, that is the point that he is raising.
So, I will give you the chance to contribute. Let the Hon Member continue, I will give you the chance to speak.
Alhaji Inusah B. A. Fuseini -- rose
-- 11:40 a.m.

Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know why the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources -- Is it a point of order? I am bringing something to our attention, that can affect the House.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
I will give you the chance to contribute, Hon Minister.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why I said “my advice”. That is why we proffered that advice.
My worry is that for now, the estimates, if approved will put money in the Office of the President for this organisation. That is the impact. So, we have to be careful because we are thinking about approving the budget. That is my worry.
Mr Speaker, let me go to a second item, which also worries me. Parliament, I think -- We should begin to exercise our authority. If you look at the Report, on page 35, aside from Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), perhaps, the biggest financial power in this country, is the National Pension Regulatory Authority.
SSNIT after all these years, only has assets to the tune of GH¢4.3 billion. In three years, the National Pension Regulatory Authority has assets of GH¢1.2 billion. So, you can imagine if it operates for ten years, it would quickly exceed SSNIT. Why am I saying we should pay attention?
If you read the Report, you would see what it said it had done.You would not see what it had not done that affects the Act, and we passed the Act. As we speak, the money is still kept in the Bank of Ghana -- the GH¢1.2 billion -- [Interruption.] That is the information they have given to us and that is why I am raising the issue.
Mr Speaker, they reported that the return on the investment is 2.75 per cent. They also reported that they are investing in Treasury Bills. In the last three years, the lowest Treasury Bills rate has been 15 per cent -- the lowest is 15 per cent. So, how can -- This is Pension Fund to the Tier Two -- all of us. So, there is some inconsistency.
Mr Speaker, they have appointed custodians of these funds -- 15 of them. I am bringing it to the floor because I asked them to bring me some information. As of now, they have not. Information reaching me is that, one of the custodians is First Bank -- [Interruption] -- First Bank is a holding company of Fortis Equity Fund. The Bank of Ghana is the one keeping these funds.
Mr Speaker, SSNIT -- [Interruption]As at October 2012, SSNIT was the one collecting these funds on behalf of NPRA. SSNIT is the one trying to do this Merchant Bank issue -- [Interruption] Fortis. It is important, as a House, that we must have information to -- [Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I guess that we need some clarification in relation to this, because this is dealing with Government machinery. But we know that by the law - - Is it the Government that actually
appoints the custodians or it is the trustees? Let us see where that responsibility lies. This is because if we are dealing with Government responsibility, we also need -- [Interruption.]It is a rhetorical question. I am simply saying that, by the Pensions Act, Government being the one that is dealing with occupational funds, takes the trustees, then the trustees deal with their managers and custodians. That is why I would want us to get that distinction clear.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know where the debate is going. I am making a submission on the estimates of the Office of Government Machinery, and the NPRA is a major part of that office. More importantly, they hold for you and I, GH¢1.2 billion. How they manage it, should be important to us. That is all I am raising.[Interruption]
Dr Kunbuor 11:50 a.m.
Yes; and the issue I am raising is that, he is putting the context that a particular bank that is a custodian - That means there is a linkage between that and Government. I am just drawing his attention to the fact that the trustees appoint the custodians; it is not Government.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I said NPRA is the one that has approved of this bank. The National Pensions Regulatory Authority is the regulatory authority, which you and I created here; simple. We are approving their estimates. So, we need to discuss how they behave.
What I am saying is that it appears to be -- I am not even saying that someone has done something wrong.But there appears to be a relationship between the funds they are holding and the issue that is in the public domain. We, as a Parliament, are about to approve -- We are supposed to oversight their activities. Should we know not more about it?
Dr Kunbuor 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, all that I am indicating is that, he said information reaching him -- Because this is a legal entity, we need to be very sure that that is, indeed, the truth, that this bank is the custodian -- [Interruption.] This is because once you do not have that corporate entity here to respond -- [Interruption.] -- Well, he can lay it on the Table --[Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Majority Leader will hold on, I am getting there. This document was provided to Hon Members of the Committee, in which they told us what they had done including appointment of custodians. I requested for a list. As I stand here today, that list has not come.
I have done my own homework and I am saying that we should protect ourselves. One, it is coming out that --
rose
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, do you have a point of order? What is your point of order?
Mr Kpodo 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the point is that -- [Interruption] -- He has drawn our attention to the fact that we are considering estimates and the estimates
for the National Pensions Regulatory Authority is GH¢5,508,000.00. The GH¢1.2 billion he is talking about is a fund which is for the pension schemes. We agreed at the Committee level that this is not the core responsibility of the NPRA to manage, and that reconciliation work is being done for the monies to be transferred to the various scheme managers.
So, I am at a loss why he is referring to the GH¢1.2 billion instead of the estimates for the National Pensions Regulatory Authority.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is a member of the Committee; he should go to page 35 -- [Interruption] Mr Speaker, I am alluding to the 1.179 because the Committee has put it in the Report. [Interruption.]What do you mean by “That is all?”
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, please, address the Chair. Please, you have made your point on this matter. Would you move on to another point?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did not finish when he started asking -- [Interruption]
rose
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader --
Mr Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of information to him.

It is information. Does he not want the information?
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you would be the last to speak on this matter, because I had a discussion with you on this matter in my lobby before I entered the Chamber. So, please --
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the point I am raising for this House, as we ponder approving the estimates of the Office of Government Machinery of which the NPRA is a big part and information that has come --
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, I allowed you to raise these matters, firstly, because you are the Hon Ranking Member and I have to give you space. Secondly, because the Committee itself has reported on this matter at page 35 of the Committee's Report. But as has been pointed out, that GH¢1.2 billion or the GH¢1.179 billion which the Committee has captured in its Report is not the subject matter of approval of the estimates, which is the Motion before us at this time.
But as the Hon Ranking Member and therefore, the Minority Spokesperson on these matters, I have to give you space to canvass your position for the Minority side. But I think that you have made a sufficient point on the matter. So, if you can proceed and make another point.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
That is the point I was getting to, that I think it would help the House in approving the estimates, if we invite these key people there to confirm or deny some of these things, so that when we approve them --
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
But we have a Committee's Report before the House. There is no indication on the face of the record that there was no unanimity on the Report before us. You are making a suggestion but that should not be the basis of the approval of the Motion before us. It can be taken up at another level. --
That matter can be taken up at another level with Leadership. Indeed, the House has the right to invite anybody to come and provide information, but that is a totally different matter from the Motion before us.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if this House chooses in its wisdom, in the face of this information, to go ahead, that is fine. I told the House earlier that I requested additional information; it has not come. So, I am saying that the Committee's work is really not complete and I think that as a House, Monday morning -- [Interruption] Where is the rush? They can come in, provide the information; so, when we take a decision, we are fully aware that that is not the purpose. But it is up to the House. If the House chooses not to do that, that is up to it. Mr Speaker, I think that --
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, the issue you are raising is a totally different one; it can be taken. Whether this Motion is adopted or not, you can still -- Do not create the impression that, if this Motion is not approved, then other issues cannot be taken.
So, please, we have a Motion before us, you have expressed concern; I have given you space to express that concern on behalf of the Minority. This is because you are the spokesperson for the Minority on this matter, and I am saying that the main Motion before us is the estimates for the Office of Government Machinery. We are not approving GH¢1.2 billion or GH¢1.179 billion at this stage.
You have raised certain concerns with regard to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority. There might be legitimate concerns, but there are other tools available at which these matters can be taken. So, if you link it to the Motion as if, if that is not clear, then the Motion cannot be approved. I have a difficulty
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.


with that position that you are taking, because that is not the amount that is being given to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority for the financial year under consideration. The GH¢1.2 billion is another matter.
Dr A. A. Osei noon
Mr Speaker, I never said it was part of the estimates. It was the first one which I said was directly part of the estimates and I had a constitutional issue. This was the second one. I raised two issues. All I am saying is that the House can decide; I am just bringing the information. [Interruption.]
rose
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Majority Leader, is it a point of order or a rhetorical question?
Dr Kunbuor noon
Yes, Mr Speaker; and one that also has to get this debate to progress. This is because some names of institutions have been mentioned here and all I would want to say is that, as you rightly indicated, there would be administrative processes to make sure that that is done. I do happen to have some knowledge because of my own professional interest in pension funds, but I do not want to introduce that to challenge, specifically whether the bank in question is actually managing the funds.
I know exactly what the structure is, but I am saying that if the Hon Member is very keen, we would put in all the administrative processes to make him see clearly that that is not the state of affairs, so that we proceed and focus on the estimates and get them approved. But I would want to give him that assurance that we would pursue this matter, and he can discuss that with Leadership after this.
Dr A. A. Osei noon
Mr Speaker, we are debating the estimates, and as I am talking about these estimates, I have had about four or five interventions. It is the estimates!
Mr Speaker, the next issue is the Millennium Development Agency (MiDA), and the Minister of State is here --
Mr Speaker noon
Is it Agency or Authority?
Dr A. A. Osei noon
Authority; I am sorry.
Mr Speaker, the budget that is going to them is not sufficient for us to receive a US$300 million grant. The United States of America (USA) is willing to provide this -But the amount we have given them is not sufficient. So, if we leave it at that, it would not come.
Mr Speaker, this House ought to find a way to make sure that the minimum required is provided in order to make sure that the US$300 million comes, because it is a condition-precedent. This House, I believe, has the authority to do that-- when we go to Government Obligations, and I would want to raise it, so that -- if we do not give them the sufficient amount, the USA Government would not give us the US$300 million grant.
So, if we need to find GH¢10 million to bring in US$300 million,and we sit here and pass an amount that is not sufficient, it does not make sense. If we are all for the development of the country, then Parliament must exercise its authority and increase that amount by some appropriation
-- noon

Mr Speaker noon
Why did you not do that at Committee or make a recommendation to the House where we should take from to make up that GH¢10 million for the House to debate it on the floor? That is what I expect the Committees to be doing.
Dr A. A. Osei noon
Mr Speaker, we were supposed to -- The Hon Minister for Finance -- and this is the issue. They were supposed to come and meet us on this matter; they were not there. Not only that, more information has not come. What are we supposed to do? We cannot force them.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Minister, Office of the President.
Alhaji Pelpuo noon
Mr Speaker, he is right. He mentioned it at the Committee level and they tasked me to take it up. I took it up and got the MiDA to write a position, paper on it, emphasising the need for the additional money requested. And I did a note in addition to that to the Ministry of Finance. So, I think that the matter is dealt with --
Mr Speaker noon
We are appropriating now; we are approving estimates now. So, what happens? I know that Government of Ghana is about to sign the Compact II with the USA Government. So, what is the status-- because at this stage, we are approving the estimates.
Alhaji Pelpuo noon
Mr Speaker, the Minister has indicated to me that he would deal with the issue, so --[Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor noon
Mr Speaker, I would like to entreat Hon Members to go back to page 32, sub-paragraph 10.5, and see what recommendations the Committee has made in this matter. Mr Speaker, it says and with your permission I beg to quote:
“The Committee, however, noted that a meagre amount of GH¢3,063,800 has been allocated to the Authority for its activities in 2014. The Committee urges the Minister for Finance to allocate additional resources to the
Authority to enable them complete the work on Compact II on schedule, to forestall the delay of the implementation.”
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Members, can this House not look for some area and cut to make up the -- [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei noon
Mr Speaker, the reason we were going to meet him was because the Committee had found for him some additional revenue and we were going to recommend that at least, GH¢10 million of that be reserved for -- But we have not been able to meet. But in lieu of that, I would want to offer the recommendation.
I believe, yesterday we rejected the Second Reading of the Stabilisation Levy from where we saved GH¢78 million, and that was the recommendation that, at least, if we do not think all of it would mature, GH¢10 million of that should be allocated to MiDA, so that the Compact can be signed and then there is no trouble.
So, if it pleases you, I would want to offer that recommendation, that their budget be increased by GH¢10 million and the Minister would find where to place it.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, I think that this House must be more proactive in some of these matters?
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson noon
Mr Speaker, I think we have a number of options that we can exercise. One of them -- I can refer the House to the Budget Statement on page 212. Mr Speaker, we have contingency vote of GH¢47 million and we would be able to allocate part of that fund. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker noon
Are you giving the assurance that when we come to the Appropriation, you would increase the figure and decrease the contingency? Is that the assurance? So that when we come to the Appropriation, we would reduce it and increase their figure? Is that what you are saying? Or we defer this matter ? --
Mr Avedzi noon
Mr Speaker, I think that we can go ahead and approve this amount for MiDA and get an assurance from the Ministry of Finance that, that GH¢10 million can be taken from the Contingency Vote, so that they can use that money, which would be released directly from the Ministry of Finance to MiDA, for them to do that additional work.
Dr Kunbuor noon
Mr Speaker, I guess that this matter can be resolved based on the Committee's Report that I just read. We can take a decision that at the time we get to the Appropriation Bill, the total amount of money that is required to be satisfied has to be taken from somewhere. We can take that as a position. But if we start committing from specifics at this point, we can run into some challenges. So, the principle would be agreed, but when we come to the real Appropriation Bill -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Majority Leader, you know that the Appropriation is a summary of what you are doing now? What you would find in the Appropriation Act is the summary of all the estimates that we are approving now. Otherwise, if it is true that the whole Compact II would have challenges if we do not find the money for them, if that position is a statement of fact, then this House must address that concern before we move forward.
Dr Kunbuor noon
Yes, Mr Speaker, I do appreciate that concern. It is because some Hon Members have raised the issue of taking it out from a specific contingency vote and I said that the House could not be speaking two languages on the same subject matter.
One, we are insisting that we should have the Contingency Fund established as a consequence of this budget. So, if you are already debating a matter and you
know that to take money out of the Contingency Fund is predicated on the unforseeability at the time of the Appropriation --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
I think he was talking about the Contingency Vote.
The Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is talking about the Contingency Vote, not the Contingency Fund.
Dr Kunbuor 12:10 p.m.
Yes, but Mr Speaker, the idea is that we should move away from the Vote to the Fund and that with urgency, the Fund ought to be established.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the difficulty with this is that, we are anticipating this expenditure. The contingency is when it is unanticipated. There is a difference.
I think the Hon Deputy Minister's recommendation --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I would suggest that when we come to the Appropriation, we increase the vote of the MiDA by GH¢10 million and then we decrease the Contingency Vote. At least, that would be a compromise position.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we do not have to reduce because, there is an extra revenue. That is the point I am making. So, you increase the --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
No! Appropriation is expenditure. You will not find revenue when you come to the Appropriation Bill --
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
All I am saying is that --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
We will take it from the contingency --
Mr Nitiwul 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is an extra GH¢80 million that was saved by this House yesterday because of the action we took on this floor.
It was supposed to have been budgeted but because we did not, that GH¢80 million has been saved for extra expenditure. So, we do not need --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I get the point you are making but what we are doing now is about expenditure. You are talking about revenue. It only shows that there is some revenue somewhere, but which head of expenditure are we going to take it from --
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
The Contingency Vote as the Hon Deputy Minister suggested.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Yes, so that we agree on the Contingency Vote.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Yes; and we would meet with the Hon Deputy Minister during Government Obligations --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Absolutely. So, we would take this into account before we approve the Appropriation.
Dr Osei 12:10 p.m.
If the principle is accepted, it is alright.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Please, continue.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for resolving this.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Anyway, wind up.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have helped all of us; so, I would wind up because my other Hon Colleagues have more to say on other areas. I would just limit myself to these two areas.
Thank you very much.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) (MP) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion on the floor of the House and to urge the Hon Members of this House to approve the votes earmarked for the Office of the President.
Mr Speaker, you would realise that in the Report of the Committee, there has been an attempt to detail all the agencies and institutions under the Office of the President. So, clearly, it is a step towards transparency. It is a step towards accountability.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I have just finished telling you that the Brand Ghana Office is not transparent. I have just told you that and he comes to say that it is very transparent.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if he had just exercised patience -- because if they are shaving you, you do not have to rub your head to know whether there is hair on it. You would wait and when the man is finished shaving you, then you can then wipe you head to see. [Interruption]
Mr Speaker, it is in this context that I would want to urge the House, that nothing untoward has been done at all in the matter of Brand Ghana. Indeed, it follows even from the practice of the previous New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Administration.
Mr Speaker would recall that under the NPP, there was the Presidential Initiative --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Minister, you see, my attitude is, that practice of the past can be right or wrong. So you do not relate or mention the practice without saying whether that practice is the right practice or not.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with you, that practice can be right or wrong. But where the practice is right, you can rely on it. And I believe that in that particular instance, where the Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI) were put under the Office of the President, it was, first of all, incorporated under a company limited by guarantee. It was incorporated under a company limited by guarantee under the previous Administration.
Mr Speaker, the shareholder of that company was the President and that rolled over and informed this present Government in instituting or establishing Brand Ghana under a company limited by guarantee and vested in the President and his successors. And it is in tandem. If you take the constitutional provision that constitutes the President as a trustee for all of us -- It is intended with that constitutional arrangement that the President holds Brand Ghana in trust for the people of this country.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the PSI was under the Ministry of Trade and Industry and it came here directly under the Ministry of Trade and Industry for appropriation. That is what happened.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
But it was incorporated. Is that true?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not work at the Ministry of Trade and Industry; I have not checked that.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I state emphatically that the PSI was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee under the Kufuor Adminis- tration. It was under the Office of the President. But for budgeting purposes, the President aligned it to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. So, for accounting purposes, that was what the President did.
“Mr President”, what we are simply saying - [Hon Member: You have called him “Mr President”?] Maybe, that is something that is to happen in the future, and Mr Speaker has not objected to it. [Laughter]
Mr Speaker, what we should be concerned with and that is exactly what I am urging this House to do, is that, the vote of Brand Ghana has been put under the Office of Chief of Staff. That we in this House should ensure that the vote so given to the Chief of Staff for the purposes of branding Ghana, are released timeously by the Chief of Staff to Brand Ghana, so that they would be able to carry out their activities.
This is because what we are considering today and now, are the votes for Government Machinery and Brand Ghana is part of Government Machinery, that should benefit from this vote.
rose
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, you were complaining that points of order were being raised against you?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, he has not said anything about the estimates; nothing.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am concluding.
And in conclusion, I am saying that -- [Some Hon Members: Figures.] -- I am saying that the figure so provided for the Office of the President, an amount of GH¢29,560,763 -- [An Hon Member: Where?]
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Minister, conclude.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am concluding. They are not following me. I am trying to itemise the agencies under the office of the President.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Please, Hon Minister, conclude.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
In conclusion, I am saying, Mr Speaker, that clearly, in enhancing transparency, we provided votes for the Office of the President, votes for the Office of the Head of Civil Service and votes for the Management Services and votes for the Public Records and Archives Administration Department.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:20 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
I agree with you. On this occasion, I agree entirely with you.
Hon Minister, thank you very much for your contribution.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion--
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP - Bimbilla) 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have only two items to deal with. One is item 10.1 and 10.2 -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
After you, I will call on the Hon Minister to wind up. In fact, that is why I gave a lot of opportunity to the Hon Ranking Member.
Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are over 33 different sectors, so one more contribution from our side would do.
Mr Speaker, first, is the Scholarships Secretariat. On page 30, it is clear that there were arrears of GH¢40 million in payment for the third term commitment in secondary institutions. Over the last 12 months, news has been floating all over that, students who are studying in Europe, America, and especially, those who are studying overseas have either been thrown out of their schools or are threatened to be thrown out -- And even the Registrar of the Scholarships Secretariat cries out once in a while because of the late release of moneys.
Mr Speaker, the Committee goes to suggest, which is true, that “Section 2(b) of the Ghana Education Trust Fund, Act 2000, (Acts 581) provides that the GETFund should provide supplementary funding to the scholarships Secretariat for the grant of scholarships to brilliant and needy students,” and to even those in secondary schools. But that is not forthcoming and I believe it is not forthcoming because GETFund is not getting the money to be able to do that.
Mr Speaker, the constraint on the GETFund is caused by the 30 per cent deduction for social services -- [Interruption.] That is not in the Act.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Member, you know that the formula on the GETFund would be coming, so, we should not anticipate the debate on the GETFund. It would come and we would express our opinions on that matter.
Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I understand. I am just saying that from this year, this section of the Act must be put in place, so that at least, the Scholarships Secretariat would not have any arrears and our students would not be stranded.
Mr Speaker, the last part which is dear to my heart, is the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA). The second point the Committee noted had to do with the issue of tree planting and I am glad that the Hon Chairman took his time to go through the difficulties the tree planting exercise experienced.
Mr Speaker, in 2012, precisely around November, the Committee was informed that SADA had released GH¢33 million to Azontaba Cottage Industries to plant trees. Now, some of the trees have died and it is being blamed on dry weather. Mr Speaker, everybody who cares to know is aware that the SADA region is a savannah area.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have order in the Chamber.
rose
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Mr Okudzeto 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have been on my feet for a while. It has to do with the earlier point he was making about scholarships. He said that students had been thrown out of school outside the country. I just wanted to state for the records that we worked on these matters and no student has been thrown out. Indeed, there were challenges with delays, which we are resolving. No student has been thrown out of school. He is misleading the House.
Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, does he work at the Scholarships Secretariat? I am surprised but let me leave it at that.
rose
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Please, conclude. Continue with the SADA; please, conclude with the SADA -- [Pause] -- Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you have the floor.
Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, l am saying that whoever took the decision to plant the trees in the dry season did not do Ghana and all of us good. You do not plough GH¢33 million into planting of trees when you know that the trees were going to die. And so, it is was no surprise that bushfire burnt most of the trees -- [Interruption]
Mr Richard M Quashigah 12:20 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is grossly misinforming this House. I believe strongly that he has no record to prove that some people deliberately planted trees for them
to die. If he has any such information, he should make it available for the information of all of us. But to say in a very sweeping manner that trees were deliberately planted to die, that is very unpatriotic and I think that the Deputy Minority Leader knows better than that.
Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, those who were unpatriotic were those who took the decision to plant the trees in the dry season -- [Interruption] -- And Mr Speaker, what was worse -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, there is nothing on the Committee's Report that the trees were planted during the dry season. You quoted the Committee's Report in your submission; do you have evidence that the trees were planted during the dry season?
Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as Members of Parliament, all the Members of Parliament from the northern areas decided to visit the areas where they planted the trees. We actually wrote to SADA; we wrote to the Chief Executive and we went there to check for ourselves. We are not just talking because we want to talk.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Members, please, I will call the Minister, but let me clarify this position. The point being raised is that, there is nothing on record that the trees were deliberately planted during the dry season. You see-- so, as for the boreholes, it is another matter. Let me clarify this point. Is there anything on record that the trees were planted during the dry season?
Some Hon Members - Yes.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Which page?
rose
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you confront -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Members, one at a time. Please, which page?
Ms Ursula Owusu 12:30 p.m.
Page 29, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, next time you do that thing, I will sanction you.
Ms Ursula Owusu 12:30 p.m.
I am sorry, Mr Speaker.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 29, the fourth paragraph, the middle of it says, “However, long dry season and bushfires have destroyed some of the trees planted.”[Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Members, let us take the issues one by one. Please, take your seats.
Hon Member, I have read that sentence. There is nothing there to say that the trees were deliberately planted during the dry season. If you have the facts, please, let us know, otherwise, you withdraw that statement.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this House is a House of records. During the March/ May budget hearing, SADA informed us in this House-- it is in the records that the money was released to them in November.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, please, do you have any records that the trees were planted - You made a statement of fact.
I am informed that you are a member of the Finance Committee. Where is the evidence that the trees were deliberately planted during the dry season? It is a statement of fact. If you do not have the information now, then withdraw that, so that we can make progress.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you would just allow me to finish. I said that the money was released in November. Dry season starts in November in the North and ends in May.--
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, the time of the release of money is not the same as the time of planting. The time of release of money is not exactly the same as the time of planting. You made a categorical statement. Hon Member, withdraw that statement.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you have ruled, but it is only fair you hear me out. Hear me out before --
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
I have given you enough time? All this time, about 15 minutes, I have given you the time and you have shown me --
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said that the money was released in November.--
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
I am speaking. You referred me to page 29 of the Committee's Report and I was giving you the opportunity to tell the House that the trees were planted during the dry season. That is all I wanted from you and if it is true, yes, it is a statement of fact.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not even use the word “fair”. If you had heard me out, I said the money was released in November -- 2012 November, the money was released and we were here in April and they said the trees had been burnt by bushfire. So, between November 2012 and April of 2013, they had planted the trees and it was in dry season. It is in the dry season. November to April is in the dry season in the North.
Some Hon Members 12:30 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Members, everybody should resume his seat. Hon Members, all of you should resume your seats.
Hon Members, the practice of this House is that, when you make a statement and a Member of the House raises a point of order asking you to substantiate the statement that you have made, you either substantiate it or you withdraw it. That is the practice of the House. I gave you the chance.
Now, you move on to the time of the release and I am saying that the time of the release does not necessarily mean it could also mean the time of planting. You made a categorical statement. Not only did you make a categorical statement. You said that they deliberately planted them. Then a point of order was raised and I have asked you to substantiate that statement of fact.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have made my point. Because of you, I will withdraw it. I have made my point. So, because of you, I will withdraw it and move on. So, because of you, I have withdrawn it. Because you have made your ruling. I will not challenge your ruling. However, I have made my point.
Mr Speaker, that on the tree planting --
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Leaders of the House, this morning, when I met you in my lobby, I told you that as much as possible, inform Members of the House that my emphasis would be on the estimates and indeed, that was a brilliant job done by the Hon Member for Old Tafo to the extent that the House had decided to look for GH¢10 million-- because that is about the estimates.
We have devoted about two weeks debating the policy and the principles of this budget. I want people to debate the estimates, whether we should approve or not. Whether the estimates have been properly captured or not.
Hon Members, let us limit ourselves to the estimates. That is the Motion before us and that was the discussion I had with the Leadership of both sides of the House in my lobby this morning before we entered the Chamber.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the second point I was making had to do with figures and it was about the GH¢15 million that was given to SADA and SADA invested it in the Azontaba Cottage Industries. It is good if a corporate body would merge with SADA to be able to produce guinea fowls. [Interruption.]
Mr Daniel Botwe 12:30 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Mr Daniel Botwe 12:30 p.m.
Yes.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, your point of order is against whom?
Mr Botwe 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest of respect, it can only be against the one who is speaking and that is Standing Order 92 (1)(b).
Mr Speaker, on page 29 of the Report, the fourth paragraph, it talks about the challenges confronting the tree planting programme.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Minority Chief Whip, with the greatest respect, we have passed there. We have made that point.
My attention was drawn to that particular sentence in the Committee's Report and I made the point that, that statement there, in my view, as the person presiding, did not establish the point made by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader of the House. Why are we going back there? If you want to challenge my ruling, file a motion.
Mr Botwe 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am coming on a point of order and I have not been heard. I am supposed to come out to elucidate some matter raised by the Hon Member speaking, who in the course of his speech, provided that the Member speaking is willing to give way and he has given way and I have not been heard.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, you may know or you may understand the Standing Orders better than me, but unfortunately for you, I am the one who interprets it for now. I am saying that we have passed that place; the Hon Member has withdrawn his statement that he has made. Why are we going back to that matter? Why are we going to the matter that the Hon Member has withdrawn?
Mr Botwe 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if your ruling is that I cannot speak, fine.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
So, why are we going back? The Hon Member has withdrawn it and he is continuing to make another submission.
Mr Botwe 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if your ruling is that I cannot do it, fine. That is your ruling.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, inasmuch as I would wish that SADA invests more in guinea fowls in the North to alleviate poverty, the mode of investment is where I am not too comfortable with. Even from the Committee's Report, during the explanation, the idea was that, that will help about 10,000 families in the near future, especially with the outgrowing-- even though the outgrowing was 3 million.
Mr Speaker, if we just casually were to divide GH¢15 million by 10,000 people, you are going to get GH¢1,500 per a family and I know what GH¢1,500 can do to a northern family in terms of raising guinea fowls.
As of now, two years down the line, that cottage industry has produced not a single egg. [Interruption.]Mr Speaker, that is my point of concern, that GH¢1,500 would have done a lot to a particular family to be able to produce guinea fowls. We know that; that is what we do and that would help our people. That is a laudable idea to produce guinea fowls for our people, so that they can sell to Burkina Faso -- [Interruption.]
Alhaji Inusah B. A. Fuseini 12:40 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is grossly misleading the House. In fact, it is a dangerous path he is taking. He simply divided the investment over the number of chicken -- [Interruption] -- And that is a huge fallacy. That is a fallacy and it is misleading because it is an investment in infrastructure, which would be amortised over a period of time -- [Interruption.]
The opinion must be founded on facts, not conjecture. His opinion is founded on conjecture and that conjecture is wrong. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member should not go along that path because it is
misleading. Any primary one child who invests --
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Minister, what is your exact point of order?
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my exact point of order is that, the Hon Member is misleading the House because the figure that he has mentioned --
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
What is the figure that he has mentioned?
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he has mentioned that, in dividing the investment in SADA over the chickens, you would get GH¢1,500 per chicken per farmer and that he knows what GH¢1,500 can do. I am saying that --
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Minister, do we have GH¢15 million in the Report?
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
No! Do we have GH¢15 million in the Report? He was trying to divide GH¢15 million by 1,000 and he came to GH¢1,500 to form the basis of his submission.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes. I am saying that if you have --
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
So, if we have GH¢15 million and we have 1,000 in the Report, he can use it for his analysis unless those figures are not there. Whether his analysis is right or wrong, it is another matter.
Alhaji I. B. A. Fuseini 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is exactly the analysis and it is exactly the understanding and the fact that he be permitted to pursue that line of argument, that is my objection. I am saying that, Mr Speaker, it is totally wrong. Even mathematically, it is wrong and he should not be allowed to take that path. That is all that I am saying.
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Please, take your seat, Hon Minister.
Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know the argument the Hon Member is -- I am saying that it is good to invest in guinea fowls; it would help our people. But Mr Speaker, you want to help 10,000 families, that is the vision you have, if you divide GH¢15 million by 10,000 families, each family would have GH¢1,500. I am saying that, that would have helped our people far better.
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 12:40 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the point of order is that my Brother is misleading the House.
Mr Speaker, my Brother is a young farmer, he does not know how we rear guinea fowls -- [Interruption] --This is because I farm yam with them in the Kokomba land and rearing guinea fowls has a lot of problems because the guinea fowl is a delicate bird.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, as guinea fowl farmers -- Even one rainfall with guinea fowls outside is enough to kill them.
So, Mr Speaker, you need a shed to cover them; you need infrastructure. Two, there is a current disease that is killing guinea fowls -- [Interruption.] I am trying to raise the point that GH¢1,500 for a family is not enough to rear guinea fowls. [Interruption.] Yes. He is misleading Ghanaians.
Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just as I would agree with him that the Dagaatis and Kokombas farm yam together, Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is grossly misleading himself and the House to think that Kokombas do not farm guinea fowls. In fact, that is our biggest trade if the Hon Member does not know. That is our biggest trade.
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that, the issue of guinea fowl is beginning to take a centre stage, and I would like to entreat that we can go quickly over that. This is because the joke we have is that, in northern Ghana in particular, the price of a guinea fowl is war, and that is why I do not want us to stay too long with the price of the guinea fowl because we know exactly that, that price can mean war.
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, please, conclude your contribution. I want to put the Question.
Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in summary, I would want to state that the handlers of SADA must begin to review some of the things they do, so that next year, when they come back for budget hearing, we would not raise some of the issues we are raising now. At least, I would have expected the Government to fulfil its promise of giving them GH¢100 million.
They gave them only GH¢21 million, but then the promise was GH¢100 million; that GH¢100 million has not been given. I still insist that, that GH¢100 million should be brought back in a certain form to be given to the people.
Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.


Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan) (MP): Mr Speaker, I think that the guinea fowl project by SADA is a very serious one and every well-meaning Ghanaian should support that endeavour based on the fact that guinea fowl's meat is about the safest and the healthiest that one can eat. I would like to draw Hon Member's attention on the investment being made and the observations made by the Committee during their sitting.

On page 29, the very first sentence of the Report:

“The Committee was informed that progress has been made in the construction of ultra-modern facilities that would promote an out- grower guinea fowl scheme with the potential to create employment for over 10,000 farm families.”

Mr Speaker, figures are only meaningful when you interpret in the project that the figures are being put to be doing. So, it is not enough to be cynical and simply divide figure by number of families and damn the average figure. We are doing an investment and I think people should appreciate that and people should not reduce that type of investment to ridicule or cynical comments. It says over 10,000 farm families; not 1,000.

I urge all well-meaning Hon Members to support the Motion.
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Members, estimates. That is the Motion.
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah (NPP -- Sunyani West) 12:50 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
Mr Speaker in doing so, I would want to limit myself to the area of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC). In the first place, the Hon Chairman of the Committee, in reading his Report, indicated that MASLOC has a recovery rate of 70 per cent. Mr Speaker, I am sorry to say that, that is not supported by any document because I have this document given to the Hon Members of the Committee by MASLOC and it indicates that the recovery rate for programme loans is 61 per cent and that of vehicle loans is 52 per cent.
So, I do not know where the Hon Chairman had the 71 per cent from. Mr Speaker, that is totally wrong and I would want to put this as the official record provided by the Office of MASLOC.
Mr Speaker, between 2010 and September, 2013, MASLOC had given out 56.4 as project loans together with interest, and is owed GH¢60.9 million. Mr Speaker, out of this GH¢60.9 million, only GH¢37.6 million has been recovered to date, representing 61.7 per cent.
Mr Speaker, in the area of vehicle loans, GH¢23.4 million has been disbursed and out of this, GH¢6.8 is due and out of this GH¢6.8 million which is due, only GH¢3.8 million has been recovered, representing a recovery of 55.26 per cent.
Mr Speaker, outstanding credit excluding vehicle loans is GH¢22.1 million, out of which GH¢8.6 million was disbursed within the year. Mr Speaker, given the fact that they have recovered GH¢37.6 million and GH¢3.8 million in both direct and vehicle loans and the fact that GH¢5 million out of the GH¢8.6 million disbursed this year, was from new capital injection into the system, Mr Speaker, total sum of monies available to MASLOC for disbursement within the period should have been GH¢46.4 million excluding expected interest income.
Mr Speaker, by their mandate, this amount should have been invested in loans but we are told that the amount outstanding is GH¢22.1 million. So, the question I am asking is, where is the GH¢24.3 million? MASLOC has a mandate to give loans; they have loanable funds; they have not given them in the form of loans, what are they keeping the money for? The question is, are they investing it or what are they doing with the money?
rose
Mr Awuah 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is GH¢500,000 -- [Interruption] -- She admitted it. Mr Speaker, apart from that -
- 12:50 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Chairman of the Committee --
Mr Avedzi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member made reference to Managing Director of MASLOC. There is no position in MASLOC called “Managing Director”; that is number one. Number two, the Hon Member also made reference that I quoted a figure of 70 per cent and that he is holding a document that proved 52 per cent and 61 per cent. Mr Speaker, he should read what I wrote there correctly.
This is the increase in the recovery rate from 6 per cent in 2011 to 70 per cent in 2012. The document he is holding is for 2013; so, he is rather making the mistake.
Mr Awuah 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am happy he did not even challenge the substance of what I said in relation to that of the Managing Director's allegation.
But Mr Speaker, going on, MASLOC charges a fee of 2 per cent per month on any loans it gives out. Arithmetically, 2 per cent per month, means that a charge per annum is 24 per cent. When you work the effective interest rate, it is 34 per cent.
Mr Speaker, this is higher than any fee which is charged by any commercial bank in Ghana. But this particular loan is meant to help the poor in society and if they are being charged even above the rate of the commercial banks, then, are we doing them a good service?
Mr Speaker, I would want to put on record that with a recovery rate of 61 per cent and 52 per cent, MASLOC, if it does not get new injections of capital from the State, will die within three years. MASLOC will die within three years if this trend should continue.

Mr Speaker, the Ashanti Region, in 2012, we were told by the Committee that they purchased a Ford Expedition Station Wagon for GH¢188,000 and out of that, they have paid some, leaving an amount of GH¢98,000, which is still outstanding. Mr Speaker, one wonders how come the price of one Expedition Station Wagon should cost GH¢188,000. Apart from that, as a Government agency, before you spend, you go for a Warrant.

Is it the case that they had the Warrant before they went ahead to do the purchase or they went ahead to do the purchase on their own? Mr Speaker, as we speak, what is left is still attracting interest and needs to be addressed.
Mr Awuah 12:50 p.m.


I would want to put on record, Mr Speaker, that Parliament causes an investigation into the case of this purchase because some of us have bought Ford Expedition Wagons before and the cost was nowhere near the figure which was quoted to the Committee --
Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Member, wind up.
Mr Awuah 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that the Internal Audit Unit is mandated after its audit period within every year to submit its report to the Office of the President. The Office of the President is supposed to make notes on that and forward same to Parliament. For two years, we have not had the report in Parliament, even though the Internal Audit Agency says that it has fulfilled its obligations of sending the report to the Office of the President.
Mr Speaker, some of these things are good if they come because the Government is being accused of corruption --
Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Awuah 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude by saying that the Office of the President should make available to this Honourable House, the report of the Internal Audit Agency, so that at least, we can study it and make the necessary recommendation to help the smooth administration of this nation.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Minister, Office of the President, wind up. And in winding up, I would want you to address two issues -- The issue raised by the Committee in the Report about the 24 per cent interest rate by MASLOC, which is almost the same or even more than the
commercial banks and the issue of whether there is a line item for the Hon Minister in charge of Government Business in Parliament -- Whether there is any line in his budget.
Alhaji Pelpuo 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, let me thank Hon Members for the immense interest they have shown in Government Machinery budget and I appreciate the contributions coming from Hon Members, very constructive, issues of Brand Ghana, which we are addressing, the MiDA, we have seen some shift in appropriation and indeed, Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) is an expression by Hon Members of the high interest rates they are charging and it is a concern by all of us.
Mr Speaker, I would like to assure you that I would take up this matter, we would meet MASLOC, definitely,this interest rate would be reduced to enable many, many more people to benefit from it to boost up enterprises.
Mr Speaker, the answer we know of the economic growth at the domestic level is to ensure that there is cheap access to capital and MASLOC as a State organisation, is one source of it. So, it is an expression by the House when we are talking about the need for the interest rates to be reduced of an intention of the House to have an influence on MASLOC. Mr Speaker, I believe that, some positive action would be taken in that direction.
Whether the Minister for Government Business in Parliament has a budget line in the Budget; Mr Speaker, I honestly would say that I did not see any estimate from his office in the budget. But I will discuss this with the Chief of Staff. I know that the Chief of Staff has a big budget and that can be discussed and his concerns and expenditures can be taken care of.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the support and co-operation and crave on the indulgence of Hon Members to support the approval of this budget to enable Government to efficiently manage the governance of this country.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢326,838,620 for the services of the Office of Government Machinery for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
The Hon Minister has assured us that he would take up the matters that have been raised on the floor.
Dr Kunbuor 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want us to take item 8. There are some issues with the Judiciary.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Dr Kunbuor 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want us to reconcile some matters --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Are you up on a point of order?
Dr A. A. Osei 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before the Speaker left, I was trying to catch his eye and then he put the matter to vote. That is why I kept standing up. I was going to call for a headcount.
Dr Kunbuor 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the figure on the estimates of the Judiciary stands at GH¢192,197,983.66. Mr Speaker, like we have experienced before, this was the figure that was communicated to the House by His Excellency the President. But we have also noticed that there is a slight variation in the estimates.
We have discussed with the Ministry of Finance and we have found out that the shortfall of about two point something million Ghana cedis would be taken out when we are working on the Appropriation Bill from the General Government Services item, which would be the DP component and adjusted accordingly.
Mr Speaker, this is necessary because of the constitutional provision that you cannot revise the estimates that have been communicated from the Presidency to Parliament for consideration. Mr Speaker, I intend to move the Motion as it stands on the Order Paper.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Very well, go ahead.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 1:05 p.m.

Majority Leader/Minister for Government Business in Parliament (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢192,197,983.66 for the services of the Judicial Service for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, we certainly have seen that time and time again, the Judiciary has been challenged and called upon to perform under very, very challenging circumstances as we witnessed in the 2012 Election Petition. We have also seen some changes that are being made to matters of procedure, to make sure that justice is dispensed expeditiously and to reduce what has come to be known as the tortoise speed of our judicial process.
Majority Leader/Minister for Government Business in Parliament (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 1:05 p.m.


Mr Speaker, it is in the light of these development and changes that the appropriation is being sought by the Judicial Service.

Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Charles Obeng-Inkoom) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion that this House approves the sum of GH¢192,197,983.66 for the services of the Judicial Service for the year ending 31st December, 2014. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2014 financial year was presented to Parliament by the Hon. Minister for Finance, Mr Seth E. Terkpeh on the authority of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 in accordance with article 179 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution.
Pursuant to article 179 (2) and (4) of the Constitution, His Excellency, the President submitted the 2014 Budget Estimates for the Judicial Service with a cover letter dated 24th October, 2013 to Parliament for its attention.
Subsequent to the submission, the annual budget estimates of the Judicial Service for the 2014 financial year were laid in the House on Wednesday, 4th December, 2013 by the Hon Majority Leader and Minister for Government Business in Parliament on behalf of the Minister for Finance in accordance with article 179 (4) and (5) of the Constitution.
The estimates were referred to the Committee on Judiciary for consideration and report pursuant to the Standing Orders of the House.
Deliberations
The Committee, during the considera- tion of the budget estimates was assisted by the Judicial Secretary, Justice A. B. Poku-Acheampong and other officials of the Judicial Service. Also in attendance were the Minister for Finance, Hon Seth Terkpeh and other officials from his Ministry.
Reference documents
The Committee referred to the following documents during its discussions:
i. The 1992 Constitution.
ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament.
iii. Report of the Committee on the 2013 Budget Estimates for the Judicial Service.
iv. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2014 financial year.
v. The draft annual budget estimates for the Judicial Service for the 2014 financial year.
Mission of the Judicial Service
The Mission of the Judicial Service is to promote, among other functions, efficient and effective system of administration of justice acceptable to all manner of persons, including the poor and vulnerable without fear or favour or ill- will, thereby creating an enabling environment for good governance.
The Service intends to achieve its mission through the following objectives:
i. Promoting the rule of law, transparency, efficiency and speedy administration of justice.
ii. Promoting and upholding the fundamental human rights and freedoms of all persons in the country.
iii. Improving access to justice especially to the vulnerable and the excluded.
iv. Improving human and institutional capacity especially towards the protection of the vulnerable and the excluded.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Charles Obeng-Inkoom) 1:05 p.m.


one hundred and ninety-seven thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three Ghana cedis, sixty-six pesewas (GH¢192,197,983.66) for the Judicial Service for the 2014 Fiscal year.

Respectfully submitted.
Mr Frank B. Agyen (NPP -- Effiduase/ Asokore) 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence to contribute to the Motion.
Mr Speaker, I do not want to go through the rituals of always adding to or subtracting from a Report to which I took part in drafting. That notwithstanding, I would want to highlight a few points by way of emphasis.
The core business of the Judiciary, among several of other things, is to improve public image and confidence in the Service and also remove the perception of corruption in the Judicial Service. It goes on to allow efficiency in the delivery of justice.
Mr Speaker, in allowing efficiency in the delivery of justice, cognisance should be taken of the fact that, the Executive should be divested from having a hand in the appointment of Justices of the Superior Courts. That is from High Court up to the Supreme Court. If it is a constitutional provision, steps should be taken to get away from that practice. That would enhance or allow the absolute independence of the Judiciary.
Mr Speaker, in 2013, just 86.2 per cent of the amount earmarked for the Judiciary was released and it is not the best. Because of that, some Judges of the inferior courts are threatening --
Mr K. T. Hammond 1:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
My Hon Colleague just made a point but he stopped short of clarifying exactly what is to be done. He has talked about
the appointment of the Judges of the Superior Court of Judicature and suggest that it is not the best as it stands now. I kind of hinted that it is a constitutional imperative. He said if that is the case, then the Constitution should be amended to reflect his view. What is to be put in its place, he did not indicate. So, at least, for the sake of completeness, he should let us understand what he intends to be done.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I think Mr Speaker has kept on reminding us that we are looking at the estimates. Let us concentrate more on the estimates --
Mr Hammond 1:10 p.m.
It did come out of the estimates. He was talking about how much money to pay them and all that, and he thought it was a bad way of appointing them. So, maybe, he should clarify.
Mr Agyen 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Report captures, among other things, a specific clause or line that said: “improve the public image and confidence in the Service”. And if we want to improve the public image and confidence in the Service, then of course, the Service should be seen to be absolutely independent, devoid of any interference whatsoever. That is why I made that remark.
That notwithstanding, Mr Speaker, I said only 86.2 per cent of the amount earmarked for the Judiciary last year, was realised-- that was actualised. I pray that this amount given is encouraging but the Hon Minister for Finance must make it a point to release hundred per cent of what is realised for the Judiciary and to do so timeously, so that the Judiciary would be able to perform its core function without let or hindrance.
I say this again because some Justices of the inferior courts threatened to have an industrial action because they were paid, without proper authority, amounts
over and above what they were due. If due diligence was done in realising that phenomenon, I believe, Mr Speaker, that would not have happened.
My prayer, finally is that, the amount is not bad but it should be released in good time to enable the Judiciary perform its core functions.
In so doing, I support the fact that the amount earmarked be given to the Judiciary and I urge Hon Members of this House to join me in approving the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I would have thought that this would be a straightforward one because of the constitutional provision. So, I want to put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢192,197.983.66 for the services of the Judiciary Service for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want us to go back and take item 5 (a) because the Hon Chairman of the Committee is here. And we then proceed with the Motions.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Item 5 (a) -- Presentation of Papers -- Hon Chairman of the Committee.
PAPERS 1:10 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item number
14.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 1:10 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, once it is the same Committee, we would take item number 15.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 1:30 p.m.

Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (Mr Nayon Bilijo) 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢128,615,836 for the services of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has been in existence for nearly one year, and I think enough time and activities have passed for us to begin to understand the challenges and therefore, the direction in which we should move the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, our nation's fisheries resources from the marine and inland water bodies have been over exploited, due to illegal fishing practices, weak control of the fishing fleets and over capitalisation of the fishing industry. Local fish production has not been able to meet our national fish requirements.
In addition, post-harvest losses in the fisheries sector are high. Mr Speaker, the fisheries sector lacks the requisite skilled manpower to implement the modernisation programme of the sector.
The request for the House to approve the budget of GH¢128,615,836 would enable the Ministry do the following: improve governance for the sustainable management of the fisheries resources, operationalise the fisheries enforcement unit to monitor and combat illegal unreported and unregulated fishing that
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kunsu) 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion moved by the Minister and in so doing, present the Report of the Committee.
Introduction
The 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the period ending 31st December, 2014 was presented to Parliament, by the Minister for Finance, Hon Seth Terkpeh, on 19thNovember, 2013 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
Pursuant to Orders 140 (4) and 176 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Speaker referred the draft budget estimates of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs for consideration and report to the House.
Deliberations
The Committee met on 5th December, 2014, and scrutinised the draft estimates
of the Ministry. Present at the meeting were the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mrs Rebecca Amoah Aboagye and the technical staff of the Ministry. The Committee is grateful to Hon Deputy Minister and his team for their inputs and clarifications.
Reference materials
The Committee was guided by the following documents during its consideration of the estimates:
i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
ii.The Standing Orders of Parliament.
iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana for year 2013.
iv. The approved estimates of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for
2013.
v. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the 2014 financial year;
vi. The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for 2014-2016.
Mission Statement
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development exist to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture development through research, technical support services, regulations, institutional building for co- management and stakeholder's participa- tion, provision of statistical and economic
intelligence information, monitoring, control and surveillance services (MCS), regional co-operation and the active promotion of livelihood improvement in fishing communities.
Review of performance for 2013 and outlook for 2014
Management and administration
The Ministry, in 2013, recruited 40 personnel to augment the existing staff strength; trained 10 staff in ICT and other areas, established intranet to connect five directorates of the Ministry, and translated the Fisheries Regulations, 2010, L.I., 1968 into local languages for fishing communities.
For year 2014, the Ministry intends to conduct in-service training for 20 staff and also train five staff abroad.The Ministry further intends to link five more directorates to its intranet.
Fisheries resource management
The objective under the Fisheries Resource Management Programme is to ensure sustainable exploitation of the fisheries resources, both marine and inland, to guarantee production of fish for food security and nutrition of the populace as well as safeguard employment along the fisheries value chain.
To achieve these objectives, the Ministry in 2013, implemented some critical interventions. Some of them areclearing of the proposed site for the Fisheries College at Anomabo for work to commence, commissioning of the construction of the Turn-key Fish Processing Factory at Elmina and completed the construction of cold stores at Prampram, Half Assini, Shama, Kormantsi and Nyanyano.
The Ministry, in year 2014, plans to facilitate the implementation of Fishermen Life Insurance Scheme for fisher folks. The Scheme aims to transfer the risk of liability resulting from the payment of compensation in the event of accidents in the coastal and lake fishing communities to the private sector. It is envisaged that 200,000 fishermen will be covered under the scheme.
The Ministry intends to commence the construction of phase-1of the proposed Anomabo College which consists of hostels, administration block, laboratories and lecture halls in 2014.
Aquaculture Development Programme
The Ministry in 2013, prepared and launched the Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan (GNADP). The Plan which cost US$85million US Dollars aimed atincreasing aquaculture production to a total of 100,000 mt by 2016 in order to meet the national fish requirement and to also reduce the overreliance on marine and inland capture fisheries.
For year 2014, the Ministry intends to among others, strengthen the capacity of aquaculture associations by providing business advisory services for existing and potential investors in medium and large-scale aquaculture ventures.
In addition, the Ministry intends to develop various profitable fish farming production modules as basis for providing credit to small-scale starter farmers. It will also support the entry and growth of new small-scale investors with profitable business plans in the aquaculture sector. An extension unit will be established and equipped to provide technical services to fish farmers.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe you share the view that Members have their copies, so there is no need going through all the rigmarole.
So, I understand you.
Hon Members, it is moved and seconded. I would like the Ranking Member to make a contribution and then --
Ranking Member of the Committee (Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto): Mr Speaker, looking at the Report, it is obvious that the fisheries sector, especially the aquaculture sector is the lead growth centre for the fisheries sector as a whole.
There is a five-year plan launched by the Minister some months back this year. Very ambitious target, from 26,000 metric tonnes of fish to a 100,000 tonnes in a matter of three years. This plan has been put together with the assistance of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations; it is very comprehensive. Unfortunately, if you look at the budget, there is no provision for financing the US$85 million which the plant requires
and it is something that I asked through one of our Hon Members -- because I was not at the Committee and it begs the question. How is this very ambitious plan going to be financed?
I think the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is having a conversation and is not listening to what I am saying. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, please, pay attention.
Dr Akoto 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that it is an issue which the Ministry has to take serious. This is because it looks like it is the lifeline that is being thrown to us by this Ministry to fund the five-year plan for aquaculture development by this Ministry.
With these words, Mr Speaker, I would want to support the Motion which is the approval of the sum of GH¢128,615,836 for the Ministry of Fisheries and Aqua- culture.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
I know that Hon Members would like to contribute. The time is far spent. I would like to put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢128,615,836 for the services of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
Item number 16, Mr Speaker.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 1:40 p.m.

Minister for Energy and Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah) 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,340,908,515 for the services of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, the breakdown of the allocation for the four programmes for the Ministry for 2014 are as follows: management and administration would be GH¢25,145,574, power generation, transmission, distribution, including loans for power sector projects would be GH¢908,484,707, petroleum oil and gas development, including ABF provision for Western Corridor Infrastructure Project would be GH¢406,355,909.
Mr Speaker, the strategic objectives of the Ministry in the medium-term are to increase power generation from the current level to 5,000 megawatts by 2016, achieve universal access to electricity by 2016 and achieve gas based power by 50 per cent by 2015. It is also to develop a non-congested and transmission infras- tructure and ensure maximum participation of Ghanaians in the oil and gas industry.
Mr Speaker, achievements. In 2013, a draft Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill was sent to Cabinet and was approved and would soon be sent to Parliament, a local content Legislative Instrument (L.I,) has been approved by Parliament and Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) has been established to help Ghanaians build capacity.
In the power subsector, Mr Speaker, we added 532 megawatts power to the generation capacity even though 132 megawatts of the T2 Plant had a problem and we are addressing it as we speak. We continue to increase universal access to electricity to make sure we can achieve our goal by 2016, by ensuring that all communities have access to electricity.
Mr Speaker, a total of 32,680,044 barrels of crude oil were produced from the Jubilee Field from the 1st January to the 30th of November, 2013. I am also happy to announce that the turn phase of production received Ministerial approval and paved the way for full development to facilitate the exploitation of reserves of about 245 million barrels of oil and 367 million cubic feet of gas. There is also ongoing negotiation to approve the Sankofa Field to bring additional gas and oil to the country.
Mr Speaker, the work on the gas infrastructure project is also progressing well, the offshore pipeline is complete. We have 90 per cent completion on the offshore pipeline, 96 per cent on the onshore pipeline and the gas plant itself is about 60 per cent complete.
Mr Speaker, to eliminate the use of wood fuel for cooking, a pilot LPG promotion programme to distribute more than 20,000 pieces of LPG and cook stoves for ten selected communities in the regions have been launched and will be continued in 2014.
Mr Speaker, we continue to focus on programmes on renewal energy to ensure that renewal energy is in our energy mix. And the goal is to ensure that about 10 per cent of our energy mix is made up of renewal sources of energy by 2020 and we continue to pursue that objective as well.
Mr Speaker, we made a lot of progress and mine-grid electrification projects to ensure that communities that are very remote also have access to electricity.
Mr Speaker, for all these reasons, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,340,908,515 to enable the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum deliver on outlined programmes and projects for the 2014 budget year.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Dr Kwabena Donkor) 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, I present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government 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 Constitution.
Subsequently, the draft annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum were referred by the Mr Speaker to the Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report pursuant to Order 188 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House.
Deliberations
In considering the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Benjamin Dagadu and officials of the Ministry to discuss the 2014 Annual
Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
Officials from the Petroleum Commission, the Energy Commission and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) also attended upon the Committee to justify their respective draft estimates. In attendance were officials from the Ministry of Finance to assist in the deliberations.
The Committee is grateful to the officials for their attendance and for clarifying issues raised during the deliberations.
Reference documents
The Committee referred to the following during deliberations on the draft estimates:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment.
iii. The Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821);
iv. The Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541).
v. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Act, 1983 (PNDCL
64).
vi. The Petroleum Revenue Manage- ment Act, 2011 (Act 815).
vii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana for the 2014 fiscal year.
Chairman of the Committee (Dr Kwabena Donkor) 1:40 p.m.


(GH¢452,248,525.00) had been released to the Ministry as at the end of September,

2013.

The details of the approved budget and releases to the Ministry within the period are as shown in Table 1 below:

The increase in actual releases for the Compensation of Employees Vote, was due to the migration of Staff of the Ministry onto the Single Spine Salary Structure, which was not captured in the 2013 budget of the Ministry.

Performance of the Ministry in 2013

In line with its mandate, the Ministry undertook the following programmes in the power, renewable energy and petroleum sub-sectors:

Programme 1: Regulations and Legislations

Licensing manuals for renewable energy

The Licensing Manual and the draft Standard Power Purchase Agreement for connection of renewable energy generation to the grid were developed. A total of fifty-five (55) renewable energy companies have been registered within the year.

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE

8 - 1.40 P.M.
Chairman of the Committee (Dr Kwabena Donkor) 1:40 p.m.
Observations and recommendations
The Committee made the following observations and recommendations during its deliberations:
Exclusion of Petroleum Commission from MoEP Budget
The Committee noted with grave concern that the Petroleum Commission was again excluded from the Budget of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. It was recalled that when the situation cropped in 2013 annual budget, the response of the MoFEP was that, the Commission had just been established and could be given a budget line after going through some processes.
On that basis, the Committee was given full unreserved assurance by the MOFEP that the processes would be completed before the preparation of the 2014 Budget. It was however disturbing to find that the issue remained unresolved.
As a remedial measure, the Committee was informed by officials of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum that, the amount of five million, nine hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢5,900,000.00) had been allocated to the Commission for the year 2014 through the intervention of the Ministry.
This amount represents about 34 per cent of the total budgetary request of twenty-five million, one hundred and ninety-one thousand, six-hundred and fifty Ghana cedis (GH¢25,191,650.00) submitted to the MoFEP by the Commission.
For the smooth operation of the Commission to discharge the onerous responsibilities placed on the Petroleum

Commission by Act 821, the Committee requested as a matter of urgency that the MoFEP find funds to cater for the remainder of the total budget request.

It was also noted that the Commission spends almost all its IGFs in servicing its mortgage on its office complex. The Committee recommends that the Ministry of Finance pays off the mortgage through the petroleum activities provision of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), in order to free resources generated through Commission's IGFs to enable it wean itself from Government subventions.

Additionally, it was recommended that a lasting solution be found to make resources available to the Commission to discharge its critical activities as a regulator in the upstream petroleum sector. The Committee again recom- mended that Legislative Instrument be passed to empower the Commission to levy fees and charges, to generate the needed funds internally.

Improved power supply

The Committee noted with satisfaction the measures put in place by the Ministry comprehensively, to ensure stable supply of power to meet industry and domestic needs. It was noted that provisions have been made to increase the existing generation capacity by 342MW in 2014. It was also found that the Ministry would complete the remaining, the last generating unit of the Bui Hydro Electric Dam.

In this regard, the Committee urges the Ministry to sustain the current gains in power generation and ensure that all the planned projects are executed rigorously.

Insufficient regulatory Levy releases to Energy Commission

The Committee expressed concerns about the insufficient release of the

approved Regulatory Levy of the Energy Commission for the year 2013. It was observed that, only two hundred and fifty-three thousand Seven-hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (GH¢253,720.00) of the Commission's share of the Regulatory Levy was received out of the approved amount two million and seven hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢2,700,000.00) as at the end of October, 2013. This represents 9.4 per cent of the total approved allocation.

The officials informed the Committee that the Regulatory Levy was legislated to support the regulatory agencies such as the Commission, to enable them compensate their staff adequately and eventually wean them off government subventions.

According to the officials of the Commission, the insufficiency of Regulatory Levy releases over the years have affected the Commission's ability to offer staff compensation, that is commensurate with those offered by sister regulatory agencies. As a result, the Commission is losing its critical staff to sister regulatory agencies and other players in the industry.

In view of the critical regulatory role the Commission is expected to play in the energy sector, the Committee recommends that, the Commission's share of the Regulatory Levy should be enhanced and releases made timeously to enable the Commission remunerate its staff adequately.

Additionally, the Committee recommends that legislation on fees and charges be fast tracked by the Commission in order to generate enough revenue internally to wean itself from government subventions.

Establishment of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC)

On the establishment of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) in Takoradi, the Committee was of the view that such an institution could drive the agenda for equipping Ghanaians with requisite skills to compete effectively in the oil and gas industry.

The officials of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum told the Committee that personnel from fifty-four Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) had been registered as at July 2013, for training. The Committee deems the establishment of the Centre as an important step towards the realisation of the country's local content aspirations.

Utilization of GNPC's share of Jubilee revenue

The Committee noted that the sum of one hundred and eighty-six million, one hundred and ninety thousand, eight hundred and one United States dollars (US$186,190,801.00) was approved by Parliament for the activities of the GNPC for the year 2013.

It was also noted that the Corporation had a balance of sixty-one million, six hundred and seventy-four thousand, two hundred and fifteen United States dollars (US$61,674,215) which had been committed to some projects in the year 2012 but which had not been utilised because of the late approval of projects including the TEN Project.

A total of eighty-four million, two hundred and thirty-seven thousand, and seven hundred and forty-six United States dollars (US$84,237,746.00) had been utilised to fund planned projects for the 2013. The expenditure comprised Jubilee Equity Financing cost of sixty million,
Chairman of the Committee (Dr Kwabena Donkor) 1:50 p.m.
eight hundred and ninety thousand United States dollars (US$60,890,000), the Petroleum Project cost amounting to six million, seven hundred and two thousand, three hundred and seventy-eight United States dollars (US$6,702,378.00) and the remainder of sixteen million, six hundred and forty-five thousand, three hundred and sixty-nine United States dollars (U$16,645,369) expended on employee compensation, Bank of Ghana charges, administration costs, capital expenses and general expenditure.
The projects undertaken during the year included the South Deepwater Tano, the Voltaian Basin Project, North and South Tano, the Hess Block and Ultra Deep Water Keta. Other activities were reservoir characterisation, ICT upgrade and expansion, research and technology centre, Organisation Development Project and Maritime Boundary Special Projects.
Project execution challenges
The Committee observed that the GNPC was unable to implement its entire approved work programme for 2013 due to factors beyond the control of the Corporation. Amount of one hundred and sixty-three million, six hundred and twenty-seven thousand, two hundred and seventy (US$163,627,270.00) was found to be outstanding as at the end of September,
2013.
Officials of the GNPC explained that the continuous injection of gas into the MH4 Reservoir Unit resulted in high pressure, making it impossible for the execution of scheduled activities. In the circumstances, all further operations had to be postponed to 2014 for implemen- tation.
The GNPC's budget request for the 2014 fiscal year
For its activities for the year 2014, the GNPC requested for the sum of three hundred and thirty-four million, one hundred and seven thousand and ninety- three United States dollars (US¢334,
107,093.00).
Out of the total request, the amount of one hundred and eighteen million, eight hundred and fifty-nine thousand, seven hundred and eighty-one United States dollars (US$118,859,781.00) has been budgeted to meet Jubilee Equity Financing Cost, the TEN and the Offshore Cape Three Points (Sankofa-GyeNyame) development costs. An amount of US$156,345,887 has been set aside to meet petroleum costs, such as the South DeepwaterTano, the Voltaian Basin and the Ultra Deepwater Keta projects. Capital projects amounting to US$35,554,667 is also part of the request.
The remainder of twenty-three million, three hundred and forty-six thousand, seven hundred and fifty eight United States dollars US$23,346,758 is projected to cover general expenditure of the Corporation which includes adminis- trative, capital, personal emoluments and other incidental costs.
The request of the GNPC is to be financed from its share of projected revenue from the Jubilee Field. The projected amount for 2014 is US$192,610,004.
Construction of office modern accom- modation
The Committee noted that the GNPC has budgeted for the sum of twenty-two million, two hundred and sixty-six thousand, six hundred and sixty-seven United States dollars (US$22,266,667.00) which has been earmarked by the GNPC for the construction of a modern office accommodation. The amount also includes
the re-development of the Corporation's landed property. The Committee was informed that the project is in line with the Corporation's strategic goal of attaining the status of a sole operator of petroleum blocks in seven years and a world class operator within the next fifteen years.
On its part, the Committee urged the GNPC to ensure timely construction of the facility, to make savings on possible rental charges.
Bank of Ghana's transfer charges
The Committee noted with concern that, a whopping sum of one million, nine hundred and sixty thousand, and nine hundred and sixty-one United States dollars (US$1,960,961.00) was retained by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as transfer charges in respect of transactions involving five liftings undertaken for the GNPC. Officials of the Corporation informed the Committee that the charges were unilaterally imposed by the BoG without any recourse to the Corporation.
They, however, indicated that the issue has been raised at the Ministerial level for redress. The Committee considered the amount to be on the high side and recommended expedited action on the negotiations to reach mutually acceptable fees.
Conclusion
The Committee has duly scrutinised the 2014 draft estimates of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and is of the view that the request is justified with regard to the important programmes to be implemented in the year 2014.
It, therefore, wishes to recommend to the House, to adopt its Report on the draft estimates and to approve the sum of one billion, three hundred and forty million, nine hundred and eight thousand, five hundred and fifteen Ghana cedis (GH¢1,340,908,515.00) for the activities of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for the 2014 fiscal year.
Respectfully submitted.

Ranking Member (Mr Kobina T. Hammond): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, I propose to make a few contributions of my own.

Mr Speaker, some of us have --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Member, why do you want to make a few contributions of your own?
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
This is because he has made his own contribution; others would make their contributions. So, I make my own contribution.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
I believe you are part of the team that worked on it?
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
It will not be entirely different.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Anyway, I do not want to take up too much time but as much as possible --
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
A few things I intend to bring up.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Very well.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed, you would know why I said a few contributions of my own in a minute.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Member, I would want you to address the estimates, please.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
I would deal with that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Please, let us avoid these areas. Address the estimates.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am going to deal with the estimates.

Hon Members, if you could be calm.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Order! Hon Members, let us have some order.
Hon Member, please, just address the estimates and let us make progress.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point I am making is on page five of the Report, paragraph 9.2, for those who can read, it is there.
Mr Speaker, you know what has happened in recent times? The Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum who
Mr Buah 1:50 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the T3 plant was inaugurated, it was in operation until June 5 when it experienced an explosion and as a result of that, it was shut down. As I speak to you, an independent assessment is being made to ensure that the plant comes back to operation and that is all there is to that plant.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Member, please, avoid talking about “consulting oracle”. I do not think we need to go into those areas.
Mr Buah 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not think about “consultation of the oracle” because I do not think that --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Minister, please, resume your seat. I am addressing that issue.
Hon Member, I do not think we need to go into consultation of oracles and things here. We are addressing the estimates; why do you want to go into that? Do you want to withdraw it? Just withdraw it and let us make progress.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we should be patient about some of these matters. I am not just simply making stories. The Daily Graphic, a national newspaper reported that Government pacified Aboadze gods, so that the plant can work --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Does that amount to consulting oracles?
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
The gods --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
No, please. Hon Member, let us not read interpreta- tions into things which would not gel. Please, just withdraw it and let us make some progress.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you would bear with me, the Report makes it clear that the Hon Minister, leading a Government delegation, met with the chiefs and consulted the oracles and the oracles have said that if the gods are not pacified, the plant would never work.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Member --
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
In a not too distant past, we had a problem in this House. I do not want a repeat of it. Let us get you to withdraw the “consultation of oracles” and then you make your contributions.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you mean what? As reported in the Daily Graphic of yesterday, I should withdraw it?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, withdraw the expression “consultation of oracles”.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
As reported by the Daily Graphic?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Just with- draw it.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
I do not understand, Mr Speaker. If Mr Speaker does not intend me to -- I am so sure, it is there in the papers. I am only drawing the House's attention to what has been reported in the Daily Graphic.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
What you read out from the Daily Graphic does not amount to “consulting oracles” by the Hon Minister. The Hon Minister goes to see the chiefs of the area and they go into discussions and a certain decision is taken by the chiefs. How would you say that
amounted to the Hon Minister “consulting oracles”? Please, withdraw the statement and let us make progress.
Mr Nitiwul 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we should make progress. You have given your order, it would be complied with. But it is also important to point out what the Hon Member said. The heading is very clear, that -- [Interruptions.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Order! Order!
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you have the floor.
Mr Nitiwul 1:50 p.m.
‘Government to pacify Aboadze gods'. That is the headline. When you go down, all these words he used are inside there but because you have already given --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Member, I have given my ruling. Please, let the Hon Member withdraw it and then we make progress.
Mr Hammond 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw the entire contributions I have made and thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
In any case, I did not ask you to withdraw the entire contribution you have made. I asked you to withdraw that aspect of it dealing with “consulting oracles”.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 2 p.m.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
Mr Speaker, this is a Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the estimates. Mr Speaker, we have gone through the Report and some of us are concerned about energy because it is critical to the furtherance of the economy, it is critical for growth and job creation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, please, hold your breath.
With regard to proceedings and the stage of proceedings, I direct that for the purposes of concluding this particular Motion on the Order Paper numbered 16, we would Sit beyond the stipulated time in accordance with the Standing Orders.
But Hon Members, let us be as brief as possible.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
As I said, we needed to positionGNPC well. Therefore, when the Committee met GNPC, they proposed that they needed an office complex. We do not dispute it, they deserve it; They told us that where they are now, they need to come to Accra, so that they can be more accessible by the other players in the industry. Yes, undisputable; we agree. But Mr Speaker, the concern is that, in the same proposal, there is a provision for their permanent office.
Mr Buah 2 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, it is important that we focus on what is in the Committee's Report. But Mr Speaker, it is also important to note that the issue he is raising has been addressed. GNPC had come to the Hon Minister with two proposals to build a modern office accommodation and possibly to lease.
Mr Speaker, after we had evaluated it, we agreed that that was not an option and that they should build a permanent office. That is why we did not bring it to the Committee and so, it is not in the Report. So I would want him to know that that is not an option that must be discussed, because the Hon Minister did not approve it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Very well.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister should be -- [Interruption] -- I respect him but he should respect the Committee. I am speaking as a
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, please, continue with your submission.
Hon Minister, we will give you the opportunity to wind up. So, let us make some progress.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is also a provision for US$7.7 million for office rental in this Report. Mr Speaker, when we did further interrogation, that amount -- annual rental fee of US$3.2 million, for 10 years, would have amounted to US$39 million for one office.
Dr Kunbuor 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this matter had come to my attention and the Report of the Committee has nowhere reproduced the policy document that the Hon Member is referring to. What we say is that, that matter is no more an option for consideration.
We can take it up as a separate matter and discuss it later in terms of the wider viability. But when we tack it to the estimates right now, the impression is being given that those figures are part of the estimates. This is my concern.
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the difficulty my Hon Colleague is pointing out is that, GNPC asked for a certain amount, and in justifying that amount, they said they were going to rent an office. Though they knew they were going to build offices in the near future, they were going to rent another office for 10 years. That amount is still sitting in what would be given to
GNPC.
So, as we ask today, what is GNPC going to do with that US$40 million? That is what he is asking -- that we are approving?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
All right. Point well made. At the appropriate time, the Hon Minister would respond.
But please, move to some other segment of the Report.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue is that, they have an office in Tema, where they are now. Why do they not concentrate on constructing their permanent office that would cost about US$40 million? --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, your point has been well made. Move to some other area --
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue we are raising now is that, we are going to approve of the estimates for the Ministry. As we speak now, there is an allocation of US$7.7 million for office rental and he is saying that, that has been taken away. Where is that money going to? --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, if you do not move from that area, I will stop you. I have told you, you have made your point. So, why do you not move on? At the appropriate time --
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, for this one, I would stop. Mr Speaker, I would not challenge you. I would stop and sit down because you are not allowing me to contribute -- [Interruption.]
rose
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2 p.m.
This is about value for money. It is about fighting corruption. Mr Speaker, if you will not allow me, I will sit down quietly and I will not debate. I am sitting down.
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would plead that you be a bit patient with some of our Hon Members, so that we can make progress.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
You see, Hon Deputy Minority Leader, he has made the point -- [Interruption] -- At a point in time, the Hon Minister intervened and gave some explanation. I have ruled that he be given the space to make his point, so that at the appropriate time, the Hon Minister would also respond.
That point has been well made. So, my understanding of the whole issue -- Order! Order!
My understanding of the whole issue is that, that point has been made --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
If he has any other point he wants to make, he is free to do so. At the appropriate time, some response would come from the Hon Minister.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader --
Dr Kunbuor 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just like the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has said, it is not intended that they should stop the Hon Member from contributing. But because we are not in a Question and Answer session, if one raises an issue, it means that it has been raised and the Hon Minister, when he is winding up, would respond. So, I understood Mr Speaker
to be saying that, when one raises a point, which would be responded to, you move to other issues, so that we can let the debate flow.
I know that the point has been raised sufficiently, so, I am saying that he should be allowed to move to other issues.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there has been a precedent. Just this morning, there was an issue about allocation, that is why I am going there. That there was an issue of allocation where we needed about GH¢10 million or so. What I am saying here is that Mr Speaker, since that project has been discarded now, or has been discontinued, the amount here is US$7.7 million. So, where is that money going to? That is my concern.
Let us look at it and make sure that it goes to another area. So, I am even going back to propose that -- Mr Speaker, my position is that, we are all helping to build a good budget for all of us, that is what we are doing here. My concern is that, I speak about power management, about generation, transmission and distribution which are critical to our economy and the amount allocated to that project Mr Speaker, is here.
So I am saying that, let us shift that money, US$7.7 million to power management budget so that this ‘dum so, dum so' issue would be somehow dealt with. Mr Speaker, I am saying that, instead of this money sitting here, we should put it at power management.
Mr Speaker, we can also reduce it from the amount allocated to the GNPC budget, so that we take it away from the GNPC's gross budget of US$33,410,793 minus US$7.7 million and we would get about US$326,470,000, then we would make
progress. So, let us do that, so that we know what that money is going to be used for.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe it is a proposal you are making. So, let it end there as a proposal. At the appropriate time, the House would look at it through its committee and everything. Do not create the impression that you are imposing something on the House.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will not continue.
Thank you.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Mun- taka (NDC -- Asawase) 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion before us and to say that, yes, at the Committee, this issue about renting of the office came up. The Hon Minister's attention was drawn to it and he assured the Committee that he was not going to approve the use of that amount of money for the renting of a premise since they are planning to construct a new block.
But what I would want my Hon Colleague, Mr Asiamah to remember is that, as a member of the Committee, in the sharing of the oil resources, the GNPC has its component, and it is only showing us how they were going to spend their component of the budget. And if he remembers, they have to carry forward over US$100 million last year. All the Minister would ensure is that this money they intended to use for the renting, would add up to the money that they in future would be using as part of their investment.
So, it should not be given the impression that it could be taken from GNPC into another agency. It has to still stay with GNPC but with specific approval to use it for any other thing. But we cannot
take it outside the GNPC accounts into another sector of the Ministry since that amount is for GNPC.
As you remember, we have other amounts that we call Annual Budget Funding Account; that is also coming from the oil. So, we need to get this clearer. Yes, the point was well made; we all agreed that that renting should not go on.
Mr Speaker, another important thing is the issue of renting, which has to do with COSMOS and TULLOW. They are our partners in the tapping of the oil. Mr Speaker, because we have to take care of all their expenses before we share, they are also renting, and I would want to draw the attention of the Hon Minister, that we must encourage them to put up a permanent structure instead of the renting periodically.
This is because at the end of the day, so long as they keep renting, that huge amount would keep going and it has to be taken before we share our component and I think that in the long run it is affecting us.
Lastly Mr Speaker, the issue that Bank of Ghana is taking so much by way of transfer needs should be discussed thoroughly between the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance. I think it is not proper for those huge sums of money to be deducted at source by Bank of Ghana from the account of GNPC without any explanation, by just saying that it is the cost of doing transfers.
I do not think that is fair to GNPC and I would urge the Hon Minister to take this on board, so that he tr ies to have discussions with the Hon Minister for Finance, so that they iron it out.
With these few comments, Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the House to approve the amount requested for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia South) 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the essence of Parliament debating its Committees' budget is to improve governance for the country. If we are not seeking to improve democratic governance, then there is no point coming here to debate. Mr Speaker, oversight is an integral part of the Committee on Energy and Petroleum's mandate.
Mr Speaker, what cannot be allowed to pass is that, when you look at this Committee's Report, when the Bank of Ghana is even discouraging normal workings in this country for us to denominate in dollars, the GNPC's whole budget that is stated is not even denominated in Ghana cedis.
Dr Kunbuor 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that let us know how we proceed and under which good constitutional governance principles we are proceeding. What we are dealing with now is a matter that comes under article 179 of the Constitution. Your oversight is in article 103 of the Constitution.
So, do not let us confuse the two. What is going on here does not prevent you from invoking article 103 to exercise your oversight. So, when we let it look like oversight can be exercised within the process of article 179, I think we are mixing up the issue.
Dr Prempeh 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, GNPC, in this current situation that we are, should be used as a strategic investor for the country. I am of the serious belief that instead of transferring all these sums of money to GNPC for them to bring a budget, we should have a special holding account under the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, so that GNPC could be seen and act accountably.
Mr Speaker, what has just been said should not be left to pass? That you bring a sum to Parliament and when you are asked for further and better particulars for us to appropriate, what is even hidden is even bigger than what has been presented to Parliament.
Mr Speaker, Parliament cannot be used as a bait; that is the essence. And for us to say that we do not exercise our oversight, why do we look at 2013 before we come to 2014? When we are considering estimates, the 2013 projects that have been done, appropriated, we check before we approve the estimates for 2014. That is an oversight responsibility, that is when Members of Parliament can ask questions.
Mr Speaker, US$7.7 million in the estimates should be found; the Minister should tell us where he is moving that US$7.7 million. Not only that, the Minister should tell us that, that rental premises by the GNPC, he is not going to approve it. That is what I would want to hear from the Minister.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Member, I thought it was made clear -- [Interruption.] Please, are you a member of the Committee?
Dr Prempeh 2:10 p.m.
I am a bona fide Member of Parliament --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Are you a member of the Committee? Members of the Committee have spoken about what
the Minister said at the committee meeting-- Yes, yes. Please, let us try to avoid all those debates.
Now, I will call upon the Hon Minister to wind up.
Mr Buah 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Chairman of the Committee and Members -- [Interruption.]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Minister, please, give me some time.
Yes, Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Nitiwul 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe I would want the Chairman to correct something before the Minister winds up.
Page 9 of the Report-- the ranking Member would have done this but because of what happened --
The rural electrification; I should believe it is 2014, not-- [Interruption.] It is a mistake? So, please, correct that one, so that we do not make --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Thank you very much.
I think you are in agreement. So, correction effected.
Now, Hon Minister, please, wind up, and be as brief as possible.
Mr Buah 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Committee.
Let me begin by saying that, I have noted all the comments and all the pieces of advice.
Mr Speaker, the funding of the Petroleum Commission is very critical and I am happy that this Honourable House has just approved the local content that
would strengthen the Petroleum Commission.
It is very important that we work with the Ministry of Finance to strengthen the Petroleum Commission to be able to exercise its mandate and ensure that the oil industry is well regulated.
Mr Speaker, the other point about the Commission's rent being paid by the Ministry of Finance to make sure that they can then focus on their work is very important and it is something we would take up with the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Speaker, I think that I share the view of the Committee that GNPC must have a permanent office. They must make sure that their investments are investments that would endure for the country in the long run. Mr Speaker, that was why when I was informed by the Hon Chairman that GNPC had come to the Committee with options for leasing, I told the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member to suspend the hearing, that that had not come to my notice. I was going to review that with
GNPC.
Mr Speaker, after reviewing the lease and the building of their permanent office, the decision was made that, that leasing option was not going to go forward. And I think that we can assure this House that in the coming year, we would have to look at the budget and I can assure them that it would not appear anywhere, because we are not going to lease any office.
GNPC is going to build a permanent office. It is important and that is something that I have to stress.
Mr Speaker, I think the Bank of Ghana transfer charges that has also been discussed is a matter of great concern and it is a matter that must be discussed with the Ministry of Finance to make sure that these charges are brought to a minimum.
Mr Nitiwul 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that the Hon Minister and the Hon Chairman -- let me even say the Committee did not do us good. When the matter was deliberated at the Committee and Parliament took the decision that they would not accept the leasing document, it should have been in the Committee's Report instead of it being silent completely.
Mr Speaker, because on the same page --
Mr Buah 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I never used the word “Parliament” I think the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is misquoting me.
I think what I said was that, after discussions with GNPC, a ministerial decision, an Executive decision was made that we were not going to lease the property. That was what I said. So, it is not a parliamentary discussion --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Members, I think this Statement in the Chamber by the Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum is enough. We would hold him to his word.
Mr Nitiwul 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
My problem has to do with the Committee's Report on page 16 of the Report -- under the construction of the modern office, they went ahead to say that; let me read:
“On its part, the Committee urged the GNPC to ensure timely construction of the facility to make savings on the possible rental charges.”
So, we do not get it, that is why I wanted the Hon Minister --
Dr Donkor 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as we speak, in Tema, GNPC has one block and is also renting another block. Currently, GNPC is

renting space. So, there are two rentals here. One was to move to a new 10-year lease hold that the Committee asked for further and better particulars. And when the details were brought, we said this could not pass.

But currently, they are already renting another property. So, the movement to the new property would forestall the payment of any other rental charge in Tema. That is the clarification, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Minister, are you through with your winding up?
Mr Buah 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would want to thank Hon Members for the work and we continue to be diligent to ensure that the critical power that is needed to be generated and strengthen distribution and transmission infrastructure, making sure that we would do all the things right to make sure we can have more oil and gas for Ghana, would be done.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this House approves the sum of GH¢1,340,908,515 for the services of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Members, we will suspend sitting for now.
The time is 2:26 p.m. We will come back after one hour -- that will be 3:26 p.m. So, proceedings are suspended.
2.26 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
3.55 p.m. -- Sitting resumed .
MR SPEAKER
Mr Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Yes, Hon Members, you are welcome back.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we can start with item 18 on Employment and Labour Relations.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 2:20 p.m.

Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Nii Armah Ashitey) (MP) 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this august House considers and approves the sum of GH¢38,542,298.00 for the services of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and its agencies for the 2014 fiscal year.
Mr Speaker, in line with Government's commitment to place employment and labour issues at the centre stage of our national development, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations was re-aligned in 2013 and charged with specific responsibilities to formulate policies and strategies to accelerate aggregate employment creation in the economy, promote demand-driven vocational and technical skills training to enhance job opportunities for the unemployed, particularly the youth to ensure the protection of the rights of workers and their well-being, enhance industrial harmony as a catalyst for national development, coordinate all public and private sector employment initiatives in all segments of the economy, and ensure equity in the administration of public service wages and salaries.
Mr Speaker, the budget of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations conforms to all relevant government policies for a “Better Ghana”, which includes, inter alia, the following:-
The 2014 budget guidelines
The Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), and
The Millennium Development Goals
Mr Speaker, let me assure this august House that the Ministry would continue to provide the requisite policy direction and support to promote employment creation, ensure harmonious and congenial industrial relations climate, equitable public sector pay administration as well as occupational health and safety for all workers.
Outlook for 2014
The areas of focus of the Ministry in 2014 will thus be the following:
Outlook for 2014
In line with the Programme-Based Budget approach, the Ministry will carry out the following key activities under its programmes and sub-programmes;
Management and administration
Generation of credible and scientific Labour Market Information System that will electronically provide labour market information for the socio- economic planning of the country.
The Labour Department will develop early warning alert and response system on labour unrests to detect or resolve them promptly.
Finalise the National Employment Policy as well as the Labour Intensive Public Works Policy.
Establish Public Service Productivity Management system;
Initiate construction of Labour Office Complex to house Labour Depart- ment, Department of Factories Inspectorate and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.

Job Creation and Co-operative Develop- ment

Create job opportunities for the youth, women and the physically challenged.

Train and assist about 2,500 unemployed graduates to establish their own businesses by enhancing the capacity of the Graduate Business Support Scheme (GEBSS);

Broaden the establishment of artisans' cooperatives to give it a nationwide scope.

Establish and strengthen coordina- tion between MMDAs and artisans co-operative societies.

Strengthen cooperative education and development.

Skills development

Retool vocational skills training centers, especially National Voca- tional Training Institute to enhance teaching and learning.

Register, test and certify about 48,000 candidates in vocational, secretarial and information and communication Technology fields.

Select and train about 300 instructional staff in both private and public vocational institutions.

Equip about 1,000 master crafts persons with technical and pedago- gical skills.

Develop an MDPI strategic plan for Cabinet consideration and engage Parliament to amend the LI of MDPI

in order to add tertiary academic programs to its activities.

Explore more training and consul- tancy assignments in the West Africa Sub-region in order to increase its internally generated funds (IGFs).

Train about 2,500 youth in oil and gas;

Liaise extensively with more public service institutions to cater for their capacity building programme.

Labour administration

Examination of the present conditions in respect of the operations of private employment agencies for the benefit of the individual job seeker and other stakeholders.

Undertake vigorous labour inspec- tions on employing establishments to enforce the provisions of the Labour Act.

Place about 8,000 job applicants in various establishments.

Strengthen collaboration between labour administration agencies for peaceful resolution of labour disputes.

Key challenges in 2013

The Ministry faced a number of challenges in the implementation of programmes in 2013. These include:

i. Non-compliance with critical sections of the Labour Act Of 2003, Act (561) relating to the roles and responsibilities of employees and employers, particularly section 168 (2 & 4).

ii. Obsolete training equipment and tools to ensure vocational and technical skills training.

iii. Rampant labour agitations resulting from SSPP implemen- tation issues.

iv. Weak coordination, among labour related Government institutions regarding the maintenance of industrial peace.

v. Lack of labour market data to determine critical skills in scarce supply that qualify for payment of market premium,

vi. Dilapidated office infrastructure, particularly Labour Department, MDPI and DFI.

vii. Low technical capacity for efficient service delivery.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, a budget estimate of GH¢38,542,298.00 is hereby submitted for your kind consideration and approval. The breakdown is as follows:-

Compensation of employees -- GH¢25,000,000.00

Goods and services -- GH¢8,696,485.00

Assets (Capex) -- GH¢1,220,863.00

Total GoG -- GH¢34,917,347.00

IGFs -- GH¢3,624,950.00

Grand total -- GH¢38,542.298.00

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Question proposed.
Mr Joseph Z Amenowode (NDC-- Afadzato South) 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion and so doing, I present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
In accordance with article 179 of the Constitution, the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh, on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013, presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 fiscal year to the House.
Pursuant to Standing Orders 140(4) and 184 of the House, Mr. Speaker referred the draft annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises for consideration and report to the House.
Acknowledgement
The Committee met with the following to deliberate on the 2014 draft annual estimates of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations:
1. The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon Nii Armah Ashitey, the Deputy Minister, Hon Sekyere Antwi-Bosiako, the acting Chief Director, Mr. Roland A. Modey as well as Registrars, Directors and officials of the following departments and agencies:
a. Ministry Headquarters
b. Labour Department
c. Department of Factories Inspectorate
d. Department of Co-operatives.
Mr Joseph Z Amenowode (NDC-- Afadzato South) 3:55 p.m.


sixty-one million two hundred and twenty nine thousand eight hundred and eighty Ghana cedis (GH¢61,229,880) for its activities however only GH¢23,872,206.61 was released. The breakdown of the releases is as follows:

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The released amount of GH¢23,872,206.61 was committed to the following activities in the 2013 fiscal year:

Skills development for employment creation

Focus was placed on skills deve- lopment for employment creation as part of the Ministry's avenues of creating jobs for the good people of Ghana. The NVTI, MDPI, OIC and ICCES jointly trained a total of 21,802 out of the estimated figure of 42,531 persons in various trade areas. In addition, 251 OIC graduates were assisted and placed into employment. 3,639 trainees were again placed in internship programmes to acquire on-the- job skills.

The Ministry collaborated with key stakeholders and developed a Labour Intensive Public Works Policy Framework and a National Employment Policy to guide employment creation and enhance job opportunities for unemployed Ghanaians.

Job Creation and Development Programme

The various modules under GYEEDA were revised and a new approach developed to make the programme more responsive to skill acquisition and expansion of productive opportunities for the youth.

The Department of Corporatives reviewed the Youth in Agriculture Module under GYEEDA and registered 1,757 youth cooporatives in the ten (10) regions. 34,659 youth were also engaged in productive co-operative ventures.

In addition, a new “Triangular Module” that links beneficiaries to skills development institutions and viable corporative societies to enhance their employment opportunities was also developed.

Labour Administration Programme

The Ministry successfully settled sixty
Mr Joseph Z Amenowode (NDC-- Afadzato South) 3:55 p.m.
(60) labour disputes and issued one thousand two hundred and sixty nine (1,269) tender certificates as well as twenty seven (27) bargain certificates.
The Ministry commenced dialogue with the Ghana Statistical Services on the establishment of a functional Labour Market Information System.
The Ministry registered 142 new workplaces and conducted 663 workplace inspections to enforce Occupational Safety and Health Standards.
The Ministry also investigated five (5) reported industrial accidents, for payment of compensation to victims and provided technical guidance for the development of the National Occupational Safety and Health Policy.
The Single Spine Salary Structure
The correction of distortions and
inequities in the public service pay structure through the implementation of the single spine salary structure is on course, inspite of the challenges being experienced. Statistics indicate that 479,497 out of the target of 480,000 public workers were migrated onto the single spine salary structure.
In collaboration with social partners, the National Tripartite Committee also successfully negotiated the national minimum wage and determined the 2013 base pay and pay point relativity.
Allocated funds for 2014
For the implementation of programmes for the 2014 fiscal year, an amount of GH¢38,542,298 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢34,917,348 and GH¢ 3,624,950 is IGF.
The breakdown is as follows:

Activities for 2014

The breakdown of activities is as follows:

Job Creation and Development Pro- gramme

In 2014, five hundred and sixty thousand four hundred and forty one (560,421) youth would be trained and sixty to seventy per cent of them would be employed through the co-operative system in the medium term.

The Ministry will also coordinate all public and private job creation initiatives and establish a national database to inform Government policy on accelerating employment creation.

A rationalisation exercise will again be carried out in collaboration with National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Organised Labour, Ghana Employers' Association and the private sector to determine public- private sector job creation initiatives, that have potentials to accelerate employment creation and contribute to aggregate economic growth and national develop- ment.

NVTI and MDPI will collaborate with the Ghana Statistical Service to complete the Labour Demand Survey and conduct “Tracer Studies” to determine the number of 2012 trainees in gainful employment and in the segment of the economy in which they are.

In addition, the oil and gas sectors has been identified as one major area to create jobs for Ghanaians. In this regard, the Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Energy and COTVET to deepen the on-

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- 3.55 P.M.

going off-shore and on-shore oil and gas skills training programmes. It is projected that about 2,400 Ghanaians will be trained out of which 76-85 per cent will be directly employed by companies operating in the Jubilee Oil Fields.

Skills development for employment creation

The Labour Intensive Public Works Policy Framework and National Employment Policy developed in 2013 would be fully rolled out in 2014, to guide employment creation and enhance job opportunities for unemployed Ghanaians.

There would be further collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ghana Social Opportunities Project, the Ministry of Agriculture and District Assemblies, to implement the Labour Intensive Public Works Policy Framework.

A “Tracy Study” will also be conducted in 2014, to assess the impact of the vocational and technical skills training on employment creation in the economy, particularly in the informal sector.

Single Spine Salary Structure

A nation-wide public sensitisation and education on specific roles and res- ponsibilities of employers and employees as enshrined in the Labour Act of 2003, Act 651, will be carried out by the Ministry in collaboration with Organised Labour, Employers' Association, and other social partners. The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission will also carry out a national sensitisation exercise to deepen public understanding and appreciation of Government policy on the Single Spine Pay Policy.

The Ministry will collaborate with social partners and enforce Labour Laws and Regulations in this respect.

Institutions, unions, associations, and establishments that contravene the Labour Act of 2003, Act 651 will be duly sanctioned.

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission will also collaborate with the Controller and Accountant-General's Department and the Head of Civil Service to carry out a national payroll survey that will rationalise nominal roll with pay roll of each public service institution. The objective is to clean the public service payroll and possibly reduce the public sector wage bill over time.

The Ministry will further collaborate with the Ghana Statistical Service, NDPC and Ministry of Finance to undertake a labour Market Survey to determine critical skills in short supply in the public service that qualify for the market premium. Beneficiaries will therefore be placed on the Single Spine Salary Structure as soon as the survey is completed. The appropriate market premium values determined shall not be part of or indexed to wages and salaries of beneficiaries.

Again, as part of the implementation of the single spine salary structure, pay will be linked to work and productivity in the public service. This enjoins employers in line with section 168 (2 &4) of the Labour Act of 2003, Act 651, to pay for work done and compensate for increases in productivity of employees. To implement these policy directives, national frameworks will be developed by the Ministry, to link pay to work and productivity and productivity index in the public service.

Labour Market Information System

(LMIS)

The production of timely and reliable labour statistics underpins effective employment policy formulation and

national development planning. To this end, the Ministry will collaborate with the Ghana Statistical Service, Ministry of Finance, Employers' Association, Research Institutions and the District Assemblies to establish a functional labour market information system that will aid production of labour market information for national planning.

Child labour

Ghana is a signatory to international protocols and agreements on ensuring that children are not used for or exploited in the production of goods and services for domestic consumption and for exports. In this regard, Government will collaborate with domestic and external partners, to ensure that children are not exploited in economic ventures, particularly in the cocoa, fisheries, quarry and mining segments of the economy.

The Ministry will collaborate with MOF and Cocoa Board and other partners, particularly the District Assemblies, to implement the National Plan of Action on Elimination of Child Labour.

Observations and recommendations

Goods and services

It was realised that out of the total amount of GH¢32,094,410.00 allocated to the Ministry under goods and services, only GH¢855,926.67 (2.67 per cent) was released. It was explained that out of the amount allocated, GH¢30,000,000 was for the support of programmes under

GYEEDA.

The Committee was again informed that although the Minister for Employment and Labour signed the performance contract for GYEEDA and funds were allocated for the activities of GYEEDA under his Ministry, the Ministry of

Finance did not release the funds to his Ministry. The Committee considers the situation unacceptable because this makes accountability and oversight difficult. It therefore, recommends that the President should issue a policy directive on where GYEEDA should belong to, to forestall such occurrences in the future.

GhanaYouth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA)

The Committee observed that although the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations was not able to access funds allocated to GYEEDA for the 2013 fiscal year, another allocation of GH¢ 176,309.00 has been made under goods and services for GYEEDA. It was explained that the allocation was for the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Programme and the Graduate Entrepreneurial Business Support Schemes of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.

It was again realised that no allocation has been made for Employee Compensation under GYEEDA. The Committee was not provided adequate information concerning absence of the allocation.

The Committee considers the situation improper and calls on the Ministry of Finance to ensure that all programmes under GYEEDA are harmonised and presented under a single budget.

Graduate Entrepreneurial Business Support Schemes

The Committee was informed that the scheme is geared towards graduates who come out of school with little or no professional skills. These graduates are registered, trained and assisted to develop business plans. They are also attached to industry to obtain desired skills. The

Committee considers the programme laudable but recommends that it should be linked with GYEEDA. The graduates should also be attached to demand driven training institutions for easy access to the job market.

Fair Wages and Salaries Commission

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission is an independent institution but is under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. It does not therefore, obtain adequate resources for its operations. The Committee therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Finance should decouple the Commission from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations as is the case of other Commissions, to ensure that it is resourced adequately to perform its mandate.

The Committee also observed that the Commission was not able to recruit the needed critical technical personnel because of inadequate office space. However, the allocation made towards the completion of the Commission's office space is inadequate. It is therefore, recommended that Ministry of Finance should release all the allocated funds for 2014, to ensure the completion of the office complex.

It was again realised that although the Commission has migrated 99.94 per cent of Public Servants onto the Single Spine Salary Structure, it is yet to be migrated. The Committee recommends that an independent body should be engaged to migrate the Commission onto the Single Spine Salary Structure by the close of

2013.

National Vocational Training Institute

The National Vocational Training Institute is mandated to develop human resource through skill training using
Dr A. A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 4:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢38, 542,298. In so doing, I would want to take off from where the Hon Chairman of the Committee, in the middle, started.
Mr Speaker, every time somebody wants more money, the exhortation is “the Ministry of Finance should give us more money”. Parliament must begin to be serious about itself because it is not the duty of Ministry of Finance. The Hon Minister comes here on the authority of His Excellency the President. So, if you come here and say “the Minister for Finance”, you are not saying anything.
If Parliament believes that there is a serious issue with GYEEDA, as he is saying, just like today, we did on MiDA, Parliament should exercise its authority. But we keep saying “Ministry of Finance”. We are making the Minister almost a god but he comes here on the authority of the President.
If there is something that Parliament strongly believes in, and in this case, I hear he is talking about GYEEDA -- We have been told that the President has directed that it needs to be reorganised.
We accept, there is a policy change; but that policy change does not reflect here. So, as far as the policy change is concerned, the budget is zero. It is

consistent with the policy change until decisions are taken; so, I am not surprised. I do not expect that there would be money in the budget for GYEEDA because the policy change is to wait for it to be re- organised and then at the appropriate time they would come back. So, we should not be --

The difficulty is that there are people on payroll, how are they being paid? We should be asking. We should be asking the President, that if it is being organised, how are you intending to pay them? If he believes that they must be paid, then we change the contigency vote again; but we ought to know the details. At least, they must be paid. It is not fair to keep anybody on payroll -- I hear he is talking about 560,421 youth.

Mr Speaker, what are we doing? 560,000 children are put on payroll, pretend to be working, but we do not pay them and we sit here and think that it is all right?

Mr Speaker, I believe that we ought to get more serious than that. First of all, we do not even know what has happened to the report. Nobody has briefed Parliament on the so-called report; becuase we are not asking. How can we take serious decisions on how much they need, if we do not have any information? I am not sure that even the part about GYEEDA should be coming here because there is no basis for Parliament to take a decision if it is true that it is being re-organised.

Mr Speaker, I am not concluding yet.

On the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), this is year three of the full
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 4:05 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my good Friend who is analytical about this budget, has started to say something which contradicts his own position. People are employed, they are still there and he is saying we should not talk about what should be given to them?[Interruption.] Wait. This is because he said there is no basis because the programme is being restructured.
In fact, it is being restructured but there are people there, and therefore, we must budget for and approve moneys for them. That is why I think that the Hon Member is contradicting himself. He has a good point when he says that it is being restructured but people must be paid.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am reliably informed that my good Friend has just finished a good meal of tuo zaafi, so, it could be complicating his mind.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that this is a very serious matter, and for us to be able to make a case for them, we need information, but we do not even have copies of the report. But I am aware that there are people on payroll. So, I asked the question, how are they going to be paid? If we really believe they must be paid, we ought to know the amount involved. As it is, they do not even tell us.
So, how I am going to recommend that we move money from here to pay them when I do not have that information? That is all that I am saying. It is not contradicting. I did not have tuo zaafi; I had fufu, so, I am --
Mr Speaker, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and SSSS -- three years of implementation, and we are still talking about -- We are told and the Hon Minister
can correct me, that 99 point something per cent plus have been put on the payroll. What exactly does it mean? This is because in the layman's language, if 99.3 per cent had been put on, my expectation is that, going forward, we would not have difficulties with the payroll, unless of course, that statement implies that they have been on the payroll and they have not been paid.
Mr Speaker, if you look at all the expenditure returns, you would find that except for the Ministry of Finance whose wage bill was less than estimated, every Ministry went over the wage bill. The presumption is that arrears have been paid; so, going forward, this issue about wage overruns should not occur. But I am not so sure; why do I say that?
Category 2 and category 3 allowances and market premium have not been factored yet. So, can we get an estimate of the quantum of money that would be involved if categories 2 and 3 allowances are implemented? And when are we going to see the report on market premium, so that we can figure out -- At certain point in time, Mr Speaker, we ought to stabilise, so that we know that because of the Single Spine Salary Structure, this is really the wage bill.
Right now, it is a moving target. Today, it is GH¢8 billion, next year, it could be GH¢20 billion; the nation cannot keep on like that. We ought to stabilise the wage bill, so that we know what we are talking about. So, the sooner the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission does it work, the better. In any case, part of the reason, in my opinion, why we are where we are, is because they implemented it poorly. [Interruption.] Yes, they implemented it poorly. If you are not ready to pay market premium, why start paying? [Interrup- tion.] You too, have you eaten tuo zaafi?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
Hon Member, please, address the Chair.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:05 p.m.
I am sorry, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, today is Friday. But the wage issue for his Ministry is a serious matter. I am advising the Leadership that when we return, we should have a special session on this matter of the wage bill, so that we can understand it properly, to be able to take good decisions. Right now, we are not well informed.
Mr Speaker, I am glad that the Hon Minister is finally going to do a labour market information survey. I believe this would help us understand the unemployment situation.
I am recommending that Parliament thinks about, before we do the Appropriation Act, giving the Ministry extra money to complete that survey. This is because without that survey, we would never know the situation with unemployment. Maybe, between now and Wednesday -- The Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations can advise the Hon Minister for Finance by Tuesday, on how much is needed and we can find a way to agree to approve additional money.
With these words, I would want Hon Members to support the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
Hon Minister, would you want to wind up?
MrForson 4:05 p.m.
Yes. Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
Mr Nitiwul 4:05 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader.
Hon Minister, please, hold on.
Mr Nitiwul 4:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you were going to give some other Hon Members the opportunity. But there is an issue that my Hon Colleague by my side just raised and I would want the Hon Minister to address it properly, or maybe, Government should address that properly.

The Hon Majority Chief Whip is shouting across, that there is an allocation. An allocation of GH¢30 million; if you do simple mathematics, it is GH¢53.00 per person. What is GH¢53.00 going to do? So, I am not even talking about that one.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister should also address its mind to paragraph 82, which is talking about GH¢176,000 for Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneur Development Agency -- goods and services, GH¢176,000. Maybe, it is some one point something million, or is really GH¢176,000? I would want him to address his mind to it and find out whether this is the figure because, I have not checked it.

It is something that we cannot accept, unless we would want to say that because the President has said, “GYEEDA, let us put a stop to it, let us not do any new model; let us focus on it and fold our hands and be sure that we do the right thing” -- If that is what we are doing, I would accept. But if they are accepting to say that GYEEDA is expected to train 560,421 youth and you do not have any money -- for goods and services, they put GH¢176,000 -- Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister needs to convince us on these figures.

It was just that aspect that I was trying to find out, so that he can address our minds to it.

Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
Hon Minister, I would want you to respond to the issues raised in the course of your winding up.
Nii Armah Ashitey: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity once again.
First of all, I would want to deal with the issue of categories two and three allowances. Presently, the Public Services Standing Negotiating Committee is working out the roadmap for the payment of categories two and three allowances. If you look at our budget, I believe provision has been made for payment of categories two and three allowances next year.
So, my Hon Brother should not be too alarmed because when we decided on the 10 per cent increase to labour the last time, one of the understanding was that we had to make sure that come next year, the categories two and three allowances would be paid.
Now, mother premium, --We have commissioned the Ghana Statistical Services to do a labour market survey to determine critical skills that are in short supply. The understanding is that we cannot continue with the interim market premium under which every worker is claiming payment of premium. Premium is not a salary; it is an absolute allowance that the employer decides on.
So, hopefully, from January, we will no longer pay the interim market premium; we would have moved on to the market premium properly so-called.
If you come to GYEEDA, let me say that as a Ministry, we have a programme for the youth and a lot of things are happening within the remit of co- operatives. Under my performance contract -- GYEEDA was supposed to come to a Ministry. But for all the things happening -- the probes and the investigations that are going on, have stalled the transfer of GYEEDA to the Ministry.
While we were waiting for GYEEDA to come, obviously, we had to start doing something. That is why you would see that we have provided GH¢176,000 under GYEEDA. The idea was that, we have created a cost centre; so, anytime GYEEDA comes, at least, we have the cost centre.
If you come to our Ministry, you will realise that cooperative is doing so much throughout the country. It may sound a bit -- But it is true that we are doing a lot and if we are resourced, I am sure we will do a lot more.
Labour Market Information Systems -- Come first quarter of next year, we will pilot two regions -- Greater Accra and Central Regions.We will turn out figures on demographic trends; people who have been employed, unemployed and so on. I am sure that with that pilot, we will be in a better position to plan as a Government and do a lot more forecasting.
With the other things, Mr Speaker, we will take them on board and make sure that what we have to do, we will do them.
On that note, I would want to thank Hon Members for their support in approving the budget estimates for next year.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
Hon Minister, it is yet to be approved, anyway.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢38,542,298 for the services of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations for the year ending 31st December
2014.
Dr Kunbuor 4:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take item number 23.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 4:25 p.m.

Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (Nana Oye Lithur) 4:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢91,038,708 for the services of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, we are grateful for you granting us this opportunity to inform the House about our achievements and challenges for the year 2013, and then for us to outline our programmes for 2014.
In the year under review, that is 2013, our Ministry made some remarkable achievements. One major activity was the finalisation of the restructuring plan in line with our new mandate, which we will implement in 2014.
Under gender equality and equity, we have sponsored a draft Affirmative Action Bill. We have drafted a National Gender

Policy. We have repaired fistulas for 30 women from the Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Central Regions. We have done some training, as well as co-sponsored with the Minister for Justice and Attorney- General the Interstate Succession and Property Rights for Spouses Bill.

Under our Gender and Responses Skills Programme, we have cumulatively trained 660 girls from the 2011 academic year to 2013. For children's rights, we have finalised a National Child Protection Policy. We have reviewed our Early Childhood Care and Development Policy.

For social development, we have given cash grants to 74,347 beneficiary households which translate into 232,000 persons. We are creating a national targeting unit under our Social Protection Directorate. We have commenced the piloting of electronic payments for our cash grants in nine districts in seven regions. We have developed monitoring and evaluation framework for Livelihood Empower Against Poverty (LEAP) and registered 288 persons with disability.

We have provided cash grants to 7,364 market traders who were affected by fires in four markets. We have created a desk for the elderly; developed a comprehensive Disability Development Framework and are in the process of reviewing adoption of children processes and creating a central agency for adoption of children in Ghana.

Under our Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Unit, we have developed a referral system for human trafficking, guidelines for disbursements of our trafficking fund, a communication strategy and have finalised the Human Trafficking Legislative Instrument (L.I.) and Domestic Violence.

Mr Speaker, in 2013, we were allocated GH¢53,382,672 for our budget. For this year, we have been allocated GH¢91,038,708.

In conclusion, we move, that this august House approves our budget estimates for the fiscal year ending 31st December, 2014.

Mr Speaker , I beg to move.
Chairperson of the Committee (Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah) 4:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion moved by the Hon Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection for the approval of the sum of GH¢91,038,708 for the operations of the Ministry. In so doing, I would like to present the report of your joint Committee on Gender, Children and Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.
Introduction
In accordance with article 179 of the Constitution, the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh, on Wednesday 19th November, 2013 presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 fiscal year to the House.
Pursuant to Standing Orders 140(4), 175 and 184 of the House, Mr. Speaker referred the draft Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to the joint Committee on Gender and Children and Employment Social Welfare and State Enterprises for consideration and report to the House. The referral was done with regard to the alignment of the Department of Social Welfare and the National Council on
Persons with Disability to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
The joint Committee presents its Report for the consideration of the House.
Acknowledgement
The Committees met with the following to deliberate on the 2013 draft annual estimates of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection:
1.The Minister for Gender, Children and Social protection, Mrs (Nana) Oye Lithur, as well as Directors and officials of the following depart- ments and agencies:
a. Ministry Headquarters
b. Department of Gender
c. Department of Children
d. Department of Social Welfare
e. National Council on Persons with Disability
f. Domestic Violence Secretariat
g. Human Trafficking Secretariat
f. Ministry of Finance
The Committee is grateful to all who participated in the deliberation of the programme based budget estimates of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the 2014 fiscal year and also for the information and support they provided.
Reference documents
In considering the draft annual estimates for the Ministry, the underlisted documents were used as reference materials:
1. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
2. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment of Ghana
3. The 2013 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana.
4. The 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana.
5. The 2014 draft Programme Based Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
6. Budget review reports from the Ministry and its departments.
Mission Statement
The Mission of the Ministry is to:
a. ensure gender equity through the mainstreaming of gender considerations;
b. promote the welfare of children; and
c. empower the vulnerable, the excluded, the aged and persons with disability by social protection interventions to contribute to national develop- ment.
Chairperson of the Committee (Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah) 4:25 p.m.


Strategic Policy Objectives

The strategic policy objectives of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection are based on the National Medium Term Policy Objectives contained in the GSGDA (2010-2013). They are as follows:

1. To promote gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting in the MDAs and MMDAs through capacity building.

2. To improve the socioeconomic status of the vulnerable and the excluded through targeted interventions.

3. To enhance evidence based decision making on gender equality, the empowerment of the vulnerable and excluded by collecting disaggregated data.

4. To protect and promote the development and the rights of children, the vulnerable and the excluded through awareness creation and effective imple-

mentation of National and International Policy Frameworks and Legislations.

5. To assess progress on imple- mentation of gender related programmes and project

6. Evaluate policy outcomes and impacts through effective monitoring and evaluation framework to provide inputs for gender, children and social protection policy review and planning.

Review of the 2013 performance of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection

For the implementation of activities for 2013 fiscal year, an amount of thirty eight million five hundred and ninety six thousand four hundred and seventy Ghana Cedis (GH¢38,596,470) was allocated. The breakdown is as follows:

Seven million six hundred and four thousand eight hundred and twenty Ghana Cedis (GH¢7,604,820) is GoG. SIP is thirty million Ghana cedis (GH¢30,000,000), twenty five thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢25,000) is IGF and nine hundred and sixty six thousand six hundred and fifty Ghana cedis (GH¢966,650) is donor.
Chairperson of the Committee (Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah) 4:25 p.m.
SPACE FOR TABLES 4&5 -
PAGE 10 - 4.25P.M.

Activities for 2014

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will use the allocated sum of ninety one million, thir ty eight thousand seven hundred and eight (GH¢91,038,708) to perform the following activities in the 2014 fiscal year:

Gender Mainstreaming and Equity Programme

The Ministry drafted an Affirmative Action Bill to address the concerns of women in national development and will facilitate its enactment to promote the empowerment of women and mainstream gender into sector policies, plans and strategies. The Ministry will also conduct research on harmful cultural practices affecting women.

Child Rights Promotion, Protection and Development Programmes

The Ministry will finalise and disseminate the National Child Protection Policy as well as review and implement the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy. It will also promote the r ights of children by creating awareness in communities and among stakeholders.

Social Development Programme

A monitoring and evaluation framework and manuals for LEAP are being developed to track progress, identify gaps and design timely interventions for implementation. In 2014, the Ministry will expand the implementation of the LEAP, to cover over 100,000 household beneficiaries.

The Ministry will also provide social welfare services to 1,200 aged.

The Ministry will again provide timely, reliable and disaggregated data on PWDs and mainstream PWD issues into the national planning processes and facilitate the enactment of the L.I. on Persons with Disability Act.

Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Programme

The enactment of the Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Legislative Instruments will be facilitated by the Ministry. The Legislative Instruments are currently at the Attorney-General's Department for final drafting. The Ministry will also implement the National Plan of Action and operationalise rapid response team for human trafficking and domestic violence matters. It will again provide professional psychosocial support for human trafficking and domestic violence victims and set up and operationalise the human trafficking and domestic violence funds.

Observations and recommendations

Employee compensation

It was realised that more was spent on employee compensation than what was allocated. An amount of GH¢2,108,665.00 was approved but GH¢13,226,561.93 was expended. It was explained that the increase was as a result of the migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure. The Committee urged the Ministry to budget realistically to ensure that there is no over expenditure.

Assets

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection operates from seven different locations due to the lack of adequate space at the headquarters to accommodate staff. This has a great impact on staff performance because it

does not allow for effective coordination and supervision. The Ministry is therefore putting up a new office complex to accommodate its entire staff. It was however realised that no funds were released in the 2013 fiscal year towards the completion of the office complex. The Committee considers the situation unfortunate because of the effect of the lack of accommodation space has on the operation of the ministry.

The Committee therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Finance should release funds in respect of the completion of the office complex to ensure the entire staff work from a common location for efficiency and productivity.

Goods and services

It was observed that majority of the allocation made under goods and services was to support the LEAP programme. Funds allocated under goods and Services for the running of the Ministry was however very small and inadequate. The Committee therefore recommends that allocations made for the running of LEAP should be decoupled from that of the Ministry to ensure that adequate funds are provided for the management of the Ministry.

Inadequate technical staff

The review of the mandate of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has occasioned the need for restructuring and realigning as well as resources and technical staff. The Department of Social Welfare would for instance be changed to the Division of Social Development which would occasion the creation of the Departments of Social Protection and Social Services. There would be the need to recruit more technical personnel to fill in these positions.

The Committee considers the restructuring necessary and urges the Ministry of Finance to grant approval to the Ministry to recruit the personnel need to make the Ministry functional and effective.

Upgrade of the School of Social Work

The Committee was informed that proposals have been made for the upgrade of the School of Social Work to a tertiary institution with affiliation with the University of Education, Winneba. This is because there are currently 25 social protection programmes running and more personnel in the field of social work are needed to effectively run the programmes. Social protection has also become an effective tool or intervention in narrowing the poverty gap and so, personnel are needed to ensure that the programmes succeed.

It would also make the social welfare system in the country more efficient. The Ministry is further liaising with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to absorb students who currently graduate from the School of Social work. The Committee lauded the proposal and urged the Ministry to ensure the approval of the proposal for transformation of the institute because it would be a source of job creation and a strengthening of our social welfare system.

The Committee again recommends that the Ministry should put in more effort to address the current issues of unemployment affecting the graduates of the School of Social Work.

Lack of ICT interconnectivity

The Committee noted with worry the lack of ICT interconnectivity in the Ministry. The Committee was informed
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
I would like to hear from the Hon Ranking Member.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
Do you have any correction to propose? Let us hear you.
Mr Chireh 4:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am making a correction.
If you look at her conclusion, she talks about GH¢91,039,000 when indeed, it is
GH¢91,038,000.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
I believe it is GH¢91,038,000.
Ranking Member of the Committee (Mrs Gifty E. Kusi): Mr Speaker, yes, he is a yesterday's man. [Interruption.]He has the old Report. [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
Hon Member, what is before me, I do not see any mistake contained therein.
Mr Chireh 4:25 p.m.
I am saying that the Report I am holding -- [An Hon Member: They say they have changed it]But they have not told any Hon Member that it has been changed. It was distributed, and it is a record as I am holding.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
What do you have in your copy of the Report? [Interruption.] Old version? Oh, I see. But what we have is the modern version, so, I believe we can proceed.
Yes, Hon Member, please let us hear you.
Mrs Kusi 4:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:25 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, she said “the Statement on the floor”. It is a Motion that she is contributing to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
Very well; point well taken.
Please, proceed.
Mrs Kusi 4:35 p.m.
The Motion on the floor.
Mr Speaker, in Table 3, you would realise that for 2013, GH¢4 million and over was approved for the assets but nothing was released. If you go to page 13, the Ministry is in serious need of completing this office. So, I would want to urge the Ministry of Finance, that this time, they should do something to release this amount that has been provided for the office complex, so that the Ministry can work better.
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh 4:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
The Hon Member has just alluded to the fact that the market women whose wares were burnt were given some loans and were also directed to Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) for loans. LESDEP does not offer loans; they give equipment to trained youth. So, I would want to know how it has become part of their Report that LESDEP was offering loans.
Mrs Kusi 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I did not say that. I said the women were given --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
What I heard her say was that the women were given some amount of money for wares that were burnt. She did not go beyond that to talk about LESDEP and the things that you are talking about.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is also a statement that they were directed to Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) and LESDEP for loans.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
You mean that is in the Report?
Hon Members: Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
But as far as the Hon Member is concerned, what she has said has nothing to do with that.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon good Friend is referring to page 15. It says:
“The Ministry also linked the women to MASLOC and LESDEP to source loans.”
So, it is not a statement coming from the Hon Ranking Member. It is a mistake in the Committee's Report. [Interruption.] It is not coming from her.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if it is a mistake in the Report, then it has to be corrected.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Well, but that was not the basis of your point of order. Allow her to proceed. At the appropriate time, this issue can be raised.
Yes, Hon Ranking Member, please, go ahead.
Mrs Kusi 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for ruling him out.
In Table 5, we also see that the Department of Children had internally generated funds (IGFs) of GH¢17,000, which proceeds are from only one park. Mr Speaker, I think that every region should try as much as possible to develop a Children's Park. This is because I know that we can get a lot of money from these parks, and I believe more should be developed.
Mr Speaker, some contractors who have been given contracts to manage the parks are not doing well. I would want to
urge the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General to speed up the review, so that we can get more parks and get some money.
Mr Speaker, I am also on the Legislative Instruments (LIs) on the Domestic Violence Act and the Anti-Human Trafficking Act. Mr Speaker, some Ghanaians are really living under very dangerous conditions. I believe if the LIs come into place, these Acts can be better implemented. So, I would want to urge the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General to do more.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Ministry needs a lot of help. My Chairperson has spoken about the administrative directive, so, I would not dwell on it so much.
Mr Speaker, the National Council of Persons with Disability also needs something like a monitoring and evaluation Fund. So, I would want to urge that the two per cent that is given to them will be increased because these days, everything is being increased. So, there should also be an increase, so that they will allocate part for monitoring and evaluation or maybe, build infrastructure that is badly needed in most of our institutions for Persons With Disability to be able to use most of these institutions.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I wouold want to urge the House to approve of the amount allocated to the Ministry.
Some Hon Members 4:35 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I thought we would just wade through this one. I would take one each from either side and then we will put the Question.
Ms Laadi A. Ayamba (NDC -- Pusiga) 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, that this House approves the sum of GH¢91,038,708 allocated to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the 2013 budget allocation of GH¢38,396,470, you will realise that the Ministry did an extremely good job. They trained 243 officials from different offices to support the work of their Ministry. They gave support to 73,042 households under LEAP to improve upon their socioeconomic status and to ensure survival and development of the children of those households.
They supported 7,331 traders who were affected by market fire outbreaks, and they have undertaken an activity to register 288 persons with disabilities to help do better targeting for service delivery.
Dr Osei 4:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, when the Hon Member started, she used a figure of GH¢91 million. Just a few seconds ago, she said GH¢98 million. So, I do not know which number she is talking about.
Ms Ayamba 4:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, GH¢91,038,708 should be approved by this House for them to finalise their activities and they will be supporting 100,000 households. They will be providing social service delivery to 1,200 aged. They will be putting up a new office complex to accommodate all the staff of the seven
areas which the Hon Minister has to supervise.
So, with these, I believe that if they are supported, they will do a better job than they have done in 2013.
I so support the approval.
Mr Namoro S. Azumah (NPP -- Chereponi) 4:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity.
I beg to support the Motion on the floor of this august House.
In doing so, I refer to page 7, Table 3 on the 2013 Budget Performance. The total allocation that was approved for the Ministry was GH¢53,382,672. Out of this amount, Government of Ghana (GoG) release was GH¢38,167,022. The amount that the Ministry has received so far from GoG is GH¢21,377,542.83. The total amount, including the IGFs and the donor support, received by the Ministry so far, is GH¢29,826,480.88.
Mr Speaker, in looking at these figures, you would realise that the GoG release -- What is left for the Ministry to receive is about twelve point something million cedis. And the donor funds-- GH¢6,564,271.91; IGFs is GH¢203,440.03, that the Ministry is yet to receive.
If you look at the performance for this year, you will realise that the Ministry, from Government, was among one of the least recipients. The support that they received from Government, the Ministry was one of the Ministries which received the least releases. With this amount that has been released to the Ministry, I wonder how they are going to perform and how their programmes and projects will be met. Therefore, I would want to appeal to the Ministry of Finance to as a matter
of urgency, release the rest of the amount to the Ministry for them to finish up with their work for 2013.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the IGFs approved for 2013, it is GH¢250,000, and an amount of GH¢46,559.97 has been released.
If you go back to this year's budget, you would realise that an amount of GH¢17,550 has been approved for the Ministry. Then I ask myself, if GH¢250,000 was approved and GH¢46,559.97 was released, now, we have come down in budgeting under IGFs; we did not even look at the amount that we received, that is, GH¢46,559.97. Even if we wanted to be realistic, we could have put that amount there as a budgeted amount for this year. But we have come down very low to
GH¢17,550.
I do not understand this. Does it mean that the areas where we had money under IGFs, those areas have been closed and we can no more get moneys from those areas and that is why we have budgeted very low under the IGFs? So, I believe that there is the need for us to look at that sector --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
Very well, the Hon Minister would need to respond in her winding up. So, if you have any other issue that you want to raise.
Mr N. S. Azumah 4:45 p.m.
Yes, there would be the need to look at that area, so that we could encourage people to pay. It means that we are encouraging people to pay moneys. Especially, when we are talking about the children's parks, that the chunk of the money came from. We are thinking of taking over the Children's Parks and when we take over as a Ministry and we
are able to renovate those areas, this is the time that we are going to get more money. So, in budgeting under the IGFs and we put as low as GH¢17,550, it is unrealistic. So, we should have a second look at that area.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Hon Minister, I would like you to wind up. But before then, let us hear from the Hon Member for Old Tafo (Dr Akoto A. Osei).
An Hon Member -- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Before Hon Member for Old Tafo (Dr Akoto A. Osei) speaks, I have taken note of your concern. I would like the Hon Minister to respond to the LESDEP issue. I believe that is what you are pressing. She will address it.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just two quick points.
I am sure the Hon Minister read today's paper on the matter relating to the Auditor- General recommending that some Ministries pay her Ministry some amount for LEAP. I hope she would follow it up. If she does, she can get more resources for her Ministry.
This goes to Parliament and the Executive. Mr Speaker, last year, we gave the Ministry GH¢30 million cedis for social protection, and this year --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Are you sure of the figure you are quoting?
Dr A. A. Osei 4:45 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Thirty million cedis or Ghana cedis?
Dr A. A. Osei 4:45 p.m.
Ghana cedis. I am sorry, Mr Speaker. It is on page 6 of the Report. But when you read the 2014 Budget, it is zero. This is a big mistake and Parliament ought to look at it carefully because we are talking about social protection -- children -- and we are reducing their budget substantially? But we are restructuring. Two things: you are adding more responsibilities but you are cutting back on the financing.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
But Hon Member, do not forget we are the fathers and mothers of the children.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:45 p.m.
Yes and that is why I am raising it, that as fathers and mothers of the children, we ought to stamp our feet on this matter. Maybe, this is not the appropriate time but we should do it.
Finally, I would want to congratulate the Hon Minister. We understand one of her deputies is getting married. We shall see you there.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Do you want to make a contribution? Be as brief as possible.
Dr Kwabena Donkor 4:45 p.m.
Point of clarification.
I have heard of disability, disability -- that they are in charge of -- is there a legal definition for “disability” that the House uses?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister, please, wind up.
Nana Oye Lithur 4:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect to the MASLOC and LESDEP, the explanation is that, the GH¢300 for the 7,331 market traders was an humanitarian intervention. It was not for loans. It was money that the Government of Ghana gave out.
In addition, the Ministry contacted MASLOC to help them get loans for their trade and then LESDEP. For LESDEP, they are trained on skills and then they also purchase equipment and pay over a period of time. So, it is both MASLOC and LESDEP. So, that is the clarification.
In terms of the amount for LEAP, last year, the budget approval was GH¢38million. Out of that, GH¢30 million was for the LEAP cash grant and GH¢8 million was for our Ministry and departments. So, that is the clarification on that.
And for this year, one can see the budget has tr ipled because we are increasing the LEAP to a 100,000 and 150,000 by next year December in accordance with the Budget Statement. So, that is the clarification.
But generally, I have taken note of the comments and the observations and we are grateful for that. We would take that in consideration in implementation.
We are grateful to the House.
Thank you.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢91,038,708 for the services of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 4:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take item 29?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Item 29 -- Hon Minister for Finance.
Dr Kunbuor 4:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would ask your indulgence for the Hon Deputy Minister to move the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Nitiwul 4:45 p.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
BILLS -- SECOND READING 4:45 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 4:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion.
Introduction
The Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was presented to Parliament by Hon Deputy Minister, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance and read for the first time on Thursday, 28thNovember, 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, Deputy Minister and officials from the Ministry, Attorney-General's Department and the GRA for their assistance.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah (NPP -- New Juaben South) 4:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion, but in so doing, I have a few issues that I would want to draw attention to.
Mr Speaker, it said in the Memorandum that “it is now government policy to move from specific taxes to ad valorem so as regards the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) Act 205 given in the first Schedule, I believe that is the proper way to go; moving from specific to ad valorem.”
However, Mr Speaker, what is also proposed is an increase in the road levy. Mr Speaker, there is going to be a 22 per cent increase in the road levy, so that from hence, on every litre of premium, gas oil
or unified gasoline purchased, instead of 6 pesewas charged, now, we are going to pay 7.33 pesewas per litre.
I believe it is one tax too many with this Government. The 22 per cent increase in the road levy translates into several cedis looking at the number of gallons of fuel that we consume.
Whereas when it comes to the petroleum products, Government says it is moving from specific to ad valorem; in the case of the road levy, Government is still going to impose a specific tax. The implication is that, whenever petroleum prices fall, we would still be paying the same specific tax.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
Well, let us hear from the Hon Deputy Minister.
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson 4:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order to quickly correct an impression.
Mr Speaker, the reason is that the Road Fund is a levy but not a tax and for that matter, you cannot convert it to ad valorem and that is the reason we stick to a specific tax.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah 4:55 p.m.
Mr Minister --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
Hon Member, please, let us not drag this matter.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah 4:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is challenging what I am saying, so let me respond.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
He is saying that it is a levy but not a tax.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah 4:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, at the Committee, the Ministry's tax expert said the only reason they have maintained this is because the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) insisted that it be made a specific tax. That is what the Ministry's expert said and I am sure the Committee members would bear with me. So, that now, when petroleum prices increase, we are paying a fixed levy; if prices go down, we still pay the same levy and that is what I am drawing attention to.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
The Custom and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was accordingly read a Second time.
Suspension of Standing Order 128 (1)
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson 4:55 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.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 4:55 p.m.

STAGE 4:55 p.m.

Dr A. A. Osei 4:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a slight error and perhaps, the Chairman may want to correct it. We are proposing amendments but they have not been advertised on the Order Paper. He is
replacing both Schedules but it is not advertised here.
Mr Avedzi 5:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Schedules he is proposing are part of the Bill. We are not making any change to the Bill before us. That is why we have not proposed any amendment. The Schedules are part of the Bill. If we are changing part of those Schedules, that is where we propose an amendment.
Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
The Long Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Hon Members, we accordingly come to the end of the Consideration Stage.
Dr Kunbuor 5:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker we will take item 32.
Suspension of Standing Order 131 (1)
Deputy Minister for Finance (Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson)(on behalf of the
Minister for Finance) 5:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 131 (1) 2 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 (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Amendment) Bill, 2013 may be moved today.
Mr Avedzi 5:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
BILLS -- THIRD READING 5:05 p.m.

MrNitiwul 5:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sure that today being Friday, you know that if Hon Members are still sitting here, then it is a lot of sacrifice they are making?
There is an outstanding matter, which I discussed with the Majority Leader and it is brewing some small problem behind and I believe we may have to give Leadership enough time to make sure that by Monday, that problem would have been solved. It affects all of us -- that percentage must start to flow immediately before we go. So, if we are working, we are telling the Executive that we are working and that must ensure that our interest is also catered for --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:05 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I believe you are speaking in parables. We all understand.
Dr Kunbuor 5:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have taken note of the concern. The Hon Deputy Minority Leader has raised the matter with me in addition to our very populous Back- bench. So, we have an idea and we are trying to work round it. So, with that spirit, we would take Motion number 34.
BILLS -- SECOND READING 5:05 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James Avedzi) 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to support the Motion and in doing so, I present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
Mr Speaker, the Internal Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 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.
The 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, 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 during its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;
Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592); and
The Internal Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2013.
Background
The 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana outlined fiscal policies aimed at creating an even tax regime. The 2014 Budget also outlines other tax administrative measures to improve revenue generation. The Bill therefore is to give legal backing to the measures being adopted by the Government to plug the loopholes in some of the existing tax laws in order to reduce the incidence of tax avoidance.
Purpose of the Bill
The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592) to impose Capital Gains Tax on petroleum operations, to amend the withholding tax rates for non-residents, and to amend the tax rate for free zone enterprises at the end of their ten years tax holiday.
Division of the Bill
The Bill is divided into four clauses.
Clause 1 amends sections 11 of the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592) by the insertion of section 11A.
Clause 2 amends Act 592 by imposing Capital Gains Tax on petroleum operations.
Clause 3 amends the First Schedule of Act 592 by increasing the withholding tax rate of employee non-resident to be at par with the rate of management and technical service fees.
Clause 4 amends Act 592 by intro- ducing a new definition for “petroleum operations” as used in the Bill.
Observations
Urgency of the Bill
The Committee in its deliberations considered the Bill to be of an urgent nature and must be taken through all the stages in accordance with article 106 (13) of the Constitution and Order 119 of the Standing Orders of the House. This is being proposed because it was observed that, the effective date for the implementation of the new rates is January,
2014.
Strengthening local industries
The Committee observed that, the Bill provides for the income derived from the supply of goods and services by free zone enterprises to attract the same tax rate as their counterparts operating in the domestic market. This, in the view of the Committee, will prevent the current situation where goods and services produce by free zone enterprises gain unfair advantage over goods produce by enterprises operating outside the free zone enclave.
The Committee believes that this will eventually strengthen local industries and make them more competitive.
The Committee therefore, urges Government to put in place strong administrative measures to ensure compliance with the new tax regime.
Capital Gains Tax
The Committee notes with interest the extension of capital gains tax to cover the petroleum operations. The Committee believes that this is long overdue and urges the Ministry to ensure that administrative measures would be strengthened to ensure the smooth implementation of the tax.
Amendments
The Committee had a clause by clause examination of the Bill and proposes the following amendments for the considera- tion of the House:
i. Clause 2 --Amendment proposed -- line 1, delete “Part” and insert “Chapter”.
ii. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- Sub-section (b) (i), line 1, delete “3,4 and 5” after “paragraphs” and insert “3, 4, 5, and 6 B”
Conclusion
The Committee upon a thorough examination of the Bill, is confident that the extension of the capital gains tax and application of the same tax rate to goods and services produced by free zone enterprises for domestic market would help generate additional revenue needed and also protect enterprises operating outside the free zone enclave.
The Committee accordingly recommends to the House to adopt its Report and take the Internal Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill through all the stages in accordance with article 106 (13) of the Constitution and Order 119 of the Standing Orders of the House.
Respectfully submitted.
Question proposed.

Ranking Member of the Committee (Dr A. A. Osei): Mr Speaker, my only problem is that, unlike the rest, we were not given any estimates of the potential revenue, gains. The reason that is important is that, sometimes, in search for revenue, you may impose a tax but the effect may be such that it would cause serious policy dislocations. For example, the free zone issue is not really about tax laws, it is about committing people to come and create employment.

So, if you are going to gain about GH¢1 million but this tax which attracted them to come to the area, after 10 years, you are going to remove it, people would start -- Now, we are asking them to relocate, after 10 years; what should they do? They were attracted here because of this provision, but now, after 10 years --

If it is not that relevant; we should reconsider it because rights have accrued. A company that came to Ghana 10 years ago for this purpose, now it is going to have to decide that it has to pay a higher tax. I would have wished the Hon Minister, as he promised, to have given us the revenue implications, so that we can make some judgement. If he has it here, I would appreciate it if he tells us, so that we can make better judgement.
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just have two short points on it.
As rightly said by the Hon Ranking Member, tax is sometimes not only about raising revenue; there are always issues of re-distribution of income. If you watch closely in relation to the Free Zones Board, you would see clearly that the 30 per cent that they are allowed to offload still attracts a tax of 8 per cent as if it was within the Free Zones Board entity. They are
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 5:15 p.m.


going into that domestic market to compete with people who are not in the Free Zones and that makes it inequitable. So, as much as they would enjoy their eight per cent while they are involved within the law of the Free Zones, when they move into the domestic market, we want a parity of treatment for them and the other competitors who have traditionally been in the domestic market.

So, it is not just so much only for purposes of income, but to make sure that there is equity in the tax arrangements in the same market environment.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
Hon Dr A. A. Osei, are you alright with it?
Dr A. A. Osei 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not alright. He is going to give me the numbers for the revenue, then I will decide. But I think --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, do you have the figures?
Mr Cassiel B. A. Forson 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the purpose for this tax amendment is not only to raise revenue. Mr Speaker, the purpose is to create an even playing field to give advantage to our local companies as well. So, revenue was not the major drive for this new tax. So, Mr Speaker, that is the main reason. The reason is to create an even playing field for all of us.
Mr George K. Aboagye (NDC -- Ahanta West) 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, 10 years after enjoying tax relief by free zone companies, they become ordinary export companies. Meaning that they would be in the same position as companies that are working under the regime of the Export Promotion Authority's conditions which state that they would pay corporate tax of eight per
cent. So, they become export companies whose corporate tax charge would be about eight per cent.
So, this level playing field is neither here nor there because we still need those companies that would have had experience of exporting for 10 years to continue to do some more exporting, but not necessarily enjoying the reliefs that they enjoyed during the 10- year period.
They would have established, they would have been doing this thing often and maybe, they may even continue exporting 70 per cent. So, they may be part of what incentives that the Export Promotion Authority gives to export companies. So, they do not even still come in the realm that the Ministry of Finance wants to create even playing field. They would not be there.
Dr Kunbuor 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I could not have the opportunity to canvass the second point. The second point which is procedural is that, if you look at paragraphs 991 and 992 of the Economic and Financial Policy, you would see clearly that this House has adopted the policy. So, any change whatsoever to this in a Bill, is bound to affect a policy that this House has approved.
I think there would be a procedure, if there is supposed to be on rescission of the decision of this House on any matter, the procedure normally should be followed, but not through an amendment to a legislation.
Mr. Joseph B.D. Adu (NPP -- Abuakwa-North) 5:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this amendment should not be allowed. The reason being proffered by the Hon Deputy Minister and the Chairman that they want to create an even playing field and create an equitable playing field is neither here nor there.
Mr Speaker, they do not give any evidence to buttress their point. If this is the major reason you want to introduce this amount, then the House should be given all the necessary tools, reasons and evidence.
If you believe that the local company is being disadvantaged, you try and push the local company up to enjoy the incentives. You do not try and push the company that enjoys the incentives down as they are trying to do. Mr Speaker, this is not a way of creating a level playing field. If the Ministry wants to create a level playing field, Mr Speaker, they must introduce laws and amendments that would go towards what they call “anti- busting laws against dumping”. That would create a level playing field for the domestic manufacturer.
Today, i f you take cement for example, you have about 11 brands of cement on the market and GHACEM is suffering because the Min ist ry of Finance has not put in place taxes or anti-dumping laws that will protect the local domestic industry. So, if you bring in this, something where people have accrued their rights, this is prejudicial towards their rights. So, the reasons that they are proffering creating a level playing field -- is neither here at all.
Also, in answering the question, as we Sit today, Mr Speaker, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Free Zones Board and some of the Board Members are on a world tour promoting Ghana Free Zones Board; they are promoting it with Act 504. This Act Mr Speaker, if you take it, it tells you clearly about incentives and under incentives, it states clearly Mr Speaker, if you would indulge me. It says that:
“The income tax rate after 10 years shall not exceed a maximum of eight per cent”.
This is the Act, 504. If the Ministry of Finance seeks to do anything to this statute, then it must come properly under the Act 504 and not through the backdoor the way they want to do it.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:25 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the statement that the Free Zone Executives and the Board are on a world trip is neither here nor there. Mr Speaker, if you are an Executive member of Free Zone and you do not know that Government is changing it as per paragraph 992, you should be fired. So, he should go there and tell the truth that the Government has declared in paragraph 992. He should not bring that argument. Otherwise, they should be fired if they refer to the old law.
Mr J.B.D. Adu 5:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what I was trying to illustrate is that, if they want to amend the Free Zones Act, which is governed by this statute, then they must come properly. This is because if you may remember, when we were doing the Appropriation Bill in this Parliament, and one of our Hon Colleagues wanted to bring in the amendment that we must have proper legislation to curb going beyond the Appropriation. Mr Speaker, in this same live of Parliament, you ruled that we must go properly into the right arena, and not come through the Appropriation Act.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
Hon Member, I believe you have had enough space to advocate your point. I think so, So, begin to conclude.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, at Consideration Stage, I hope to bring an amendment to this amendment that is before the House. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I conclude.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC-- Wa West) 5:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
The Majority Leader has already indicated we passed the financial policy of Government, which includes the paragraph he referred to-- 992.
The second issue is that, in our law making, if you have the most current law, it amends the other one. So, his argument that we should go to Act 504, is rather not the correct position. This is a tax issue and the relevant tax amendment is being made and I agree entirely with what the Ranking Member said.
If Government is considering a budget and your agency is involved and that was catered for in the budget but does not know the policy things that are affecting its budget, those Chief Executives should revise their notes as Chief Executives. They have no business at all.
Now, let us come to the whole idea that the Hon Member is canvassing. I am a domestic producer or manufacturer; you are in the Free Zones and getting foreign exchange for the country and as a result, you were paying eight per cent and I was paying 25 per cent. After your tax holiday, you now want to continue to pay eight per cent and I who was not exporting should be paying the 25 per cent. The stimulus package the Hon Member is talking about, he has not adduced any evidence that that was the purpose for Act 504 at all.
We were looking for more foreign exchange to come to Ghana and ways of ensuring that investments came in. But after all these years, and after 10 years, if you do not have the evidence that you have really changed anything, why should the Ghana Government indulge you with eight per cent? Your point -- I know, you are a good advocate for your group, which you are a member but this one, you are alone. Let us vote for this amendment --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
Hon Member, we do not understand you,. “for his group of which he is a member” -- We are left in the dark.
Mr Chireh 5:25 a.m.
He is an industrialist and he —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
Hon Member do you want to respond?
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Friend has made a serious statement. But Mr Speaker, we are here representing Ghanaian manufacturers and business people and that is why we are in this House. If there is a law which is inimical to their progress, we must state it. We represent all Ghanaians here; we are here
Dr Kunbuor 5:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that we have heard both sides of this matter. I know my good Friend Hon J. B. Danquah; if he is running as a toad in broad day light, there are only two interpretations. Either it is looking for food or it is being pursued. In broad day light, a toad is unlikely to be feeding; most likely, it is being pursued. I have personal sympathy for him in terms of this matter but I guess that in the collective interest as representatives of the people, he should allow this matter to go.
Mr Nitiwul 5:25 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, normally, I will never rise but I have to. I think that we should not narrow the issue to a person -- Him or a company or something. I do not think so. I do not think that is right. There are people from both sides of the House who think genuinely that we have to protect our Ghanaian companies for some reasons.
Dr Kunbuor 5:25 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, save your energy; let me withdraw that statement. Hon J. B. Knows that we have been having those jokes but for the purposes of the record, it should not have been said on the floor. So, I withdraw it.
Mr Chireh 5:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, [Laughter.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
Hon Member, did you have the floor for any contribution?
Mr Chireh 5:25 a.m.
He raised a point of order against me.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
All right. If you have the floor, then please, proceed.
Mr Chireh 5:25 a.m.
In conclusion, I urge all of you to vote for this amendment. As for my Friend, he is a nationalist patriot and he always looks for the good for the producers and manufacturers of this country but he should not be selective in going to his zone; he should look at the national group; there are so many manufacturers who are not in the Free Zone and therefore, let us look at how many people by this amendment, we are going to support and promote, whose interest will stimulate the growth of our economy.
On that note, I thank you for the opportunity.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
The Internal Revenue Act 2000, Act 592 accordingly read the Second time and passed.
Dr Kunbuor 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item 35.
MOTIONS 5:35 p.m.

Minister for Finance) 5:35 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
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 5:35 p.m.

Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Do you have something to say, Hon J. B. Danquah?
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, during the Second Reading, I made a promise that I would bring an amendment to this Internal Revenue Act. So, on clause 1, I beg to move, clause 1 delete.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Member, please, go over your proposed amendment.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1, delete.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
We should delete the entire clause 1 and do not substitute it with anything? That is your amendment?
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
All right. This is for the consideration of the House.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the justification is simple. I made an argument previously but if I have to give a reason, I would do so.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Members, he is applying that the whole of the clause 1 be deleted. This is for the consideration of the House.
Question put and amendment negatived.
Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr Nitiwul 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know if the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is conducting an orchestra. He is urging everybody to be shouting -- [Interruption.] Why? Does the Hon Member have some agenda against Hon Danquah? This is because I can see him; he is conducting and telling them to calm down and then to shout.
Clause 2 -- Imposition of Capital Gains Tax.
Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 2, line 1, delete “Part” and insert “Chapter”.
Mr Speaker, the provision in the principal enactment, which is being referred to is a “chapter” but not “part”. So, we are just removing the “part” and replacing it with “chapter”.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 2 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 3 -- Third Schedule of Act 592 amended.
Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 3 paragraph (b), sub-paragraph (i), line 1, delete “3, 4 and 5” and insert “3, 4, 5 and 6 B”.
Mr Speaker, there is an omission of “6B” which is being added. This is the purpose of the proposed amendment.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
The Third Schedule of Act 592 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Members, we have an Addendum which also has a proposed amendment standing in the name of Hon Joseph Boakye Adu Danquah. So, I think it is only proper that we allow him to move his proposed amendment. If we agree with him, it might not be necessary to take this one. But if it is the other way round, then we know what to do.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the name is Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Thank you for the correction. But what you have on the Order Paper is “Joseph Boakye Adu Danquah”.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
I think they made a little mistake.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
All right.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (b), subparagraph (i), line 4, delete “and services provided to the domestic market by free zone enterprises after their tax holiday are:
Nature of income -- Rate of Income Tax (for every cedi)”
Income from the export of 8 per cent-- non -traditional goods
Other income -- 25 per cent.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Members, it has become necessary for proceedings to be suspended for just one minute. We would be with you.
5.44 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
5.45 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Yes, Hon J. B. D. Adu, please, Danquah continue with your amendment.
Mr J. B. D.Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, subclause (3), paragraph (b), subparagraph (i), line (4), delete “and services provided to the domestic market by free zones enterprises after their tax holiday are: nature of income, rate of income tax for every cedi, income from the export of non-traditional goods -8 per cent; other income - 25 per cent”.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Can you give us the rationale behind your proposed amendment?
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, essentially, what I am professing here is that, the argument that was being adduced by the Hon Minister for Finance that they wanted to create an equitable playing field for the domestic operator, that argument is flawed. This is because today, the free zone enterprises are even classified as non-ECOWAS citizens, which means they do not enjoy the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).
Therefore, goods from Ghana attract all the duties and taxes when they move them to the ECOWAS markets. Whereas in Ghana, they are classified as Ghanaian citizen companies even though they are exporting to the domestic market Ghana. And therefore, they should not be allowed to pay like an ordinary Ghanaian company,
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Members, we have two separate amendments on the floor now. One by Hon J. B. D. Adu and one by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. They are both for consideration of this House. After that
we will put the Question with regard to Hon J. B. D. Adu amendment and then put the Question with regard to the Hon Chairman's amendment. Unless at the end of the day, the consensus is that we arrive at a certain decision, which would not be necessary for us. So, Hon Members, for the consideration of the House.
Mr Chireh 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to say that he has moved his; we can vote on it, after we have voted that still leaves room for the Chairman to move his amendment if the Motion is defeated. But if he succeeds, then it means the Chairman would have a difficulty moving any other thing there. So, that is all I wanted to say. We should not let them move the amendments simultaneously; it would confuse the issue.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Member, I think the Chairman has already moved his -- [Interruption.]
Mr Chireh 5:35 p.m.
The procedure is that the one who is moving must be moved first -
- 5:35 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
You are proposing that we consider his first, vote on it and then if it becomes necessary for us to take the Hon Chairman's proposed amendment-- very well.
Then for consideration now is that proposed by the Hon J. B. D Adu. So, Hon Members, the floor is open; if I do not receive any contribution, then I will put the Question.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not think most Hon Members have the Addendum. [Interruption.] He says as on the Addendum, but people do not have it. So, let us clarify that. [Interruption.] I know -- [Interruption]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Order! Order!
Dr Kunbuor 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, a draft Addendum was done; it was only given to Hon J. B. D. Adu to guide him in moving his Motion. But we have not accepted an Addendum. If an Addendum were accepted, it would not be in this colour.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:35 p.m.
They have been given copies, for a reason.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Members, let us solve this problem. [Interruption.] Hon Members, the Hon Member is entitled to move his amendment without an Addendum. So, it was only to guide him; so, in this case, I am going to put the Question, not referring to any Addendum; referring to the amendment as he has proposed.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, those of us who are contributors to this Bill, we were told the reason it came this way. That is alright, but what I said was for your information. It is not correct that everybody has it; that is all I said. Procedure wise - [Interruption.] No, it is just information; the man does not have it and he is telling a lie. Where is yours? You do not even have it.
Dr Kunbuor 5:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this matter has been discussed. As a matter of procedure, every order of business in this House is cleared, at least, with the Chairman of the Business Committee. And what we normally do in case of an Addendum is that it would be discussed with the Minority side and we would agree.
This matter came to my attention and I said if the sole purpose for an addendum is for Hon J. B. D. Adu's Motion, we do not have to put it as an Addendum; he can move it at the Consideration Stage. So, this document and how it got
circulated, has nothing to do with the business of this House. This is what I want to register.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not think we need to belabour the point. The fact is that the Hon Member is entitled to move an amendment, which is not captured by the Order Paper. So, we have given him the opportunity, he has moved it; let us make some progress.
Mr Nitiwul 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we may make progress, but the fact that he brought it to the attention of the Table Office, it should have been ordinary attached here as part of it, so that it would be advertised.
But I think that he has moved it anyway, so, let us make progress.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Thank you, very much.
So, Hon Member, I will put the Question on the proposed amendment by the Hon Member for Abuakwa North (Mr Joseph B. A. D. Adu).
Question put and amendment negatived.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, please, move your proposed amendment.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am drawing your attention to decorum in the House. Mr Speaker, when we are voting on a Motion Members do not get up and raise their hands. -- [Laughter] -- The Hon Member for Yunyoo (Mr Joseph B. Naabu) over there just got up. So, I am bringing your attention to that side.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
All right. Thank you very much.
Let us observe the rules of the House.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Avedzi 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (b), subparagraph (i), line 1, delete “3, 4 and 5” and insert “3, 4, 5 and 6 B”.
Mr Speaker, 6 B was omitted and it is now being added. So, that is the purpose for my proposed amendment.
Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Now, I would put the Question on the whole of clause 3 --
Dr A. A. Osei 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think there is another amendment advertised.
Mr J. B. D. Adu 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is being declined.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
You have to seek leave to withdraw your proposed amendment?
Mr Danquah 5:55 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Leave granted.
Clause 3 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Long Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
That brings us to the end of Consideration Stage.
Dr Kunbuor 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item number 37.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Item number 37 -- Hon Deputy Minister?
Suspension of Standing Order 131(1)
Deputy Minister for Finance (Mr Cassiel A. Forson) (on behalf of the
Minister): 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 Internal Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2013 may be moved today.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Dr Kunbuor 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, lastly, item
38.
BILLS -- THIRD READING 5:55 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Members have indulged us sufficiently and I think it is only fair that I leave the House in your hands.
Mr Nitiwul 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I said before, Monday -- [Interruption.] The warning signals are very clear for Monday and we can see that the numbers are not
as great as we would have wished. But as I said, some Hon Members are going to be travelling long distances tonight because tomorrow they have constituency elections within the party. But they are still sitting here because of the work. Some are going to the North, others are going to Brong Ahafo and they are going to travel throughout the night but they are here working.
So, Mr Speaker, I hope that that gesture is reciprocated.
Dr Kunbuor 5:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I remember when I had the Hon Minority Leader, it did come to our attention. Initially, we were not aware that our Hon Colleagues were holding their constituency primaries tomorrow, so we thought we could close a bit earlier. But I must extend my

appreciation for the understanding in this matter and wish those who are travelling a safe journey while I deal with the normal channels of communication to address the problems.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
Hon Members, I would like, on behalf of Mr Speaker, to thank all of you for the work you have put into this and the sacrifices you have made. We really appreciate it.
The House, accordingly, stands adjourned till 10 o'clock in the forenoon on Monday.
ADJOURNMENT 5:55 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 6.04 p.m. till Monday ,16thDecember, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.