Debates of 12 Jun 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:05 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:05 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 11th June, 2014.]
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 10th June, 2014.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:05 a.m.
    Hon Members, I have admitted one Statement for this morning; it is a commemorative Statement to mark World Day Against Child Labour.
    It is in the name of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:05 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee is unavoidably absent, and we would request, with your permission that the Vice Chairman of the Committee takes the Statement.
    Mr Speaker 10:05 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Vice Chairman?
    Mrs Gifty E. Kusi (NPP --Tarkwa- Nsuaem) 10:15 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague.
    Mr Speaker, in 2013, there was a Third Global Conference in Brasilia and they made a declaration which stressed that, there is the need for decent work for adults, Free Compulsory and Quality Education for children and social protection for children in child labour.
    Mr Speaker, what we see in this part of our world is that, most families depend on the fact that, when their children work, they get some income for the upkeep of the family.
    Mr Speaker, much as the children belong to the families, we would want to encourage every parent that, the age at which any child starts working should be considered. Mr Speaker, children need to be in school, therefore, if any child is working at a very tender age, what happens to the child's future? We need to protect children; we need to ensure that all children would be in school.
    Families that cannot cater for their children to be in school should be helped and that should be in a form of social protection for children who are citizens of this country. They have their rights as children and their rights need to be recognised and upheld.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate my Hon Colleague for drawing attention today to the issues of child labour. It is a very serious issue and most countries have been penalised for engaging children in practices which are not in the betterment of the children.
    For example, if children are working on cocoa farms and those children go to school at the appropriate time, there is no problem with that. If children are engaged in fishing and that they go to school and come back to engage in fishing, there would be no problem with that. We should all ensure that we do everything possible to protect our children.
    Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai -Osudoku) 10:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Hon Member who made the Statement for this elaborate presentation. Mr Speaker, I would also want to emphasise that we should define child labour within our socio-cultural setting in this country. This is because, I believe that children must be trained to take over from the elderly.
    Mr Speaker, the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) must be enforced so that all children of school- going-age must be in school. This is a law that has been passed by this House, and let us make sure that every government enforces this law. The FCUBE must be implemented, and in doing so, we should also train our children.
    Mr Speaker, you and I know that we were trained by our parents during our infant days to know how to farm. These days, even in schools, children are not even allowed to weed their school fields. That was not what happened during our days. [Laughter.] On the school parks, children should be allowed to practise how to weed. So, we should not mix the issue of child labour with some training that we had. [Hear! Hear!] We should not mix it up at all.
    Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
    Hon Member, who is mixing it? [Laughter.]
    Mr Assumeng 10:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are taking these issues to some levels that I think must be looked into. It has become some ground for people to make some living. I think that we should go back to our socio-cultural setting and allow our children to be trained on the farms, at the appropriate time, so that we can have future leaders who would take over the economic growth of this country.
    So, I think that it is very important for us to make this point.
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am exceedingly grateful to you for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement. Mr Speaker,
    I commend His Excellency the President for having the Ministry for Gender, Protection --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, the Statement is not on gender protection. The Statement is on child labour.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I take a cue. But Mr Speaker, establishing a Ministry for Gender Protection in itself is to put the necessary support system in place to ensure that we are not going to have child labour. At the heart of this matter --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a point of order. Children are watching us as we speak. He should mention the name of the Ministry properly. It has a name and they would ask them in question. What is the name of that Ministry? Not Gender Protection.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    What is the name of the Ministry? [Laughter.]
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the name of the Ministry is Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    You have passed, continue. [Laughter.]
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the reason for having this Ministry was also to take care of children in vulnerable areas who need to be protected, so that they do not get trapped into this problem of child labour. Mr Speaker, it was very alarming to hear the maker of the Statement reveal statistics dating way back over 10 years ago where over a million of Ghanaian children, according to the survey, were engaged in child labour. Perhaps, today, the figures would be worsening.

    What is the solution? He has proposed one that parents must be seen to be responsible but I believe that, beyond the effort of parents, we need proper policy direction of our government so that --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, you know we have clear-cut rules on Statements. Do not provoke debate, if you continue that way, I would stop you.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not going to provoke debate.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    If you continue that way, I will stop you.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I take a cue and I would not provoke debate.
    Mr Speaker, all that I am trying to put across is that, we have to encourage government to put in place measures that would create economic opportunities for our parents, so that our parents would not over-burden their children to engage in other works to support the family. This is because supporting the family is not the work of children. It is the responsibility of parents but most of the time, the excuses that some parents give are that, they do not have the means to take care of their children, so they turn a blind eye or even encourage their children to engage in some form of jobs to support the family.
    It is in the light of this that I would like to urge the Government to ensure that the policy of Savanna Accelerated Develop- ment Authority (SADA) is really a policy that is implemented successfully so that the north-south migration where the young “kayayei ” (girls) come down to the south to find jobs would cease --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you have given direction on what to do. The Hon Member is trying to provoke debate and I wish that we come to the Statement on the floor so that we go by it.
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, what is wrong with the Hon Member saying that the policy that has been initiated called SADA should succeed? What is wrong with that? Why is the Hon Member who just spoke afraid of the word SADA? What is wrong with him saying that SADA should succeed? What sort of debate is he provoking?
    He is saying that SADA should be allowed to succeed so that children from the North would not come down to Accra to do “kayakaya”. Why, is there any debate in that?
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Member for Effutu, conclude.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I heard some people say some good things about you.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Please, do not involve the Chair.
    Please conclude.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your leave, I say that we need to encourage our Government in ensuring that the good policies that it has initiated, and I cited an example: the SADA, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), the several other initiatives across the country must be implemented suc- cessfully.
    It is our collective responsibility as a House to encourage the Ministers who have been assigned to see to the implementation of these policies by Mr Speaker being constructive in our criticism so that the corruption in such areas would be taken away --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, please --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations.
    Minister for Information and Media Relations (Mr Mahama Ayariga) 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement that has been made by the Hon Member regarding the issue of child labour.
    Indeed, Mr Speaker, like the Hon Member indicated, Ghana is very confi- dent that we are taking adequate measures to deal with the issue of child labour and it is on the strength of that confidence, that we were the first to volunteer for the peer review exercise that was being taken to assess the per- formance of countries in relation to the issue of child labour.
    Indeed, in the Statement, the Hon Member did mention that, the group decided to embark on peer review exercise and Ghana was the first to volunteer. We volunteered on the strength of our confidence as a country, that we are doing everything to combat the issue of child labour.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Members did rightly acknowledge that we need to provide greater access to education in order to deal with the issue of child labour. The records show Mr Speaker, that in the last five years this Government has constructed more schools than ever constructed in this country, so that children would have access to education.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Do you have a point of order?
    Mr Nitiwul 10:25 a.m.
    Yes, I have a point of order against the Hon Minister. First of all, what he is saying is totally misleading. He is saying that, this particular Government has constructed more schools than any other government without substantiating with facts.
    It means that Kwame Nkrumah, Busia, Rawlings, Kufuor-- That is what he is saying, and I am also saying that, he should provide facts to it, otherwise he should withdraw that statement. How many schools have they provided that he thinks --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Honourable, you have raised a point of order -- [Interrruption.]
    Mr Nitiwul 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he should provide that evidence.
    Mr Ayariga 10:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, about 2009, the total stock of basic schools in this country was just about 10,000. Go to the
    EMITS.
    Database of the Ghana Education Service. Mr Speaker, today, as we speak, we have over 12,000 basic schools. That means that, from Independence to 2008, we had done about 10,000 and from 2009 to 2014, we had done an additional 2000. So, he should divide the 10,000 by all the governments that have preceded and give us an average, he would not get 2,000 each, but this Government in five years has constructed more than 2,000 basic schools.
    Mr Ayariga 10:35 a.m.


    Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that this Government is doing a lot to combat the issue of child labour, especially in our cocoa growing areas.
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Hon Members, you know the Statement is about child labour. And I know that all this situation has been created by the Hon Member for Effutu; he created this situation because once one raises certain issues, one forces the others also to respond.
    But Hon Minister, let us limit ourselves to the Commemorative Statement made by the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare.
    rose
    Mr Ayariga 10:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the cocoa growing areas, efforts continue to be made to address the issue of child labour --
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Hon Member for Assin Central, do you have a point of order?
    Mr Agyapong 10:35 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, my point of order is simple. The Hon Member, I think, is misleading the House. This is because simple calculations, he cannot even give the accurate figures.
    One; he said in 2009, we had 10,000 schools and today we have 12,000. What is the difference? It is simple, so he should not mislead the House. Simple mathematics. If he was not deceiving the public, he would not have come out like that. So Hon Member, please withdraw.
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, were you here when he was trying to do his calculation?
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    You were here?
    Mr Agyapong 10:35 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    And he is saying that from Independence up to 2008, they were
    10,000.
    Mr Agyapong 10:35 a.m.
    Good.
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    And he divided the 10,000 by all the governments from Independence -- [Laughter] -- Ten thousand by all the governments from 1957 up to 2008. And he is saying that, from 2009 up till now, they have added 2000. That is the basis of his calculation.
    Mr Agyapong 10:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you see, his calculation is simply wrong because you cannot tell me that you divide 12,000 by the number of regimes. How would you do that This is because I can say that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime, we did 4,000; would you agree? [Interruption] -- No, I am basing it on your argument -
    - 10:35 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Well, I see the point you are making now. Hon Minister, the point being made by the Hon Member for Assin Central is that, if you just divide by governments, without dividing by the number of years that those governments have been in power, you would not get it right. That is the point being made by the Hon Member for Assin Central.
    Mr Nitiwul 10:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I raised a point of order. Before 2009, we had Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Busia, Acheampong, Rawlings and President Kufuor and Limann -- [Interruption] -- is that what he is saying? Because General Akuffo took less than a year, we take him out and divide by 5. That is 2,000. Is that what he is saying? It means each of the administrations did 2,000 schools -- [Interruption.]
    From his own argument, if we were to divide, each of the five administrations did 2,000 schools. Is that what he is saying? [Interruption] -- And from 2009 --
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have done enough calculation. Let us proceed. now -- [Laughter] -- Let us proceed, Hon Minister, conclude.
    Please, let us concentrate on the Statement.
    Mr Ayariga 10:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, since this is a matter of interest to the House, if you would permit me, tomorrow, I would bring the statistics to this House and show the number of schools that we have constructed over the past five years.
    Mr Speaker, in the cocoa growing areas, we continue to make efforts to ensure that we deal with the issue of child labour. It is very prominent in many of those places.
    It is indeed the case that poverty often leads to parents relying on their children to make a modest contribution to the maintenance of the homes. In fact, it is in the recognition of this that Government has expanded the Livehood Empower- ment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme and is giving more households support for their upkeep and for the education of their children than has ever happened before.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to assure Hon Colleagues that the President has taken adequate measures to reconstitute the leadership of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and has indeed appointed an Acting Chief Executive of SADA and we have no doubt that the progress that has been achieved so far by SADA --
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Hon Minister, we are not discussing SADA.
    Mr Ayariga 10:35 a.m.
    That is so, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member drew attention to the need for SADA to be reconstituted in order to do the job of improving the situation in the North to prevent seasonal migration which often involves children also coming down to engage in labour, which is unacceptable. And I am saying for the information of the House, that His Excellency has reconstituted the Board of SADA, has appointed an Acting Chief Executive and I have no doubt that the progress that has been made would even be surpassed by the new leadership of SADA.
    On that note, Mr Speaker, I thank the maker of the Statement and commend Ghana for the progress that has been made so far in eradicating the issue of child labour in our country.
    Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
    Hon Members, I would take the last two on this Statement.
    Mr Kwasi A. Gyan-Tutu (NDC -- Tain) 10:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement.
    The ILO's information on the global picture on child labour estimates released in 2013, indicate that, the number of children labourers have declined to over a third from the year 2000 till now. That indeed, is a very pleasing and heart- warming information. But here we are, the picture is however, very gloomy when you take the picture of sub-Saharan Africa where in Uganda, for instance, we have over 3.7 million children, representing about 57 per cent of the children living in abject poverty, according to records available.
    Though Ghana has often been touted to be one of the success stories, I think the Statement gave apt information about
    Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur (NPP -- Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem) 10:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement, ably made by the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.
    In doing so, Mr Speaker, child labour in all forms must be of prime concern to all of us, particularly when the ILO's statistics show that there are about 152 million child labourers between the ages of 5 and 14 years, worldwide.

    Again, the ILO proceeds that, most of these children belong to the most marginalised groups in the society, and come from families living in poverty.

    Mr Speaker, in Ghana, child labour is a major issue. Its prevalence is mostly found in the areas of agriculture, mining and fishing. It is estimated that, over one million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour. And this poses a threat to our future workforce as a nation.

    Mr Speaker, this calls for social interventions in tackling child labour in Ghana, and one area that we must consider is through education. It is significant to note, Mr Speaker, that the duo-social interventions of capitation grants and Ghana's School Feeding Programme introduced by the Kuffour's Government were a way to reduce poverty, improve school enrollment and therefore reduce or eliminate child labour in Ghana.

    However, Mr Speaker, both inter- ventions are on their knees today, quite pathetic. As a way forward, we need to strengthen our efforts in eliminating child labour at the local level. I would recommend that Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and CBOs must be resourced to be actively involved in advocacy roles against child labour.

    Mr Speaker, in concluding, the World Cup begins in Brazil today, and as it is done in the field of football, let us encourage everyone to show a “red card” to all those who exploit children.

    Thank you very much for the opportunity, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements.
    CONSIDERATION STAGE 10:45 a.m.

    -- BILLS 10:45 a.m.

    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Yes, what is it?
    Mr Osei-Owusu 10:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, before we proceed to work on the Excise Duty Bill, I believe there is a matter which we were expecting to hear from you --
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, under what order of the Standing Orders are you coming?
    Mr Osei-Owusu 10:45 a.m.
    Speaker, I am seeking your guidance --
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    See me in my lobby. [Laughter.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, on Clause 11, are we going to continue the Debate or the Question should be put?
    Mr James K. Avedzi 10:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we explained our position as a Committee yesterday. So, if we do not have any other view, then the Question should be put.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Ranking Member, concerning clause11, what we have there is “Question to be put”, and I am asking whether I should put the Question or defer it?
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I think you can put the Question.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Very well.
    But my Votes and Proceedings indicate that they put the Question yesterday. So, what is the --
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am surprised. Your First Deputy Speaker asked us to just for caution, look at the Law under PNDC Act 330 to confirm that the conditions --
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Yes, if you look at the Votes and Proceedings, it states , Question put and amendments agreed to, yet on the Order Paper, we still have clause 11. So, there is a problem.
    Mr Speaker, I am sure the Question was not put.
    Pardon?
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
    There was an issue that was deferred --
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would agree with what has been stated in the Order Paper on page 2.
    The presiding officer indicated to us that it would be relevant for us to dialogue on it and come to a determination as regards the import of PNDC Law 330. So, the Question was not put.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Yet this morning, nobody corrected the Votes and Proceedings?
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was out of the Chamber. But I think there was a Question put on an amendment on the headnote but not on the entire clause.
    Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
    Very well. So the Question has been put on the Headnote and that is why it has been captured in the Votes and Proceedings --
    Because what we have is that “clause 11 as amended has been agreed to” which creates the impression that we disposed of clause 11 in the Votes and Proceedings.
    Very well, so we defer --
    Clause 12 -- Application for refund of excise duty
    Mr Avedzi 10:45 a.m.
    I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (1), line 2, after “Commissioner- General” insert “within 12 months after the month to which the refund relates”.
    The new rendition would read;
    “--an application for a refund for excise duty shall be made to the Commissioner-General within 12 months after the month to which the refund relates in the prescribed form and shall contain any other information that the Commissioner- General may require” .
    Mr Speaker, the Committee is of the view that, the time frame within which an application for refund shall be made should be 12 months.
    Mr Speaker, I so move.
    MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Kwasi Amoakoh-Attah 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the time limit being set is too long. This is because it suggests that the refund can only be effected within 12
    months. It means that whether it is refunded in the first month, ninth month, tenth month, the Commissioner-General has a time limit of 12 months.
    Mr Speaker, we should not forget that we are dealing with people who are involved in businesses and if any business is overcharged and the amount to be refunded is due and it is not refunded on time, it affects working capital.
    Mr Speaker, we can compare this amendment --
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I may help my Colleague, I think the twelfth one relates to the time span within which the application for a refund can be made. We are not talking about the refund itself, which would mean beyond 12 months; one can no longer submit the application for a refund.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    I hope Hon Member, you are clear with that?
    Yes, any more, otherwise I would put the Question --
    Yes?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am worried about where we have situated the insertion; I think it rather should come after “form”, it should not precede the “form”, and it should rather come after “form” in line 2. So, it would read:
    “the application for a refund of the excise duty shall be made to the Commissioner-General in the prescribe form within 12 months after the month to which the refund relates”.
    If you place it where you are advertising, it contorts and distorts the meaning.
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you are making an application to the Commissioner- General and the time limit within which you made that application must be related to the person you are making that application. That person then tells you the format of the application. That is why we said the period should come immediately after the ‘Commissioner-General' that, you made the application for a refund to the Commissioner-General within 12 months, after the month to which the refund relates in the form that the Commissioner-General prescribes for you.
    I think it is a matter of semantics; it portrays the same intention.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader. What do you say?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, first of all, we are looking at some subsidiary legislation to carry the form in which the application ought to be made. So, it is not related personally to the Commissioner-General. And I am saying that, the application should follow the prescribed form. That is why I am saying that the arrangement would seem to give it a different meaning. So, it rather should come after “form” and not before. But those words are necessary.
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it does not change the intention of the clause so we can accept it.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment would now read, Mr Speaker, I beg to move, subclause (1), line 2, after ‘form' insert “within 12 months after the month to which the refund relates”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    So, what happens to the other portion of it?
    “ … and shall contain any other information that the Commissioner- General may --
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that still remains.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    It still remains?
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Very well.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (2), paragraph (a), line 2, after “Act” delete the following:
    “or under the Revenue Administra- tion Act, 2013 (Act …..)”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will then read 10:55 a.m.
    “Where a refund is payable to a person, the Commissioner-General may apply part or all of the refund firstly; in reduction of an excise duty interest or penalty, payable by the person under this Act.”
    And it ends there.
    “Under this Act” would cover what is being said under the revenue administration.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (3), line 4, delete “thirty” and insert “sixty”.
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.


    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would now read, “where a person who is entitled to a refund makes an application for the refund within the required time, the Commissioner-General shall, subject to sub-section (2), pay the refund or the amount remaining within 60 days from the date on which the application is filed.

    Mr Speaker, the intention of this is that, because of the nature of the operation of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), where application could be made not directly to the Commissioner-General at the Headquarters, but anywhere within the country, the 30 days time-frame is too short for the Commissioner-General to effect that payment. Therefore, the Committee is of the view that, 60 days could be enough time for the Com- missioner-General to make such refund to the person involved.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Members, any comments otherwise I would put the Question?
    Question put amendment agreed to.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 12, subclause (4), lines 2 and 3, delete “together with interest at the rate specified under section 85 of the Revenue Administration Act, 2013 (Act ……….)” and in line 4, delete “fourteen” insert “thirty”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would then read --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want us to be very careful with the clause 12 (3), even though you have put the Question. I do know that in clause
    Mr Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because of the modernisation of GRA, the intention is that some of these applications are going to be done online. So, as soon as you submit your application online, it hits the system the same day. That was the attention. It is filed - yes
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Very well. I think the explanation is all right, so --
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Akoto Osei --
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
    This is a policy matter and the Minister is here.
    The deletion implies that interest is no longer being applied; is that the policy issue here? Once you have deleted it, it means interest is not applied. I am not sure that is the intent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
    In this amendment, the deletion implies that the interest is no longer applicable; is that the intention of the policy makers?
    Deputy Minister for Finance (Mr Cassiel Ato B. Forson): Mr Speaker, that is the intent, because obviously, the refund was made in error and for that reason, you cannot penalise the tax payer who has received some payment in error. For that reason, we have decided to delete the interest component of it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Very well. So, let us go back to where we left of.
    Hon Chairman, before the intervention of the --
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was moving -- so let me move the new amendment.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12 subclause (4), lines 2 and 3, delete “together with interest at the rate specified under section 85 of the Revenue Administration Act, 2013 (Act…………)” and in line 4, delete “fourteen” and insert “thirty”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would then read 11:05 a.m.
    “Where a refund is paid to a person in error, the person shall repay the amount within 30 days after that person is notified by the Com- missioner -General of the error.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Any comments? otherwise I would put the Question.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would just want to be very clear. Is the Hon Chairman calling for the deletion of the interest?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, he is calling for the deletion because it was paid in error.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    All right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Members, I would put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (5), line 1, delete “and the interest”
    The new rendition would then read:
    “The amount recoverable from a person under subsection (4) shall be considered as excise duty payable under this Act.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    I hope the rationale is obvious, so I would put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    The last amendment to Clause 12 --
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move Clause 12 add the following new subclause:

    “(6) Where a person is not entitled to a refund but makes a claim for refund, the person shall repay the amount within 14 days and is liable to a penalty of twice the amount of the refund.”

    Mr Speaker, the rationale here is that, the person making a claim for refund, knowing very well that, he is not entitled for refund but has been paid, must be penalised by paying that money within 14 days, with a penalty of 200 per cent of the amount he collected.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not too sure of the import of this construction, because it says,
    “Where a person is not entitled to a refund but makes a claim for a refund…”
    Is it to be construed that the person makes the claim but has not received anything; he must be made to pay within 14 days, twice the amount, is this really the intent of this construction?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we actually debated this issue at length at the Committee level that, does “making a claim” meant that you have received the money; or that you have put an application and you have not been paid?
    Some Members of the Committee were of the view that, if you make a claim it means that, you have received the money. But if that is not the intention we are portraying here, we can further amend this to include the portion that would indicate that actual receipt of the fund.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    I think that would put it beyond doubt. “Put in a claim and receives payment”.
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would further amend the proposed amendment to include “after refund and received the payments.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Are you sure about what you are saying?
    “Put in a claim for a refund and receives …” Or is it not the case?
    You must put in a claim for the refund and you must have received that refund.
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the further amendment would read:
    “Where a person is not entitled to a refund, but makes a claim and receives a refund, the person shall repay the amount within 14 days and is liable to a penalty of twice the amount of the refund.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Members, I would put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Now, let me put the Question with regard to the whole of Clause 12 as variously amended.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think this one is acceptable but, if one declares an intent, knowing that he is not entitled to a refund and submits a claim but payment has not been effected, but it has been detected that he is making fraudulent misrepresentation, what happens? Is he to be left to go free because there is a distinction now?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    That is why there is a penalty element.
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    It is a criminal issue and he should be handed over to the police.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Boafo?
    Mr Boafo 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was on my feet on the new clause. I find in the new clause a reference to a penalty and I would want to find out from the Hon Chairman, what type of penalty is it? Is it an administrative penalty or an ordinary penalty? Because under clauses 26 and 27, you would find administrative penalty so, we must know if this is an ordinary penalty as we know it under the ordinary law of the land. If it is an administrative penalty, then we have to qualify it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee is of the view that this should be handled administratively, so this should be administrative penalty.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    In that case, he is asking that it should be qualified. Would that be possible?
    Mr Boafo 11:05 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, to be consistent and for drafting elegance, I am proposing that we insert “administrative penalty”.
    Mr Speaker, I am not making this in anticipation of anything but it is necessary.
    Under clauses 26 and 27, the Chairman would not dispute that. We have reference to administrative penalties, and there are more of such references so we need his guidance. Wherever it is an administrative penalty, it must be specified out of the abundance of caution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Very well.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to plead with the Chairman to accept the amendment; it does no harm.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    I would have thought so too. So, I would go back and put the Question again.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Members, I would put the Question with regard to - sorry, yes Hon Boafo.
    Mr Boafo 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman deleted the reference to interest under sub- clauses (4) and (5) and I would want to refer to subclause (2), paragraph (a) line 1; there is reference to ‘interest'. Is it a different ‘interest'? Because he did not mention that; is it a different type of interest? If it is the same ‘interest' then that also must be deleted. -- [Pause] -- [Interruption] That is clause 12 subclause (2) paragraph (a), line 1.
    Mr Avedzi 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, first of all, in sub-clause (4), the ‘refund' here is in error and we do not think that it is the fault of the person, therefore he should not, suffer any penalty. That is why the ‘interest' there is deleted. But in subclause (2), this should read:
    “Where a refund is payable to a person, the Commissioner-General may apply part of the refund”.
    Here, the person is genuinely entitled to the refund. So, the Commissioner- General is applying the interest and pay the interest to the person. But in sub- clause (4), that person makes the claim; or the claim was paid to him in an error so, he should not suffer penalty and that is why we are taking off that interest.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Boafo, are you all right with the explanation?
    Mr Boafo 11:15 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Very well
    Then I would put the Question with regard to the various amendments to clause (12).
    Clause 12 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Clause 13 --
    Clause 13 -- Registration of manufac- turers.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Yes Hon Yieleh Chireh
    Mr Chireh 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at clause 13(c), it says that the person has entered into a general bond or lodged a form of security with the Commissioner- General.
    Now, a registration of manufacturers; so I do not understand what this bond is supposed to do. I apply to be registered as a manufacturer and I am to lodge a bond or security. Is it for the registration?
    I think they need to explain that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, can you give us some explanation?
    Mr Avedzi 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we need to read the entire clause from the beginning and know the intent of that. It is true that the headnote is ‘registration of manufacturers'.
    So if you read that, it says:
    “A person shall not carry on the business of manufacturing excisable goods in the country unless--
    (a) that person is registered under this Act;
    (b) the excisable goods are manufactured in an approved warehouse; and
    (c) that person has entered into a general bond or lodged a form of security with the Commissioner- General.
    So, Mr Speaker, here they -- the bond that you are lodging or the form of security you are lodging is not actually a requirement for the registration; but it is a requirement because these three requirements are satisfied, you are registered to carry on the business of manufacturing excisable goods in the country.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Yes Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, unless it is a good practice. Otherwise, if anybody manufactures and wants to enter this into the home market or for home use, then they have to lodge that bond or security. Now, you want to register and then you have to pay - How do they determine even that bond; the size of it generally?
    And I would want to register, I have not put anything or entered anything for home use.
    So, this cannot be a condition for registration; it should not be there because, the person at any time If he wants to enter the goods, he would pay the bond but not when he is going to register as a manufacturer. It is business unfriendly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Yes Hon Anthony Akoto Osei.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know what my Senior Colleague is saying, but I think what he is saying, we should just ignore it.
    Mr Speaker, but clause 13(b), I thought following yesterday's discussion we should not have ‘approved warehouse'. Wherever you have the -- This is because the ‘warehouse' says a place to be approved by the Commissioner-General. So, I thought it should be consequential and that “approved” should not be there.
    I would just want to bring your attention to that matter.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh, can you look at the Memorandum on clause 13?
    Mr Chireh 11:15 a.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, I have looked at it and it did not mention anything about bond. It did not mention anything about bond; it just talked about registration.
    I am saying that, you are going to register as a manufacturer and how do you determine that bond or security that you are to provide? That is my point, because the value of anything that you want to put on the home use or entered into the home use, has a value. So, you would take the value of the bond and the security to be equivalent. In case the person does not pay, he forfeits the bond. I am going to register as a manufacturer and you are asking me to pay, a bond or provide a bond. How do you determine that bond?
    If they can convince me, I have no problem about it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    On the other hand, Hon Yieleh Chireh, we can ask you to propose an amendment to that clause and then --
    Mr Chireh 11:15 a.m.
    My amendment is simple, delete (c) -- [Laughter]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, well, I do not think the deletion of the subclause (c) should be accepted, this is because there is a reason why we are adding ‘entry into general bond with the Commissioner- General'. So, if we are going to carry on the business of manufacturing excisable goods in the country, you need to satisfy all these three conditions.
    The conditions are that you are registered under this Act or the excisable goods that you are going to manufacture are approved and manufactured in a warehouse. Or that, that person entered into a general bond or lodged a security with the Commissioner-General.
    Now, maybe you are in the process of registering a warehouse, that is, you put in an application to register a warehouse, the Commissioner-General has not granted that application yet, but you can be allowed to carry on the business of manufacturing excisable goods by putting a bond or form of a security as the process goes on.
    There is a purpose for which the subclause (c) is relevant, so let us not delete it. Maybe the best we can do is to stand it down and then let the technical people know exactly why we have that one. That would help us. Let us not delete it completely now.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Very well. But before then, let us look at it in the alternative. You either provide security or you sign a bond. So, it is like the bond will extract from you certain undertakings, so that in the event of a default, Government can fall on, or the Commissioner-General can fall on the bond. That is my understanding.
    Yes, Hon Member.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the clause should stand as it is, because as a manufacturer, you would be collecting excise taxes on behalf of Government. You are being bonded such that you account accurately. If you default in the account and we find that indeed, you have done so, then we could call on your bond in order to recover money that may have been wrongly appropriated. That is why it should stand.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Yes Hon Yieleh Chireh.
    Mr Chireh 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you see that he has provided the correct answer. But these people were not telling me anything [Laughter]. Because if I would want to register and you want to give that basis for the bond, why should I agree to pay?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, thank God you have received the correct answer.
    In that case, then clauses 13 and 14, no amendments have been advertised so I will put the Question --
    Yes, Hon Boafo.
    Mr Boafo 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, early on, we have considered this issue of bond and I think clause 7 and the subsequent clauses; the reference is to a bond, but in
    this case, the Chairman is making a reference to a general bond. Is there any difference? Do we have special bonds and general bonds; if so we must know.
    In one breath, he refers to bond, then in another breath he refers to general bond
    -- 11:25 a.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee, how do you respond? What is the difference between ‘a bond' and ‘a general bond' if any?
    Mr Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a general bond because it is not limited to a specific item and you are providing that bond so that if you default in probably collecting the excise duty and you have not paid that money to Government, that bond could be used as a security to satisfy what you defaulted in.
    It is general in the sense that, it could be applied as and when there is a need for it. It is not tied to a particular or specific action for which if you default in only that action it should be applied. So, it is general as the word -- we all know general. It is a general bond that applies as, -- general to cover the entire operation.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Member.
    Mr Amoako-Atta 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to associate myself in the position of that of Hon Yieleh Chireh.
    Mr Speaker, we are speaking as if --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    The Hon Member said he has changed his mind so you stand on your own. [Laughter]
    Mr Amoako-Atta 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if he has changed his mind, then I will put my own opinion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, we are speaking as if manufacturing is an event for which a bond should be provided to cater for any unforeseen default on the part of the manufacturer.
    Mr Speaker, manufacturing is a continuous process, so, if we introduce this element of bond as a security, how long is it going to be retained? If the manufacturing goes on for ten years, twenty years; then what would be the practical essence of the bond? Manu- facturing is a process.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman.
    Mr Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the position of the Bill is that, as long as you are manufacturing excisable goods, you have to provide this general bond.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, do not forget, as was indicated by the Hon Member for Bekwai, it is in the Authority; you either provide security or you enter into a bond which would satisfy the Commissioner-General in the event of your defaulting in your undertaken under the bond.
    It is just a form of security.
    Yes Hon Member.
    Mr Osei-Owusu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, just to throw a little more light on this.
    The fact of the matter is that, all the raw materials that go into manufacturing as far as factories are concerned, they do not pay duty upfront therefore they are put in those bonded warehouses to secure the revenue involved should there be any default. That is why the Commissioner requests that as part of the criteria for a
    manufacturer, you have to go through these three terms and I think it is the right thing that we are doing Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Very well, Hon Members, I think we have debated this long enough; so I would put the Question with regard to clauses 13 and
    14.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 14 (4), where the Commissioner refuses to register an applicant, the Commissioner-General shall give reasons for the refusal. Is there no space provided for appeal against that?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Well, Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe we have a procedure for appeal in the Bill, we would get to that point but for now, I cannot make reference to it. I think we have a --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Very well. In that case, let me first put the Question with regard to clause 13, while you look around to see if you can place a finger on the point that you have made.
    Hon Members, there is no amendment advertised with regard to clause 13, so I will put the Question.
    Clause 13 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Now, we move to -- sorry -- Hon Akoto Osei.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am assuming that, the clause 13(b) is consequential.
    ‘Deleting' and ‘approved', It is conse- quential.
    Yes, it is.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Now, let us move to clause 14 because the Hon Minority Leader has raised an issue -- if you cannot find it, let us defer it and look at it later to save time.
    All right, so let us defer clause 14 for the necessary ground work to be done to satisfy the issue raised by the Minority Leader.
    Yes, Hon W. O. Boafo?
    Mr Boafo 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think if the Commissioner-General decides to refuse the application, I think it is a quasi-judicial Act and there is a remedy for that. This is a quasi judicial Act.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    So, from your point of view we do not need to specifically state it? Is that what you are saying?
    Mr Boafo 11:25 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Otherwise, the Chairman of the Committee is intimating that there is a provision somewhere --
    Mr Boafo 11:25 a.m.
    No, there is no provision in there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman.
    Mr Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have just been informed that because of the integration we would have the Revenue Adminis- tration Act which would take care of all these procedures for appeal. The Revenue Administration Act would take care of all appeals that are there, that is why we do not have any provision in this one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, how say you?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just looking at clause 15 for instance -- where a person is notified about his registration and the person objects, we provided space to object. It does not appear to be any space in respect to clause 14. That was why I raised it. Where in the case would you then provide space for clause 15? And if you object, you are given the opportunity to object to the registration?
    So, I was thinking of juxtaposing the two, but if you think that, that is the way to go --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Well, I would -- Yes Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much. The explanation that is being offered is that, this is something that if he had refused and was giving you reasons, that were to let you be aware of where the deficiencies occur therefore you make the amends; but if he does not give you reasons as we are saying, you can always either go to court to enforce what you are -- or if he gives you the reasons and they do not conform with what he ought to have done, then you do so.
    But the link the Minority Leader is drawing between the previous one and this one is slightly different. I think that as it is captured now, we should take into consideration also what is given by the Chairman, that in the General Omnibus provision, where if you do not agree with any decision made; you could appeal to a body, whether it is first the Commissioner- General or to a body overseeing him so that you do not bother about it so long as we have provided for reasons to be given. If he could just refuse you the registration and no reasons given that is arbitrary; but this one he would give you reasons.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Yes Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu?
    Mr Osei-Owusu 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we are anticipating that there would be a clause to cure this one. Anticipation is not an accepted practice under our Standing Orders and we should not be falling foul of our own rules. But so long as we have not seen that a right which otherwise would be natural to a refusal is absent, we should create the right for a person who has been refused; either the person disagrees with the reasons or the Commissioner General has not provided the reasons to appeal to a higher authority, either the Minister or somebody higher, so that the opportunity to rectify the error is provided in the Bill itself.
    Otherwise, I would have wished to avoid going to court if we can as much as possible. I know that people have suggested going to court but as much as possible, in dealing with the adminis- tration, it is a business prepared ready to register. If you are going to subject it to the judicial process you are likely to affect timeline for the delivery of the business and so we should find and provide remedy in the Bill to make it quicker.
    Mr Avedzi 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you read the entire clause 14, it would probably help us in knowing why the clause 14(4) is the way it is, because the headnote is “Application for Registration”:
    1. A person who intends to carry on a business of manufacturing excisable goods in this country shall, not either than 30 days before commencement of the business apply to the Com- missioner-General to be registered under this Act;
    2. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner-General shall notify the applicant in writing of
    the decision of the Com- missioner-General within 30 Days;
    3. The Commissioner-General; -
    a) Shall register the applicant if the Commissioner-General is satisfied that the applicant would be carrying on the business of manufacturing of excisable goods in the country.
    b) Issue the applicant with a certificate of registration
    c) May impose the terms, conditions or restrictions that the Commissioner-General considers appropriate.
    4. Where the Commissioner- General refuses to register an applicant, the Commissioner- General shall give reasons for his refusal.
    Mr Speaker, if you read the entire thing, the applicant had been adequately informed, the only thing that is left, which the Revenue Administration Act would take care of is an option for the person to appeal the decision of the Commissioner-General.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    It is that option which is not clear cut — [Interruption]— but for the fact that some members of the Committee have indicated that as much as possible you want to avoid going to court because it is a business transaction, and the delays in court and so on might affect the business transactions, I would have said that for the avoidance of doubts, let us put it in a clause which gives the person the opportunity to contest the decision of the Commissioner-General.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Chireh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to propose an amendment; “a person dissatisfied with the refusal by the Commissioner-General may appeal to the Minister”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    All right, but in the meantime -- let us defer it for the Committee to take a second look at it, conferring with the authorities that be, so that we arrive at a conclusion which would not be too laborious for the businessman who is entering into that kind of manufacturing.
    Table-Office, please take note, clause 14 is deferred.
    Clause 15 -- Failure to register.
    Mr Avedzi 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move that clause 15 -- Headnote, delete and insert “Compulsory registration”.
    Mr Speaker, the rationale is that, the text under clause 15 does not actually portray the heading which says “failure”, but it is rather trying to register the business that is carrying on the business of manufacturing excisable goods, that the Commissioner-General should register these compulsorily.
    That is the reason why we want to change the Headnote to “Compulsory registration”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Outside of any comments I would put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr James Klutse Avedzi 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, paragraph (b), after “registration”, insert “within 30 days”.
    The new rendition would then read; “After the Commissioner-General gives --
    b) the person an opportunity to object to the registration within 30 days”.
    Mr Speaker, we are setting a time limit for which the person could object to the registration that the Commissioner- General is giving him compulsorily.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Members, any comments, otherwise I would put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 15 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 17 -- Change in relevant events or goods.
    Mr Avedzi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, paragraph (a), line 2, after “constitution,” insert “directors”.
    The new rendition would be:
    “A registered manufacturer shall, notify the Commissioner-General in writing of --
    (a) the date and details of a change in the name, address, place of business, constitution, directors or nature of the principal activity
    of the manufacturer not later than fourteen days after the occurrence of the change.
    Mr Speaker, the rationale is to ensure that the change in the events or the goods is communicated to the Commissioner- General, therefore, Directors are key relevant information that should not be left out in that communication to the Commissioner-General. Therefore, we are inserting “directors” as part of the information that should be provided where there is a change in relevant events or goods of their business.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    I think it is a straightforward one unless we have any doubts -- I can see that the Hon Minority Leader is not too clear in his mind. Is there any point you want to raise?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate the principle being espoused by the Hon Chairman of the Committee, except I am not too convinced that a name, address, place of business, constitution and nature of principal activity of a manufacturer is an event. It is not. So, I am not too sure of the import of the headnote.
    Mr Chireh 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I oppose his inclusion of “directors” because this is a private business. I have changed my directors and you say I should do what? -- [Interruption.] -- No. It is not important.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, can you give some reasons for your thinking that it is not important for the names of directors --
    Mr Chireh 11:45 a.m.
    No, they are threatening me, so I would not want to -- [Laughter]
    Ms Safo 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a problem with the suggested amendment by the insertion of the word “directors”, because if you read, it talks about constitution. And by constituting a company it involves the Board of Directors. So, if you add “directors” -- Either we keep the “constitution of the company” or we delete the “constitution” and put in the “directors”. My understanding is that, by the word “constitution” it is by constituting the body; and by consti- tuting the body in company regulation, it involves the Board of Directors.
    If there is a change in the constitution, it presupposes then that there is a change in the constitution of the directors as well and notice has to be given. So putting the two words together is superfluous. That is what I think, Mr Speaker.
    Dr Akoto Osei 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to disagree with my Hon Colleague.
    I think that the constitution does not necessarily say that you have to state the directors; it says you have to constitute it. This insertion makes it clearer that whoever the directors are, they are included. But by the constitution you may only have the structure of the directorship. So I think it is an important addition.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    I think I share your view.
    Mr Chireh 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the distinction between the “consti- tution” and “Board of Directors” is a completely different thing. Constitution in this case is what charter, the objectives of the company, what they want to do which then is registered with the Registrar- General. That is the constitution. But the appointment of directors is a completely different matter. So I think that the way it is included here should be supported.
    Ms Safo 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we should go by the explanation given by the Hon Yieleh Chireh, to restrict the ‘constitution' to what is required by the Registrar-General, then by going through the process of registering a company he needs to provide directors. So it is part of the constitution of the company. If it is there and it is required, then he cannot put directors again.
    It is either we take out the ‘consti- tution' and keep ‘directors' or we agree as a House whether to take ‘constitution' and constitution would include directors.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, except you want to look at it from this angle. The constitution is like an omnibus vessel. It does not specifically mention the names of the directors at any point in time. So, there is the need to bring in these amendments so that the names of the directors would be made known to the authorities that be. I think that is the only reason.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is the use of the word “constitution”. Mr Speaker, in this sense, one would not say that constitution is being used in the legal sense. It seems to me that, that may be referring to composition. So, I would even propose that we delete “constitution” and substitute “directors”. So, that the date and details of a change in the name, address, place of business, directors or nature of the principal activity -- This is because Mr Speaker, as we all know, in Ghana, we do not use the word “constitution” when dealing with companies, we use “Regulations”.
    The “Regulations” would include the principal place of business, the nature of the business, the directors and even the shareholdings. So in that sense, I believe that we should delete “constitution” and
    substitute it with “directors” so that it would be: “the date and details of a change in the name, address, place of business, directors or nature of the principal activity” -- This is because, these are all embodied in the “Regulations”. Particularly, when you consider the fact that, it is the directors who are held criminally liable for acts of the company considered to be criminal in nature.
    Mr Avedzi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think this issue was debated at length and I had the position of Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah. We all agreed that in order not to -- Some insisted that the “constitution” should be there and in order to cover all information that are needed, we should add directors to the “constitution” and the rest of the information that are needed to be provided to the Commissioner-General.
    I think the Hon Ranking Member would agree with me that we maintain the “constitution” and just add “directors”.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I were to follow the argument of our senior Hon Member, then I think rather than being very verbose we should simply say:
    “the date and details of a change in the Regulations”.
    If his argument should be advanced because he claims that all of these things are in the “Regulations”, so why list all of them.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, even these are not the only things included in the Regulations. There are other things included in the Regulations, for instance shareholders. But a change in the shareholding for purposes of this Excise Duty is not necessary. That is all.
    So, it is not just substituting the entire subclause with “Regulations” but a change in the composition of the “Directors” is very, very important.
    Mr Chireh 11:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let us go along with the Chairman. This argument that my Hon Colleague is raising, the “consti- tution” in here, if it embodies more than what is listed, it is only natural that we leave it there. Whether it is regulations or whatever, we talk about the constitution of a body and particularly in the case of companies.
    So if we were talking about a constitution here, we really mean that it includes the shareholders who are not listed here, therefore the constitution covers a wider range, and if there is a change of directors it is out of that constitution that the directors were changed and that is why you need to notify the --
    Please, there are only two who are arguing for the deletion of “constitution” so I think that we should maintain it and vote for it. My argument is that, “constitution”, is necessary in this particular case.
    Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader and then Hon Boafo.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think what we have to be clear about here is what we mean by “constitution” in this context. Do companies have constitutions? [Some Hon Members -- No.] And if they do not, then it would seem to me that the use of the word “constitution” here is wrong because it is referring to the composition or structure of the manufacturing company; that is what it means.
    If companies have constitutions, then it would be relevant in this context but they do not; and if they do not, in the context, “constitution” just means “composition” which refers to the structure of the outfit. So we should be concise and precise with the use of the appropriate terminology.
    Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon W. O. Boafo.
    Mr Boafo 11:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we need to retain the expression “constitution” but maybe if we want to give some elevation to the use of the expression “constitution” we can substitute it with “constitutive instrument” because regulations are for only companies. We have partnership agreements, joint venture agreements and the registration of businessmen. All these are encompassed in Constitutive Instruments.
    In the Regulations, we have only the first Directors whose names are in the Regulations. Additional directors who are appointed, would file the company prescribed Form 17.
    The shareholders, those who subscribe to the deliberations, their names appear at the end, they subscribe and they put down their names and particulars. If you issue additional shares, for example, if a public company goes for public shares or stock exchange, the number of shareholders you would get would be numerous. If we want to include the interest of shareholders, then in addition to “directors”, we can insert “stake- holders” so that it takes care of partners in partnership and also sole proprietors.
    Mr Speaker, the need for directors and shareholders and others to be mentioned in this particular Bill is to enable them - Just to put it this way that, there may be situations where the Directors may be called upon to sign a bond, or give a guarantee of the shareholders. Instead of a tangible collateral, they may be called to do that. So there is the need to mention these in the Bill.
    Mr Speaker, I am of the view that to restrict it to “regulations” or to delete it, you do away with this “constitutive instrument” which is all embracing to cover companies, partnerships, joint ventures and sole proprietorship.
    Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    I think that is very useful information. Hon Chairman, how do you respond to that?
    Mr Avedzi 11:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am looking at why you want the manufacturer to provide the Commissioner- General with all these information, because we are talking about change in relevant events or goods. The Commissioner-General needs this information in order to know how to monitor and assess the company.
    That is why when there is a change in the goods that are produced by the company or the nature of the business activity, the Commissioner-General needs to know. If there is a change in the name of the company from A to B, the Commissioner-General needs to know so that he can update its records.
    If there is a change in the address, the location of that company, the Commis- sioner-General needs to know this information. If there is a change in the directorship, the Commissioner-General needs to know so that in the event of defraud, the Commissioner-General would know who should be held liable. These are the information that are relevant to the Commissioner-General for the purposes of this excisable Excise Duty.
    That is why when we limit it to “regulation”, we might be providing information all right but what is relevant for the Commissioner-General to carry out his business, we might not have it there. That is why we specifically mentioned all these information that are needed to be provided by the manufacturer.
    Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Very well. Hon Member for Sekondi and after that Hon Deputy Majority Leader, but after all these contributions, if we do not arrive at a consensus, we might have to advise ourselves.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am trying to look for the meaning of “constitution”. In this context, when you use the word “constitution”, I do not know whether you are using it in the technical sense or in the ordinary grammatical meaning which is “composition”. For purposes of Excise Duty, what is important is the relevant information with regard to the person engaged in the manufacture or the nature of the goods.
    So in the case of the person engaging in the manufacture, if it is a company limited by shares, it would be the Board of Directors. If it is a sole proprietorship, if for instance, the interest in the company is transferred to another person, if it is a partnership, a change in the partners. So when you use “constitution” it is very vague and uncertain.
    If the information needed is with regard to the persons responsible for the management of “the legal person engaged in the manufacture”, then we should say so. But if you say ‘constitution', are we talking about the constitution of the statutes governing the manufacturing concern, or are we talking about those whom we consider to be the persons constituting the company. In my view, if it is constitutive instruments it may be better, then you are talking about a change in the entire regulation.
    But then, my problem there too would be, if it is a change in the constitutive instrument, then why do you include the change in the name and address because they will all be in the constitutive instrument. That is why I am saying that let us delete “constitution” and include “board of directors” or “partners”. That is all.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi, what about the various categories of stakeholders in this area? You have sole proprietorships, you have partnerships, and you have all of that. How do you get them all on board? When you talk about ‘regulations' you are talking about companies limited either by shares or whatever. What about the other categories of cbusiness --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:05 p.m.
    I am saying that, a constitutive instrument, sole proprietorship, do they have a consti- tutive Instrument?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    They would not have it as such, but would have the entity with the sole proprietor repre- senting the company.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the sole proprietorship is a person. A person carrying on a business under the name or style of so, so and so. So it is really the person. You can sue a sole proprietorship without even stating the business name. you can sue the person. So for purposes of this, I do not think that is relevant.
    I do not think the name of the person - - If you talk about partnership, I will understand but the name of the person - - A sole proprietorship dies if the person dies or he transfers his interest to another person. Then it would be a different person altogether.
    Trading under the name or style or doing business under the name or style, or carrying on the professional practice under the name or style W.O. Boafo Chambers.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, but then at least, you would have covered the requisite grounds not in respect of sole proprietorship; you would
    have covered the grounds, say, with partnership, with other groups of business entities.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for purposes, of this Bill, it would be better to say the date and details of a change in the name, address, place of business, directors, or partners -- [Interruption] -- No, ownership has to do with shareholders. It is the shareholders who own the company. And in the case of a partnership, it is the partners who own the company -- [Interruption] -- Yes, it is better because we are talking about change in some relevant information.
    So for a company limited by a guarantee it is the change in the name of directors because they are responsible for the company. In the case of the partnership, it is the change in partnership. In the case of a company limited by shares, it is the change in directors, but it is not everything about the constitutive instrument that you need to change.
    I mean if you change the powers of the directors for instance, or you change the structure of the shares of a company, you do not need to give that information to the Commissioner-General because that is not relevant for purposes of collecting Excise Duty from excisable goods.
    I am proposing that we delete “constitution” and substitute it with “directors”, “partners”, and it continues, “or nature of the principal activity of the manufacturer” -- [Interruption] -- I mean if you are not engaged in --
    Can a trust engage in manufacturing? -- [Interruption] -- My Colleague, and learned friend is saying then we should include ‘trustees' because now Churches have universities and so forth. But even though the universities are owned by the churches, they come under a different structure. If a manufacturing company is owned by the Church, the Church sets- up a company. I know Methodist Church owns the Methodist University College. It has its own Constitutive Instrument, it is not really the Church.
    Mr Agbesi 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the debate is leading to have information about the manufacturer. This manufacturer could be a single person, an entity, a legal person or otherwise. What is necessary from the debate is that, we are trying to find out information as to the relevant change.
    In that wise, I would say that, all the various presentations that have been made, if you add “constitution” to the clause, it does not, in anyway, take away anything because it is leading to information on the manufacturer, the directors, shareholders and the nature of the principal activity. They are all leading to finding out information on the manufacturer. So, in that wise, to curtail the debate --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, I am minded to direct that we defer clause 17 for further consideration because we have spent so much time debating this issue and it does not look like we are making any headway meanwhile, we have other clauses to consider. So, let us defer it for the Committee to take another look at it while we continue with the rest of the clauses.
    Mr Ato Forson 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am of the view that we delete the word ‘constitution' and substitute it with “regulation”. Mr Speaker, I am saying this because, the usage of the word “constitution” and “regulation” depends on the jurisdiction in which the company is operating. In our country Ghana, we use the word “regulation” instead of “constitution”.
    So, we can keep all the words and then delete “constitution” and substitute with “regulation” and I believe we would be able to cure the problem there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    You are making me eat back my words.
    Mr Chireh 12:05 p.m.
    We are introducing the ‘constitution' in our legislation because, elsewhere it is used and it describes aptly all the alternatives that we have been given, like the partnership, joint ventureship, and all that. So in fact, I do not know why they are afraid of the word “constitution” we are not talking about the national Constitution.
    We are talking about the constitution of a company, therefore, I do not see any reason why we should be talking about ‘regulations'. Regulations are very restrictive in this particular case.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Hon Members of the Committee please, go back, look at clause 17 and let us move on.
    Clause 18-- Disqualification of cerficate of registration.
    Mr Avedzi 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause18, paragraph[h (c), line 2, delete “or”.
    Mr Speaker, the purpose is that, we are deleting the entire paragraph “d” therefore, ‘or' becomes redundant. So, we need to delete “or” after “at”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    But what is the rational for this amendment?
    Mr Avedzi 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the rational is that, we are going to delete paragraph “d” which is on page 12. Therefore, at the end of paragraph “c”, the ‘or' is no more needed and when we get to “d”, where we are deleting the entire “d”, probably we will understand it more.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Well, I would have thought that the word “or”, if you delete what follows it would not be necessary. So why do we not go ahead and deal with that one?
    Mr Avedzi 12:05 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I can do the second one as well.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 18, paragraph (d), delete.
    Mr Speaker, clause 18 talks about disqualification for certificate of registration. It says that:
    “The Commissioner-General may not grant or transfer a certificate of registration to a person who is a spouse or a member of family who holds a certificate of registration under this Act during the life time of that person.”
    Mr Speaker, the Committee thinks that this is not relevant, looking at the transfer of a certificate of a person who is a spouse to the person who is holding a certificate during the life time of that person. It is not relevant to maintain this in the Bill so the Committee is proposing that we delete the entire thing at paragraph “d” and end at paragraph “c”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Any comments, otherwise, I would put the Question.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Sorry, Hon Minority Leader and then Hon W. O. Boafo.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not hear the Chairman very well but when he called for the deletion of the word “or” at the end of paragraph (c) and deleting paragraph (d), then it rather should come after “age” in paragraph (b). The “or” should come after “age” in paragraph (b).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    These are drafting issues so Table Office, please, take note so that it could be done appropriately.
    Have we put the question with regard to clause 18 as amended?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 18 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 19 -- Death of a holder of Certificate of Registration.
    Mr Chireh 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have seen paragraphs (c) and (d) talk about the Administrator-General or Public Trustee. I do not know in reference to which body we have this Administrator-General or which Public Trustee we are talking about. Unless he explains, it is really difficult. Do we have a body that we have the Administrator-General related to Excise Duty or something?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am consulting so if we could move to the next one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Boafo.
    Mr Boafo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Administrator- General is an office in the Registrar- General's Office.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Indeed, I am aware that, that office deals with estate matters, succession and so on. That is the area in respect of which they bring in this.
    Mr Boafo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am on my feet in respect of clause 19. It appears that the Chairman is only thinking of natural
    Mr Boafo 12:15 p.m.


    persons who are holders of the certificate. There is no provision made for corporate entities. It is the death of natural persons, but what about a company which has wound up or otherwise not in existence and which is a holder of a registration certificate?
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that a corporate body because of perpetual succession cannot die, so this one is referring to a natural person.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Boafo?
    Mr Boafo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, a corporate body can die through winding up.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the death of a corporate body --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    I think that, with regard to companies, there are laid down procedures for winding up and so on; so those procedures would take adequate care of the succession as you are raising.
    Mr Boafo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, equally, the Administration of the Estate Act takes care of individual persons just as the Companies Code takes care of the winding up procedures. With that argument, with the greatest respect, Mr Speaker, I beg to differ.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not get the Hon Member clearly, so if he could come back again.
    Mr Boafo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was saying that, so far as individuals are concerned, if you are talking about an existing law which regulates succession to their estates, the individuals we are concerned with here, there is the Administration of Estates Act which regulates how succession to individuals are done. The personal representative that we are mentioning here is equally found in that Act but I do not find anything when it comes to the company when it is being wound up.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, first of all, when I saw this provision, I thought that it was a little odd because, in issuing registration and certificate, you make them either transferable or non- transferable. When you do so, it does not matter whether the person has died or the company has been wound up, but, takeover and all that would also be subsumed in that.
    If we have conditions for issuing the registration, it is stated in there, and the method by which if you want to transfer, you go through the process. But this seems to be just saying that, this is the method to do so. You do not need to do that because it is either transferable or not and as he is rightly saying, you cannot limit it to the death of the natural person.
    If it is some other person who has bought the company, can we transfer? So it is a question of transferability of the registration and I think we should look at it broadly.
    The reason why I asked about the Administrator-General was also because we are creating another office because he works under the Registrar-General. So I think that, these things need to be ironed
    out properly otherwise, the issue is why we are not limiting it to natural persons when indeed the whole issue is about corporate activity and not human beings.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, I do not think the whole issue is about corporate activity. It is not limited to corporate activity, it is about manufacturing and we have a wide spectrum of stakeholders who have interest in that area.
    Hon Deputy Minister, do you have something to say with regard to the points that have been raised by Hon W. O. Boafo and Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Forson 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the word ‘Administrator-General', is actually in the old Act and the rationale behind it is that, if for instance, somebody dies, and the Will is being contested, ideally, the asset would be transferred to an Administrator- General to look at, so it is for the transition period.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in addition to what the Deputy Minister said, and as Hon Yieleh Chireh said earlier, as one of the registration, definitely, you would have named your personal representative on the form that you filled before the registration.
    So when you pass on -- [Inter- ruption]-- that is why we said “the Commissioner-General, subject to Section 18, shall transfer the certificate of registration to the personal representative that you have with them or to the person that is, beneficiary entitled to your assets or the business.
    In the absence of these two, the Administrator -General, or Public Trustee comes in, or an appointee of the Administrator-General of Public Trustee.
    So, they are trying to cover all possible areas that would be able to make it easier for the Commissioner-General to transfer this certificate to those people.
    I think that we have covered enough here, and I urge Hon Members that we accept it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Boafo?
    Mr Boafo 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the expression; “Beneficiary”, to my mind refers to somebody under a Will, to whom the property or the interest of the deceased has been assented to, but not a company. The company cannot be transferred in that way to an individual. It could, but in terms of succession, it is rare.
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Boafo, I think we are all saying the same thing here now. We are saying that, in the case of a company, because of a perpetual succession, the company would not die and for that matter, the issue about transfer does not even arise. That is one, so we have agreed on that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you afraid of death?
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    When it happened, I would have named somebody as my personal representative, so the Commissioner- General would pass on the certificate to that person. If I have not named anybody as my personal representative, then maybe, I would name somebody in my Will, as the beneficiary of my business, and the Commissioner-General would transfer it to that person.
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.


    In the absence of these two, the Administrator-General, or Public Trustee, comes in, and I think it is enough.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Well, Hon Members, I think that as far as this issue is concerned, it is because there is a lot of certainty when it comes to corporate bodies that probably, we do not need to give these details, except in a situation where there is a winding up. Even then, because of the procedures that are available, there would be an office that would take care of the interest company.
    So, they are trying to look at the areas where there is some uncertainty, therefore provide these things in the Bill.
    Yes, Hon Boafo?
    Mr Boafo 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if so, then why would they not go ahead and mention the official liquidator in respect of companies, out of the abundance of caution for corporate entities?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just wondering about procedure.
    In clause 19, there is no amendment, as far as I know. So, we ought to go, and if there is an amendment, then he brings it, but we are debating about whether or not we should amend it now. I think that--
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, except that once we are debating, without officially filing an amendment, even on the floor in the Chamber, you can propose an amendment. That is why we are allowing --
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
    I have not heard of a proposal for amendment, that is my point. We can debate anoxia but if there is an amendment proposed, let us see it, then we can move forward.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Very well, Hon Boafo?
    Mr Boafo 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it was ruled by the Speaker about two days ago, that he would allow it on the floor of the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    You go ahead with the proposed amendment, so that we move forward. --
    Mr Boafo 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was only trying to find out from the Hon Chairman, why he left the corporate bodies --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    In that case, I understand you to be saying that you have not proposed amendment.
    Mr Boafo 12:25 p.m.
    No, if he feels it is all right for him, then I do not have any proposed amendment.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    Then you can think about it, this is not the end of it, at the next Consideration Stage, if you think you want to file an amendment, feel free to do so. In the meantime, I would put the Question. There is no proposed amendment to clause 19, so I would put the Question.
    Clause 19 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 20 -- Cancellation of Registration.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, subclause (1), paragraph (b), line 2, delete “or the Customs Act, 2013 (Act
    …)”.
    Mr Speaker, the Customs Act 2013, is not yet passed, therefore, we are deleting it, to limit the cancellation of registration here, under (b), to “where the manufacturer is convicted of an offense under this Act”.
    Mr Speaker, I so move.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    I think that is straight-forward.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 20 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 21--
    Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    With respect, the issue about the “Cancellation of Registration” in clause 21, I think it seeks to repeat breaches contained in clause 14. So, clause 14, is in respect of the imposition of terms, conditions or restrictions that the Commissioner- General, may consider appropriate, and that is captured.
    Then, (b), is in respect of clause 18. It captures only clause 18 (a), but leaves out (b). I do not know whether it may not be appropriate to capture that one there as well.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I get the Minority Leader very well, he is saying that under clause 18 (b), where the person who is less than 18 years of age--
    The (a) talks about who has been convicted under this Act, and in referring it to the 20, where you said “the Com-
    missioner-General may, after giving notice in writing to a manufacturer, cancel the registration of the manufacturer, where the manufacturer does not comply with the terms and conditions imposed on the registration, or manufacturer is convicted of offence under this Act.
    He is asking that, we add where the manufacturer “is less than 18 years of age”. I think that in the first place, once the person is less than 18 years of age, he would not have been registered in the first place, because, he would have been disqualified in the certificate for registration under clause 18 so, in the first place, he is not holding any certificate, which would then be cancelled or registration which would then be cancelled under 20. That is why they have not added that one to it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Chair- man, I fail to see this attempt to rationalize what has been captured here, because by extension of reasoning, in clause 18 (a), it is not anticipated that the person who has been convicted of an offence under this act, shall be granted the registration in the first place.
    What it means there is that, if an error has been granted, it must be cancelled if it is discovered; that is captured under clause 20. That is why I am saying that, we can import all those ones there, because the first one relates to clause 14 (3) (c), the first offence captured, which would necessitate a cancellation, and the other one relates to clause 18 (a), significantly, it leaves out (b), and my plea is that we can find space for (b).
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I followed the Minority Leader very well.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    On a point of information. The same applies to Clause 18 (a), does it not?
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, it applies to Clause 18 (a) in the sense that the Commissioner- General will not grant a certificate to somebody who is convicted of an offence under this act.

    Now, the 20 (b) here is that if you already hold a certificate and therefore, clause 18 (a) does not apply to you, and you are found to be convicted an offence under this act, they will cancel that registration.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I am following the Minority Leader's argument, then if we have clause18 (a) as clause 20 (b) here, then it follows that we must have sub-section (c); otherwise, it does not make sense here. This is because as in clause18 (a) it says:
    “… shall not grant a transfer of certificate for:
    a) Which is the conviction and;
    b) The age.”
    So if we are going to do clause 20 and we have sebsection (b) there, then it follows that subsection (c) must come there.
    I think that it looks like an oversight; it should have been there.
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a bit of difference here.
    If you look at the clause 18 (a), you want a registration or a certificate and the Commissioner-General finds at that by your conduct alone, you have already contravened some of the sections of this Act, and therefore, they would not grant you that certificate or transfer it to you, that is clear.
    One is also under 18 years of age, so they would not grant it to you or transfer it to you. This is also clear.
    When you come to clause 20, where you are already holding the certificate and operating, but you are found to contravene the law and you are convicted, the Commissioner-General would then cancel your registration.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Allright, that is correct but then, what about if a child, a person under 18 years gets hold of a certificate so that the provision here would empower, apart from the fact that the person is not entitled to it, so you are disqualified.
    If per chance one has it, then the Commissioner-General would have that power, like in the other cases to also cancel it. That is the argument being put across.
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree. But I am saying that, for the fact that the law says that if you are 18 years, you are not granted, you would not have gotten it in the first place.
    But someone who is above 18 years would have gotten it, and in the second leg found to be guilty; therefore they will cancel it. For 18 years, that person would not have gotten it at all.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    What if the person under 18 years falsifies his age and gets it, and later you discover that it is a falsification?
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    That falls under (a). that is why I am saying that, you have contravened the law, therefore you are found guilty, so they cancel it. We do not bring it here.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Chairman, the logic you are using, an error could have been made in subsections (a) and (b), because in the first place, if I have been convicted of an offence, I should not have been given a registration. So why do you come back and say, supposing that I find out that you have --
    In the same way, I am 16 years (16), and I am not supposed to get it; an error is made. So that logic must apply.
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Somebody can hold a certificate and operating all right; two or three years down the line, the person contravenes the law and he is found, they would cancel the registration. That is the point under clause 20 (a), and so one does not confuse clauses 20 (a) and 18 (a).
    Dr a. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    I am talking about the fact that you have paragraph (b), that is the issue.
    The manufacturer is convicted of an offence under this act, in the first place he should not have gotten a certificate, but an error could have been made just like in the case of a 16 year old.
    The logic is that if (b) applies then (c) should apply. I think it is an oversight.
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    So, the Minority Leader should propose an amendment, so that we look at it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    I will propose one.
    Mr Speaker, new addition, in clause 20, add sub-section (c), so it will read 12:35 p.m.
    “….where a person who is less than eighteen years of age”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I will put the question.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry the “where” should not be added, because it is already up there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    What should not be added?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    The word “where” is already up there. So paragraph (c) will read:
    “...who is less than 18 years of age”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Alright.
    Yes, Hon Member.
    Alhaji Amadu Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am a little confused as to the kind of amendment that the --
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Clarify it.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
    I have not even --
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    You said you are confused, because maybe you did not hear it.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
    But let me land?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    You do not know what I said, so let me repeat it so that you are clear.
    You did not hear me.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, will you give me the chance or not?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    He has the floor. Allow him to land.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, asked me to talk and you just -- Ranking?
    Mr Speaker, there are two different sections 12:35 p.m.
    one is that, by law if one is under 18, one is not supposed to register at all so if one goes, he or she has committed a crime. That is different from the one who acquires it lawfully but in applying the action, he or she goes against the conditions for which he or she was given -- [Interruption] -- why do you jump when Mr Speaker,--
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    I have not given you the floor, let him land then you can respond.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Dr Osei, I am a little surprised, because I think, Mr Speaker, is the one moderating all of us.
    So I do not understand why he wants us to repeat and add that when one is below 18 years. Why do we have to repeat when already, one is not supposed below 18 years to have acquired and for which there are other sections which would deal with the person.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Very well. Now, Hon Dr Osei Akoto, respond?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Dr Osei Akoto is not here.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Dr Akoto Osei, please, respond?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I knew he was going to crash land. Mr Speaker, read clause 20 (a) for the avoidance of doubt -- Who has been convicted of an offence”. They should not have gotten a license to begin with. That is what is said in clause 20 (a). Mr Speaker, if you go to clause 20 (b) --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    The first one is clause 20 (b). Is that right?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
    Pardon?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    The conviction is clause 20 (b)?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
    Yes. The Hon Member was going by clause 20(a) that is why he was not following the argument.
    The argument is that, if clauses 20 (a) and (b) state that they are not supposed to get it, if clauses 18 (a) and (b) should hold, then when you come to clause 20 (b) it should hold; it should apply. This is because an error could have been made, I could have falsified my age when I applied under clause 18, so that should be covered at clause 20 (c).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Are you all right with the explanation? Very well. Then let me put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 20 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 21 -- Notice to Commissioner- General.
    Mr Avedzi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 21, subclause (2), paragraph (a), line 1, delete “may” and insert “shall”.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee thinks that, we should make it mandatory for the Commissioner-General to carry out an audit of the warehouse of the manu- facturer. Therefore, “may” make it discretionary. Mr Speaker, “shall” makes it mandatory.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 21 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 22 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 23 -- Approved warehouse.
    Mr Avedzi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 23, subclause (4), line 1, before “accommodation” insert “office”.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition will then read 12:45 p.m.
    “The manufacturer shall provide the officer with appropriate office accommodation at or within the warehouse to the satisfaction of the Commissioner-General”.
    Mr Speaker, “accommodation” here does not define clearly what it means to be provided to the Commissioner-General, but the intention here is that, the manufacturer shall provide an office accommodation for the Commissioner- General's staff to stay and do their duty in the warehouse.
    Mr Speaker, I so move.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 23 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 25 -- Failure to register.
    Mr Avedzi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 25, delete and insert the following:
    Failure to register:
    (1) A person who carries on a business of manufacturing excisable goods in the country without registering as a manufacturer commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to excise duty payable in relation to the excisable goods or to term of imprisonment of not more than one year or to both.
    (2) In addition to the penalty provided under subsection (1):
    (a) the person shall pay a penalty of not more than two times the amount of excise duty payable in relation to the excisable goods; or an amount of not less than five hundred currency points and not more than one thousand currency points, which- ever is higher; and
    (b) the Commissioner-General may authorise the for- feiture of goods, raw materials, apparatus, uten- sils and other materials which in the opinion of the Commissioner-General can be used in the manufacture of excisable goods.”

    Mr Speaker, the purpose of this new rendition is to make the intention clearer than it is in the Bill.

    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just following the Bill as it is rolling out. But I am just juxtaposing what we are doing here with the provision in clause 15 now called “compulsory registration”. In either way, the business is operating and the person consciously or otherwise might not have registered and the Commissioner-General then registers the person. Is it before what we are doing or after what is being done under this provision?
    Mr Avedzi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the person is carrying out business of manufacturing excisable goods without being registered, that person commits an offence. Therefore, when you go to clause 15, where we have the “compulsory registration”, once you conduct a business on manufacturing excisable goods without being registered, you commit an offence and you would suffer this penalty and the Commissioner- General would compulsorily register you.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is an issue of placement. Clause 25 seems to follow some part of clause 15, so I think drafts- persons should locate it properly. Where it is, it is just not right because it is applicable to clause 15 so the draftspersons should just --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Very well, Table Office please, take note and let the draftspersons deal with it appropriately.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:55 p.m.
    Indeed, Mr Speaker, in that context, clause 25 rather should precede clause 15 because those sanctions would be applied and there after, it is going to be compulsorily registered.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, let us leave it in the capable hands of the draftspersons. They would do that which is appropriate.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Committee saw it. If you look at the clause 15 “Failure to Register” and clause 25, the same “Failure to Register”. Clause 25 here should come to the place of clause 15 and the clause 15 come to the place of clause 25, and that would solve the problem.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Very well, we appear to be jumping the gun. Let us leave it with the experts. They would know how best to handle it. Shall I put the question? It was in the process of putting the Question that the Hon Minority Leader raised this issue.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 25 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 26 -- Manufacture outside approved warehouse.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, paragraph (a). line 1, delete “warehouse” and insert “premises” and line 2, delete “warehouse” and insert prenmises” .
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition reads:
    “A person who --
    (a) manufactures excisable goods in the country at the premises that is not an approved warehouse”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    You are asking us to change the second ware- house to premises, so look at it again.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think there is a problem there. The amendment should read:
    “Paragraph (a), line 1, delete “warehouse” insert “premises”.
    That should be the end of the amendment, there was a mistake in there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    All right, so we do not go further to the second line.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we do not go further to subclauses the second one because when you go to (b) and (c), we would do a similar thing there but for subclause (a), “warehouse” in the first line should be deleted and substituted with “premises”.
    Then the “warehouse” in the second should not be deleted, it should remain --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    So read out the new rendition.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    It would read:
    “ A person who manufactures excisable goods in a country in a premise that is not an approved warehouse or in the case of that that is not a warehouse”.
    So we delete “an approved” and substitute “a”.
    So let us take it again Mr Speaker:
    “ A person who manufactures excisable goods in the country in a premise that is not a warehouse” --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Well, I need some education. Do we use the word “premise” or “premises”?
    I think it is “premises”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26 , paragraph (b), line 2, before “that” delete “warehouse” and insert “premises” and after approved --
    No. Mr Speaker, there is a mistake in that as well. The amendment should be:
    Paragraph 2, line 2, before “that” delete “warehouse” and insert “premises” and also delete “approved”.
    So the new rendition would read:
    “ A person who stores excisable goods on which excise duty has not been paid in premises that is not a warehouse.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    So the “an” also changes to “a”.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Yes.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    All right.
    “ A person who stores excisable goods on which excise duty has not been paid in premises that is not a warehouse.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the way he defined premises, we must put “in a premises”, unfortunately. That is how we have defined premises so “in a premises”.
    Ms Safo 12:55 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the amendment seeks to delete “approved” as well and we maintain “warehouse”. But if you look at clause 23, there is a procedure that ought to be followed to get approval from the Commissioner-General on what the standard of the warehouse should be. So the “approved” there is for a purpose.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, can you look at the interpretation column. If you look at the interpretation column, at page 21, “warehouse” means “a place approved by the Commissioner- General for …….” So it is implied.
    Ms Safo 12:55 p.m.
    Very well, thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    All right thank you.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on that note, the head note of 26 would have proposed an amendment to delete “approved”, as well.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us go step by step. You have proposed an amendment to clause 26 (b). Let us put the Question to Members and then after that you can move the proposed amendment to the subtitle.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Now, Hon Chairman can you propose your amendment for the title?
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I want to do the third amendment before we come back to the head note.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Avedzi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, paragraph (c), line 2, before “that” delete “warehouse” and insert “premises” and also delete “an approved” and insert “a”.
    So the new rendition would read:
    “ A person who removes excisable goods on which excise duty has not been paid from a premises that is not a warehouse”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, closing phrase, line 3, delete “or” and insert “and in addition”.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition would then read 1:05 p.m.
    “Shall pay an administrative penalty equal to two times the amount of duty payable in relation to the excisable goods to the Com- missioner-General and in addition commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three times the amount of excise duty payable in relation to the excisable goods or to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year or to both.”
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not too sure about the location of the phrase “commits an offence”. This is because any indulgence involving (a), (b) and (c), amounts to a commission of an offence. So, a person who engages in (a), (b) or (c) commits an offence and shall pay an administrative penalty, et cetera. Then the other would follow. This is because, it is an offence that you are

    indicating in (a), (b) and (c). That should be the situation of the commission of the offence.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    So, can you give us a rendition or you want the Hon Chairman to do that?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman is not disabled even though I saw him yawning a few minutes ago; I know he is not disabled. So, let him move the amendment.
    Mr Avedzi 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I want the Hon Minority Leader to give us the new rendition and if it is something that I can accept, I would go ahead and accept it. So Hon Minority Leader, please, come.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, after subclauses (a), (b) and (c), you begin by saying “commits an offence and shall pay” --
    Mr Avedzi 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am getting the import of what the Hon Minority Leader is saying. If you commit the (a), (b), (c), you are being punished by giving an administrative penalty equal to two times the amount involved. In addition, you would now be punished as if a criminal act -- Where “commits an offence” comes in --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I see where the Hon Leader is going. I think what he is suggesting is that after (c), we should begin with “commits an offence” up to “a term of imprisonment and shall pay” then that part comes later. This is because doing (a), (b) and (c) is an offence and it is liable on summary conviction to all those things.
    So I think the addition should be “in addition shall pay an administrative penalty”. If we construct it that way, it would be better. That is what the Hon Leader was trying to say.
    Mr Avedzi 1:05 p.m.
    I think when we do it that way, it is also good because this is a revenue issue to enable the Com- missioner-General to first of all, take some revenue as we go through the court processes and the rest, which takes a longer process, we need the revenue. So on first spot, once you are caught, you would pay 200 per cent of the tax involved and then the court processes follow.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe if we accept the principle involved, that any involvement in what has been captured as (a), (b) and (c) amount to breaches and the breaches constitute an offence. Then ensuing from that, you would be required to pay an administrative penalty and after that, that is further, you are then liable to summary conviction.
    You are saying that we should begin with the payment of those amounts stated first before you suffer the conviction but I am also saying that, when you indulge in (a), (b) or (c) you have committed an offence. So, we should have a way to structure it in a better way. Once we accept the principle, I guess we can leave it to the draftspersons.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    But Hon Member, do you not think that it would make it easier for criminal prosecution after you have paid the administrative penalty, that it can be used in court against you in the course of a criminal trial? I do not know.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I am saying, we are just looking at how to better capture it. The point at issue is
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Very well. In that case, can we refer it to the draftspersons to couch it the way it will capture the sense that we have as we speak now?
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, we would prefer that the drafters take a look at that provision and see how best to place it. So, do we put the Question or we defer it?
    Mr Agbesi 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can put the Question.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    But with the rider that the draftspersons would take a look at it and polish it up for us.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to propose an amendment to the Head- notes, that we delete “approve” in the Headnotes. We now have the Headnotes as “manufacture outside warehouse” -- [Interruption] -- we did that?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    “Manufacture outside a warehouse” -- yes there must be the article.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 26 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 27 -- Failure to enter into bond or lodge security.
    Mr Avedzi 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, delete and insert the following:
    “Failure to enter into bond or lodge security
    (1) A person who--
    (a) manufactures excisable goods in the country or enters excisable goods for home use without having entered into a bond or lodge a security with the Commissioner-General; or
    (b) enters for home use excisable goods manufactured in the country without complying with section 7 (4) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two times the amount of excise duty referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) or to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year or to both.
    (2) In addition to the penalty provided under subsection
    (1)the person shall pay a penalty equal to--
    (a) two times the amount of excise duty payable on the excisable goods entered for home use during the time when the person did not enter into the bond or lodge a security as required, or
    (b) two times the amount of excise duty payable by the person on each non-compliant entry of excisable goods for home use where subsection (1)(b) apply.”
    Mr Speaker, this is to make the section as we have in the Bill clearer, and to introduce an administrative penalty as well as a criminal offence, and make it a bit punitive.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    I have no difficulty, but this suggests that clause 26 should be done in this manner. By this logic, I think that is how clause 26 should be captured, so that it would be consistent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    All right thank you very much.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just a little bit of cleaning up and it is in respect of subclause 1(a)
    “ -- a person who manufactures excisable goods in the country or enters excisable goods for home use, without having entered into a bond or” “lodged”, not “lodge” a security with the Commissioner- General” -- not “having lodge a security with the Commissioner General”
    But the second one, because he used the word “did”, I guess that would be all right with the use of the word “bond” in respect of subclause 2(a). I guess that one would be all right.
    The “lodge” should be all right in subclause 2(a), but the first one; subclause 1(a) should be “lodged”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well, I think it is in order
    Yes?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 27 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill
    Clause 28 -- Failure to give notice.
    Mr Avedzi 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28 delete and insert the following:
    “Failure to give notice
    (1) A manufacturer who fails to give notice to the Commissioner- General as required under this Act commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two hundred penalty units for each failure or to a term of imprison- ment of not more than six months or to both.
    (2) In addition to the penalty provided under subsection (1) a manufacturer shall pay a penalty of not more than five hundred currency points for each failure.”
    Mr Speaker, the rationale, behind this is to make the penalty for failure to give notice stiffer, so that the compliant should be able to ensure that they comply with the law by notifying the Commissioner- General anytime they need to give notice to the Commissioner-General.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
    -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Sorry?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what is the purported two hundred penalty units, and five hundred currency points? I thought what obtains here is the two hundred penalty units. So, it is a repetition, but the other one that has been raised is the currency points.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon K. T. Hammond?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my worry is slightly different. We seem to be imposing double penalty in this section, is that right? Is that constitutionally proper? We have the person either paying a fine or go to prison for the offence, and in addition to that you said in subsection (b) in addition to criminal offence and the fine, you are also to pay double whatever, which they told me is called administrative -- what is that supposed to me? [Interruption]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee? you want to scare people from even indulging in it but you have a point. Is it not double jeopardy? That is what he is asking.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    I deliberately stayed away from the use of the “double jeopardy” thing, because Mr Speaker, appreciate that that connotes slightly a different thing. But I would still want to understand, what is the meaning of this?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    You commit a crime and you get administrative penalty.
    Mr Avedzi 1:15 p.m.
    The meaning is that, K. T. Hammond, we want to make it stiffer, so if the proposal is that we make the first one administrative, I would agree with that, but the intention is to make it stiffer. So that if one is administrative, once you agree to pay administrative, and you go
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    No! Mr Speaker chooses to put it as double jeopardy which you understand differently, but the point is this, that you cannot --
    Mr Avedzi 1:15 p.m.
    How do you know how I understand “double jeopardy”?
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    You do not understand double jeopardy.
    Mr Avedzi 1:15 p.m.
    You said I understand it differently. I understand it the way you understand it.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    If you understand it the way I understand it, then we are in business, so let us deal with what we have, the clause 28.
    What I am saying -- I am trying to get you to explain. You do not seem to be able to do that. If you cannot do it, then take one of the two. You cannot have the two.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    Why not?
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    Because the court would not be happy with this.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    That is their business.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    You say it is their business.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    We are making it.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    Wait for a minute.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Please allow him to land, I would call you. Let him finish his argument.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    Wait for a minute, if the suggestion is that, we would -- [Interruption] -- Would you let me complete?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, please address the Chair.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    We sit in here to legislate for the court to adjudicate over. We must take cognisance of what the law is or what we understand the law to be. We do not simply just do things and -- [Interruption] I think it is illegal.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    You think? Show us why it is legal.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    Why it is illegal is that, you are going to visit the person who has committed the offence with the two criminal sanctions.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    This is not a criminal sanction.
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    The first one, you said it is criminal -- [Interruption] It is still a punishment.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    But it is not criminal -- [Interruption]
    Mr Hammond 1:15 p.m.
    I am speaking into the microphone, what do you think I am doing? -- [Laughter] Mr Speaker, they do not understand, and they will not let me teach them, Mr Speaker, they would allow you to teach them. So, you probably would take it up from --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    No! No! The point that Hon K. T. Hammond is making is that, you are punishing the person twice for one offence, that is the simple point that he is raising; that you described one as an administrative kind of punishment and the other one, a regular criminal court process, but it might end up punishing that person twice for a single offence. That is what he is drawing our attention to.
    We can take note of it while we go along, this is because, we have a number of such forms of punishments. Let us take a look at it, discuss it and then we would be in a better position to address the issues that he has raised rather than seek to argue that point too exhaustively. So, let us take note of it, so that we can address it as we go along.
    So, we are at clause 28, is that it? Yes, the amendment has been proposed so I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    So we would put the Question with regard to Clause 28 as amended standing part of the Bill.
    Clause 28 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill
    Clause 29 --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it would seem to me that because we have disjuncted subclauses (1) and (2) in clause 28, we may have to repeat the opening of subclauses (1) and (2): “A manufacturer who fails to give notice to the Commissioner-General as required under this Act commits an offence and is liable to a summary conviction of . . .
    Then we say in addition to the penalty provided a manufacturer shall pay -- which manufacturer -- a manufacturer who fails to give notice to the Commissioner-General.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in that case it should be “the manufacturer.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Very well. Very well, the manufacturer.
    So we move on, clause 29?
    Clause 29 -- Failure to provide accommodation.
    Mr Avedzi 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 29, Headnote, after “provide” insert “office”.
    So, the new Headnote would be “failure to provide office accommodation.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 29, line 3, delete “one hundred penalty units” and insert “five hundred currency points”.
    Mr Speaker, it is to make the punishment stiffer and to serve as deterrent to the manufacturers. Mr Speaker, I so move.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    This is a consequential amendment, since the Chairman proposed an amendment to the Headnote “failure to provide office accommodation”, the same should affect line 1 of clause 29: “A manufacturer who fails to provide office accommodation …” So they should insert “office” before “accommodation”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Very well. Let me go over it.
    Clause 29 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just a little amendment, I do not know whether the last line in clause 29 should not then accordingly read: “the manufacturer who fails to provide that accommodation”, because we are talking about the office accommodation. “That accommodation”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Instead of “the” --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Instead of, ‘the accommodation' --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Well, then let us let it remain as it is.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Well, I think the Chairman is waving a blue flag at me that he has won, so -- [Laughter]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Very well. Clause 29 as variously amended accordingly stands part of the Bill.
    Hon Members, looking at the time and the amount of work we have been able to do, I would want to propose that we bring the Consideration stage to a close for today.
    So, the Mace be put upright. I direct that the Consideration Stage be brought to a close for today.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to propose that due to those items that we are flagging and in order also to speed up the work, I would like to propose that if you can direct that we form a small group as a winnowing group to take this, so that we can move faster when we come to the Consideration stage. It is a proposal that --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    I have no problem with it, except that I have realised that there is a magic about the word winnowing. At the end of the day nothing happens. But I have no problem directing that some winnowing be done with regard to those portions of the Bill which have been flagged or differed so that we can arrive at some consensus.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority leader?
    Mr A. A. Agbesi 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the House do adjourn to tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Yes, any seconder?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion I would want the Deputy Majority Leader to take cognisance of the fact that there are two Deputy Ministers for Finance here. And in consideration of what we have done during Consideration stage, they should take that into account.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    I do not know whether you are speaking in parables? [Laughter]
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the two Deputy Ministers fully understand my message. In consideration of what we have done during Consideration Stage -- I think they fully understand the import of my message.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt, these considerations relate to several outstanding percentages and decimal points and so on. They should know that, for the avoidance of doubt.
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    ADJOURNMENT 1:25 p.m.