Debates of 23 Jul 2015

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 10:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you, a distinguished delegation from the British House of Commons and Transparency International who are here on a two-day official visit to interact with Hon Members of our Committees on Public Accounts and Defence and Interior, as part of an ongoing collaboration between the two Parliaments.
They arrived in the country last night and will hold a workshop with the two Committees at the International Con- ference Centre today and tomorrow on defence and security and parliamentary scrutiny.
The delegation comprises:
Hon Madeleine Moon -- MP (Labour)
Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson -- MP (Democratic Unionist Party)
Hon Simon Danczuk -- MP (Labour)
Ms Eve Samson -- Clerk, Committee on Standards
Sir Stewart Eldon KCMG Obe -- (Senior Advisor, Transparency International, UK)

Ms Amira El-Sayeed -- Africa Programme Head (Acting), Trans- parency International

Ms Mariam El-Azm -- Deputy Head of International Outreach and accompanying Secretary, CPA, UK

Hon Members, on your behalf and on my own behalf, I wish them fruitful interactions and a pleasant stay in the country.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, we have two Votes and proceedings for correction.
  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 21st July, 2015.]
  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 22nd July, 2015]
  • Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, we also have the Official Report of Wednesday, 15th July 2015 for correction.
    Any corrections?
    Mr Isaac Osei 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, column 2723, where my name starts, third line, last word, it should be “avert” instead of “advert”.
    There are other minor corrections, which I believe, I could take up with the Table Office.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, in the absence of any further correction, the Official Report of Wednesday, 15th July, 2015 as corrected is adopted as the true record of proceedings.
    Hon Members, we have one Urgent Question standing in the name of the Hon Member of Parliament for Akim Swedru.
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is not in the House; his deputy is here.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is engaged in official assignments and currently, he is not in the House.
    We would ask your permission for the Hon Deputy Minister to answer the Question on his behalf.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Minority Chief Whip?
    Mr Dan Botwe 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have no objection.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well --
    Hon Member for Akim Swedru, you have the floor.
    URGENT QUESTION 10:50 a.m.

    MINISTRY OF WATER 10:50 a.m.

    RESOURCES, WORKS AND HOUSING 10:50 a.m.

    Mr Nyarko Osei 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether he is aware that Akim
    MrAhi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not aware that Akim Swedru was to benefit from the ongoing project. What I know is that, the facility was taken to supply water for Akwatia, Akim Oda and Winneba.
    Mr Isaac Osei 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am surprised the Hon Deputy Minister said that he was not aware. From his own Ministry, the records are there. He does not need any magical memories -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are supposed to ask a supplementary question.
    Mr Isaac Osei 10:50 a.m.
    All right.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister -- he claims they have a project and when funds are available, they will also give Akim Swedru water.
    In the meantime, what is the Ministry doing to strengthen the current Community Water Project which is now supplying the entire Akim Swedru Constituency?
    Mr Ahi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, what we are doing currently is to ration the water available in the community. We know that it is not enough.That is why we are sourcing for funds to ensure that we expand the facility to cater for the water needs of the people.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have a lot of work to do today. As you are aware, this is a constituency-specific Question. Therefore, that brings us to the end of Question time.
    Hon Deputy Minister, we thank you for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
    At the commencement of Public Business --
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Second Reading of the Immigration Service Bill,
    2015.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are the Papers ready to be laid? Item number 5?
    MrAgbesi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairmen are still working on the Papers in item number 5. That is why we would want to take item number 8.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, item numbered 8 -- The Hon Minister for the Interior?
    Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to seek your permission for the Hon Deputy Minister to take the Motion on behalf of his Minister.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, the Hon Minister has written that he is travelling outside the jurisdiction; it is not with regard to this Question. He has filled the Leave of Absence Form, which I have approved, for him to see to very urgent matters in the Republic of South Africa. So, he is not in the jurisdiction. I am aware he wrote and filled the Leave of Absence Form about two weeks ago.
    Hon Minority Chief Whip?
    Mr Dan Botwe 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, once you are well informed about that -- This is because after Talensi, the Hon Minister for the Interior has not been appearing in the House to answer Questions.
    But once you said he has gone through the process, we have no objection.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    On this occasion, I can confirm that it is on medical grounds.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister, item numbered 8 -- Motions.
    BILLS -- SECOND READING 11 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister for the Interior, you have to do more than that -- [Laughter.]
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, to begin with, the Hon Deputy Minister must learn to address you properly. So, let him begin afresh.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, you are moving a Motion and you want the House to adopt the Motion for you. So, you have to explain to the House why it should be adopted or approved by the House.
    Mr Agalga 11 a.m.
    Very well. Mr Speaker, I will take it again.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Immigration Service Bill, 2015 be now read a Second time.
    Mr Speaker, the justification for the Immigration Service Bill, 2015 includes the enlarged nature of the functions of the Ghana Immigration Service over the years.
    Mr Speaker, the Service, as it is now, is unable to support its service delivery effectively in responding to the evolving administrative and operational dynamics of migration management. While the number of officers employed in the Service has increased exponentially, the progression of these officers has been stunted due to the fact that the highest rank in the Service has been capped as “Director of Immigration.”
    In this Bill, however, the hierarchical command structure of the Service is raised to Controller-General, which is two ranks higher than the current rank. Officers in the Service will thus get the opportunity to rise two steps higher.
    Moreover, Mr Speaker, this new hierarchy puts the Service at par with other security services within the country and other sub-regions, notably, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Prisons Service, et cetera.
    Mr Speaker, the Immigration Service Bill seeks to expand the operational structures of the Service by creating more departments, sections and units to support the three existing directorates. This will invariably provide for increase and command effectiveness and efficiency of the Service.
    A change which is worthy of note is the increase in the numerical strength of the governing body of the Service.The Bill has ensured that the membership consists of personalities of diverse backgrounds and experience, which would help to address the challenges of the modern day immigration service.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Frederic F. Baffour) 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion.
    Introduction
    The Immigration Service Bill, 2015 was presented to Parliament and read the First
    time on Thursday, 26thMarch, 2015 by the Hon Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr James Agalga. In accordance with article 106(4) and (5) of the Constitution and Order 158 of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the Bill to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report.
    The Committee expresses gratitude to the Hon Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr James Agalga, and officials from the Ghana Immigration Service, Attorney- General's Department, Fair Wages Department, the National Security Secretariat and other security agencies, who attended upon it. The Committee hereby acknowledges individuals including Hon Members of Parliament who submitted memoranda to enhance deliberations.
    Reference
    The Committee referred to the following documents during its delibera- tions:
    i. The 1992 Constitution
    ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment
    iii. The Immigration Service Bill, 2015
    iv. Immigration Service Act, 1989,
    (PNDCL 226)
    v. Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573)
    vi. Immigration (Amendment) Act, 2012 (Act 848)
    vii. Immigration Service Regulations,
    2001 (L. I. 1691)
    Background
    Prior to the passing of the Immigration Service Act, 1989 (PNDC Law 226), the GIS was a department under the Ministry of the Interior.
    It became an autonomous Service after the promulgation of the law. PNDC Law 226 limited itself to the structure of the Service only, excluding issues of its mandate and functions.
    Its operational mandate was therefore inferred from the provisions of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) which provides for the admission, residence, employment and removal of foreign nationals and other related matters. The mandate was further given effect by the passage of the Immigration Service Regulations, 2001 (L.I. 1691).
    Other migration related high level decisions and laws have been passed in the course of time. Notable among them is the Cabinet decision in 2006 to entrust border patrol to the Service. This led to the establishment of the Border Patrol Unit in 2006. The Immigration (Amendment) Act, 2012 (Act 848), criminalised migrant smuggling and prescribed the appropriate penalty for the offence.
    The Ghana Immigration Service Board which performs an advisory and supervisory role, is the highest authority of the Ghana Immigration Service. The Director of Immigration, who is respon- sible for the general administration of the Service, is ably assisted by three (3) Deputy Directors in-charge of Finance and Administration, Operations and Command Post, and Legal, Research and Monitoring.
    Together, they constitute the GIS Directorate. The Directorate and selected Senior Officers drawn from Headquarters, Greater Accra and Tema Regions, and Kotoka International Airport (KIA), form the GIS management team.
    Presently, aside the Headquarters, there are 11 regional commands, 42 district offices and 42 approved entry points as per the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
    Operationally, however, there are over 56 recognised entry points distributed within 14 sector commands, with countless unapproved routes that are constantly being monitored.
    Object of the Bill
    The purpose of the Bill is to re-enact the Immigration Service Act, 1989 (PNDCL 226) to address current challenges being faced by the Immigration Service.
    The Bill clearly spells out the functions of the Service, as its operations have seen some marked expansion over the years and these additional roles need to be regularised.
    Furthermore, the Bill seeks to expand the operational structures of the Service by creating more departments, sections and units to support the three existing directorates.
    Observations
    The Committee recognises the evolving mandate of the GIS within the dynamics of contemporary migration which is rather complex. Hitherto classified as a sending and transiting country of migrants, Ghana is today labelled as a sending, transiting and a destination country. This and many other issues have informed the continuous expansion of the scope of work and the assumption of additional responsibilities by the Service.
    The establishment of the Border Patrol Unit, Document Fraud Expertise Centre, Migration Management Bureau, Enforce- ment and Intelligence Bureau are but a few of the manifestations of increasing responsibilities.
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC--Wa West) 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion for the Bill to be read the Second time.
    My comments have to do with, first of all, the importance of raising the level of the head of the Ghana Immigration Service. This is because if you look round the sub-region, the security agencies, as we know, play by sizes; they play by titles.
    So, if we have the Director of the Ghana Immigration meeting the Controller of another country, then we have lowered his position. The people cannot relate to him properly. But this elevation should not just be about titles, it should also be about the ability to measure up to the level that we are raising him --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member for Wa West, is it not the fact that one is the head of the institution that matters? Is it in the name or how one is called? Is how a person is called important?
    Mr Chireh 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in fact, it is very important because if somebody is called; “a Director” and another is called “a Director-General,” when they meet, because the “general” is added --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    But if one is the Director- General and he is the head and another is also a Director and he is also the head, then what is the difference?
    Mr Chireh 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the difference is that one has an enhanced position and that is what the Bill indicates that once --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    What about if I am a “Director” and my salary and benefits are more than the person who calls himself “Director -General” and we are all heads of an institution?
    Mr Chireh 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the security services, the titles are very important. In the Military or the Police Service, if you even refer to them as lower rank than they are; you are in trouble. That is why I am saying this, it is because they are within the security services and it is important that we make sure they have equivalent relationship with the other people.
    More importantly, they have a very big role in terms of making sure that people who are in this country are here legitimately. Those who are asking for quotas to work, they have the responsibility. So, we must be doing something to improve the Service, and I am happy that this Bill has come, so that they would be motivated. We are creating more divisions; we are making them more specialised, so that they would be focused on their job.
    If they do so, Ghana stands to benefit from this Bill that we are passing for the Ghana Immigration Service. If we do not have better arrangements for people, we do not expect them to perform well. I am urging that they should look at the recruitment also to ensure that qualified people get into the Service and provide the services that we need.
    On this note, I support this Motion and urge all of us to support it.
    Maj. Derek Oduro (retd.) (NPP -- Nkoranza North): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion on the Immigration Service Bill that is up for the consideration of the whole House.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to add very few words.This Bill is long overdue, in the sense that in the olden days, border responsibility was the work of the border
    guards who were part of the Ghana Armed Forces.
    Mr Speaker, border guards used weapons to take care of our porous borders, chasing smugglers and making sure that contraband goods did not enter or leave the country.

    Mr Speaker, it is time for us to enact a law for the Ghana Immigration Service to use weapons at the borders to effectively perform their duties.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister even mentioned the rank equivalent. Mr Speaker, how can one be the head of an institution with his or her counterparts and one is two steps below the head of the other institutions? When you go for meetings, they are looked down upon.The Bill seeks to bring them at par with their counterparts. That is one of the importance of this Bill.

    Mr Speaker, the Ghana Immigration Service is performing so many functions which are not backed by law. This Act would give them legal backing for them to implement the duties that they perform. In the event of making them good in the international best practices, I believe that this law would put them in a good position for other institutions of the same status all over the world to accept that Ghana is also in the best practices of immigration duties and responsibilities.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Very well. I will take the Hon Deputy Majority Whip, then I will go to the Hon Member for Bekwai and then after that, I will get the sense of the House.
    Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (NDC -- Banda) 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given me to also support the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, a cursory look at the Report before us, in particular, paragraph (3.4) and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “Presently, aside the Headquarters, there are 11 regional commands, 42 district offices and 42 approved entry points as per the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
    Operationally however, there are over 56 recognised entry points distributed within 14 sector commands, with countless unapproved routes that are constantly being monitored”.
    Mr Speaker, if today we need a security service to monitor our entry points, I think everybody should be on board to provide what is necessary to enable the Ghana Immigration Service to embark upon these services.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana has become so attractive that it is not only Ghanaians who are in Ghana; there are a lot of foreigners among us.
    Mr Speaker, if you monitor most of the television stations, the danger which the Ghana Immigration Service faces now, sometimes looking at well armed
    foreigners -- confronting galamsey operators in the forest with empty hands.
    The Hon Deputy Ranking Member has mentioned a lot. Mr Speaker, these are realities. We should support them in this way to make sure that the Ghana Immigration Service is well equipped and well armed to threaten other prospective illegal migrants from carrying out some of the activities that are being embarked upon.
    Mr Speaker, mention can be made of my constituency, that is, the Banda Constituency where the Bui Dam is located. Mr Speaker, we have spent close to US$1 billion in constructing the Bui Dam; there are a lot of illegal immigrants embarking upon galamsey operations and this has become a security threat. Mr Speaker, as I said, we have spent close to US$1billion, because the original amount was US$622,000,000, which was not enough. An additional amount was added. I am not quoting the specific figure, that is why I said “close to”.
    Mr Speaker, there are a lot of illegal immigrants embarking upon galamsey operations in those areas. Most of them are not Ghanaians and the only Ghana Immigration Service headquarters is in Jaman North, which is far away from that place.
    Mr Speaker, I think the earlier we passed this Immigration Service Bill to make sure that it is not only their hierarchical structure that is going to be enhanced -- I made a mistake yesterday to call the new entrant, Hon B. T. Baba as the former Director of the Immigration Service and he corrected me by saying that he was a “Deputy Director-General”. He further corrected me by saying that he was not a mere Deputy Director for the Ghana Prisons Service but a Deputy Director-General.
    So, Mr Speaker, when it comes to the security services, even ranks are more important than money.
    Mr Speaker, I think the earlier we passed it -- the hierarchical structure is going to increase; they are going to be well equipped; their numerical strength must also be beefed up to make sure that they are identified in every district. Gone were the days when they were only patrolling the borders. Now, the illegal immigrants are with us because of how attractive Ghana has become.
    Ghana is now an oil producing country. So, definitely, you do not expect us to be like we used to be. There would be a lot of them -- galamsey is being manned in most areas. So, we need a lot of immigration personnel to be among us, to be able to know whatever is happening within us. Who is a Ghanaian and who is not a Ghanaian? Who has a residence permit and who does not have?
    Mr Speaker, I think with these few words, I entreat every Hon Member to join hands to support the Motion to ensure that the Ghana Immigration Service is well equipped to carry one their work.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP -- Bekwai) 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to support this Motion at this stage.
    Mr Speaker, there is one thing of interest to me in this Bill. Hon Members will agree that one agency whose identity is difficult to find is the Ghana Immigration Service.
    Mr Speaker, when I was growing up, any time the head of the Ghana Immigration Service was announced, it
    was a person from another agency -- either a Commissioner of Police, a retired army officer or a prisons officer was brought in to head the agency. That may be because in the analogous relationship, immigration officers who even reach the level of directors were seen as lower in rank to their colleagues in other agencies.
    It is appropriate that we help build this institution as one unit with its own identity and culture, delivering its own mandate. The best way to achieve that is to renew its mandate, give it a new direction and help it to build a new identity and work culture.
    Mr Speaker, I happened to have spent time with the Committee when they worked on this Report and I am convinced that what we need to do is to re-energise the institution by first changing the framework, allowing new structures in order that they will be able to perform the new functions they are expected to perform.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I urge all Hon Members to support the Motion.
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support this important Motion before us. In doing so, I would want to agree with my Hon Colleagues who spoke earlier, when they talked about us strengthening the Ghana Immigration Service to be able to carry out its function.
    Mr Speaker, even as we try to get the necessary legislation to back them to be able to do their work, it is important that we equally draw their attention to many of the challenges that are faced by our country.
    Today, if we look at the sub-region and the activities here, I believe that we are very much aware that we are a very good target for people who want to migrate from
    Mr Kwame S. Acheampong (NPP -- Mpraeso) 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for offering me the opportunity to add my voice to that of all the Hon Members who spoke earlier, who called for support for this Motion.
    Mr Speaker, I am very glad that what this Bill seeks to do currently, is to help us improve upon the numerical strength
    of the governing body of the Service. In modern practice, you realise that the Ghana Immigration Service comes with diverse professionals and this Bill seeks to achieve that and it is well captured in its preamble in the memorandum.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana is subscribed to several treaties and as it has been said on the floor of this House, the data of other nationals in our country is very difficult to capture.
    Right in my neighbourhood, I have Nigerians living there and I know that they are not well captured in our data. So the primary operations of the Ghana Immigration Service and their controls are purely a security matter and I am glad that this Bill will empower them with the necessary security tools to enable the Service operate functionally as we all expect.
    Listening around, everybody is demanding and looking forward to a very efficient and modernised practice. I am very confident that sitting in through the sections of the Bill, we are going to achieve that.
    Mr Speaker, right on our borders with our neighbouring country, Togo, their immigration service carries guns. Many times, as we have had the opportunity to do oversight visits, we find the immigration personnel of our neigh- bouring country, Togo, wielding heavy armouries.
    Our immigration service just patrol our borders some approved and many unapproved routes. They only go there at the mercy of your imagination. I am very glad that this time round, this new legislation will empower them and offer them the opportunity to use arms -- one
    in self-defence of themselves as service personnel and secondly, to help them manage the borders efficiently for us.
    Mr Speaker, this again, goes to the earlier point I made. It is going to expand the Service for more improved service employment. There is going to be enhancement in employment -- reducing unemployment. We must take this serious and, as a House, look into it properly to ensure that the right legislations are effected for the enhancement of the Ghana Immigration Service for the best practice as we have all articulated.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, you want to wind up? --[Interruption] Very well, I will get brief comments.
    Hon Member for Subin, brief comments -- Then the Hon Members for South Tongu and Wenchi.
    I have got the sense of the House.
    11. 30 a.m.
    Mr Isaac Osei (NPP--Subin) 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity. As you just directed, I should make a few comments, and I would indeed, make a few comments.
    I think it is very important at this time when along our maritime borders, we have international criminals coming through in the upsurge of piracy in our waters. It is important that the Service, such as the Ghana Immigration Service, be duly empowered to work in collaboration with other security agencies, for example, the Ghana Navy, in apprehending some of these criminals who are using the porosity of our borders, not just our land borders but the international maritine borders, to enter our country.
    A point which was made by the Hon Majority Chief Whip, which I think is extremely important, is with respect to dual citizenship and the frustrations which some of our citizens who live outside the
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member for South Tongu, brief.
    Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome (NDC-- South Tongu) 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I actually would want to dwell on the Committee's Report, paragraph 5.5. There was emphasis and think it was reiterated by almost all the speakers.
    It beats my imagination, with your leave, Mr Speaker -- I read just a portion of that;
    “The Committee observed that the Service was not empowered to wield weapons in its operations. This situation has impeded smooth operations and exposed officers to great harm at the borders…”
    Mr Speaker, in fact, it is really a serious situation when you travel across the border. For instance, I do cross the Aflao border to Lome from time to time, and if you look at the counterparts of our servicemen in Togo, you would realise that they all have guns and are well equipped to be able to protect their side effectively.
    We are all aware of how sophisticated this cross-border crime is these days. Sometimes, what some are involved in, is to ensure that they outwit these men; even those who are expected to be holding guns to ward off some of these activities of these people -- You would realise that this particular call by the Bill to help assist the Ghana Immigration Service to be allowed to carry guns, is important and I think we need to support it.
    I witnessed an occasion where some -- I will not mention the nationality, but they were West Africans, who were travelling and were actually carrying very --I think they were AK-47 guns and they were trying to cross the border at the time. If it had not been the timely intervention by the Togo counterparts of these officers, they would have been able to run over our servicemen at the other side.
    So, you would realise that some of these dangers that the servicemen are almost all the time confronted with, is so important. So, I think we need to support this particular call for this Bill to go through, so that, at least, they can be motivated to continue to discharge their duties creditably.
    With these words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion.
    Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour (NPP - - Wenchi) 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to make a very small intervention here. I support the Motion. I think it is a good idea that we have titles that befit the heads of institution, so that when they go somewhere else and they are called, they could also attend.
    But Mr Speaker, I am worried about the word “Comptroller-General”. If you look at the dictionary, the “Comptroller,” is different from “Controller”. It is the person who is in charge of the financial accounts of a company or an organisation. Then the other definition is, a public official who audits government's accounts and sometimes certifies expenditure.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes?
    Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am rising to let us understand the terminologies we are using. He was talking about a “Controller”and somebody who controls public accounts. The spelling of
    that “Controller” is different from this one. Unless he is saying that both spellings are the same, it is slightly different.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    He is talking about the one with the “p”. The “Comptroller” with the “p” is the one the Hon Member for Wenchi is talking about.
    Hon Deputy Minister, would you want to wind up?
    Mr Agalga 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to express our profound gratitude to Hon Members for giving this Bill a unanimous support.
    They have all underscored the urgent character of the Bill, particularly the need to arm the Border Patrol Unit of the Ghana Immigration Service. We cannot but say a big thank you for the support.
    Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that in this era, when countries in the sub-region --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, I will want you to wind up only after thanking them. Wind up only on the issue of the “Comptroller”, so that I can put the Question.
    Mr Agalga 11:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Speaker, on the issue of the “Comptroller”, this is not the first Bill that has --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, the point that is being made is that, anytime it is used, it is for a person occupying the office of a financial nature. That is the point that the Hon Member for Wenchi is making.
    Mr Agalga 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the choice of word here is very appropriate. We have other similar Bills like the Prisons Service Bill, where the same word is used, and so, “Comptroller” is correct.
    Mr Speaker, the meaning is not different.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Are you saying that, for purposes of argument, if we made a mistake with regard to the Prison Service Bill, should we repeat the mistake with regard to the Immigration Service Bill what you are saying is true?
    Prof Gyan-Baffour 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in their own Report, the Ghana Prisons Service is “Controller-General” and not “Comp troller”. Look at your Report and you would see that the head of the Ghana Prisons Service is called “Controller-General”. What you have here is “Comptroller” which is different from “Controller”. Mr Speaker, that is for his information and I think that it is an error. So, please, they should do the right thing.
    Mr Agalga 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we shall interrogate the issue further and at the Consideration Stage, if there is the need for us to introduce some amendments, we would do so.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate.
    Question put and Motion agreed to. The Immigration Service Bill, 2015 was
    accordingly read a Second time.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon First Deputy
    Speaker to take the Chair. Yes Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what
    item are we taking?
    Mr Agbesi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number
    7.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, item
    number 7 on the Order Paper -- Motion.
    Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources?
    BILLS -- SECOND READING 11:40 a.m.

    Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Nii Osah Mills) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that, the Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014 be now read a Second time.
    The Minerals Development Fund Bill is a very important Bill. The Minerals Development Fund itself was established in 1992, by an administrative arrangement to provide financial resources for the direct benefit of mining communities to address some harmful effects of mining on affected communities and persons.
    The Fund was first administered by the Minerals Commission but the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands was later assigned the responsibility of the administration of the portion of that Fund allocated to Stools, Traditional Councils and District Assemblies.
    Mr Speaker, the time has come to ensure that there is an Act backing all this. This is because it is important to have a Fund which provides money for the use of the communities which goes to the Assemblies and provides and makes sure that the effects of mining are somehow covered by a Fund that is waiting in the wings.
    The Bill also introduces the Mining Community Development Scheme to directly sponsor socioeconomic develop- ment in communities in which mining operations take place or are affected by mining operations.
    This is a Bill which is very important for communities in which mining occurs. The object of the Fund as stipulated in clause 2, is to provide financial resources for the direct benefit of mining communities, holders of identifiable interest in land within mining areas and traditional and local government authorities within mining areas.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Question proposed.
    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister and to present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014 was laid in Parliament on Monday, 22nd December, 2014 by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Nii Osah Mills, in accordance with article 106 of the 1992 Constitution.
    The Bill was subsequently referred to the Select Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report, pursuant to Orders 125 and 188 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    Deliberations
    The Committee met with the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Nii Osah Mills and officials of the Ministry, to consider the Bill. Officials of the Minerals Commission and the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands also attended the meeting, at the instance of the Committee to assist in the delibera- tions.
    The Committee is grateful to the officials for attending upon it and for clarifying issues during its deliberations.
    Reference Documents
    The Committee referred to the following documents during itsdelibera- tions:
    i. The 1992 Constitution.
    ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment.
    iii. The Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703);
    iv. The Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2010 (Act
    794)
    v. The Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands Act, 1994 (Act
    481).
    Background Information
    Despite the enormous economic benefits that the exploitation of minerals presents to the country, the adverse economic and environmental effects of mining cannot be overemphasised. Mining operations have led to loss of livelihood, pollution of water bodies by chemicals from mining processes and loss of biodiversity.
    In recognition of the above, and in a bid to mitigate the adverse impact of mining, the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) was introduced by Government in October, 1992 to provide direct financial resources to mining communities to finance developmental projects.
    The Fund was also intended to support the activities of institutions responsible for the development of mining in the country. The MDF consisted of twenty per cent (20%) of mineral royalties paid to the State.
    Having operated the Fund under administrative arrangements for over two decades, it became imperative to provide a legal framework to ensure effective management of the Fund to realise its objects. Hence, the laying in Parliament of the Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014 by the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources for its passage.
    Object of the Bill
    The object of the Bill is to establish the Minerals Development Fund to provide direct financial resources for the benefit of mining communities and
    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 11:45 a.m.
    (d)an institution responsible for the development of mining.”
    iii. Clause 3 --Amendment proposed -- Delete paragraph (e) and insert “(e) other moneys that may become lawfully payable to the Fund.”
    iv. Clause 5 -- Amendment proposed -- Delete paragraph (e) and insert “support the policy planning, evaluation and monitoring func- tions of the Ministry in respect of mining related activities”.
    v. Clause 6 --Amendment proposed -- Subclause (1) subparagraph (ii), line 2, delete “and” after “Develop- ment”.
    vi. Clause 6 --Amendment proposed -- Subclause (1) subparagraph (ii), insert “and” after “Innovation”
    vii. Clause 6 --Amendment proposed - - Subclause (1) sub paragraph (b) add a new subparagraph (iii) as follows “(iii) Ministry of Finance”.
    viii. Clause 6 --Amendment proposed -- Subclause (1) add a new paragraph as follows “(g) a representative of the Ghana Chamber of Mines”.
    ix. Clause 6 --Amendment proposed - -Subclause (1), insert “from a mining area” after “a traditional ruler”.
    x. Clause 7 --Amendment proposed-- Paragraph (e) line 1, delete “with approval of” and insert “in consultation with”and after “publish” insert “in a daily newspaper of national circulation”.

    xi. Clause 8 --Amendment proposed-- Subclause (1), line 1, delete”period” and insert “term”.

    xii.Clause 8 --Amendment proposed- - Subclause (4), line 1, delete “other than the Chief Director”.

    xiii.Clause 10--Amendment proposed- - After subclause (2), add a new sub clause as follows:

    “(3) The Board may revoke or nullify a decision on a matter that is arrived at on a matter in a deliberation if a member con- travenes subsection (2) and benefits from the contravention”.

    xiv. Clause 11--Amendment proposed--After subclause (2), add a new sub clause as “(3) A non-member of the Board who is appointed to a Committee of the Board shall dispose to an oath of confidentiality”.

    xv. Clause 14--Amendment proposed-- Delete clause (14) and substitute a new Clause as follows:

    “Appointment of Chief Executive Officer to administer the affairs of the Fund

    14 (1) The President shall in accordance with article 195 of the Constitution appoint for the Fund a Chief Executive Officer.

    (2) The Chief Executive Officer is responsible to the Board in the performance of functions of the Chief Executive Officer.

    (3) The Chief Executive Officer shall hold office on the terms and conditions specified in the letter of appointment.

    (4) The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the day to day administration of the affairs of the Fund and the performance of the Fund under this Act.

    (5) The Chief Executive Officer is the Secretary to the Board

    (6) The Chief Executive Officer shall perform other functions related to the Fund determined by the Board.

    (7) The Chief Executive Officer may delegate a function to an officer of the Fund but shall not be relieved of the ultimate responsi- bility for the performance of the delegated function.”

    xvi.Clause 15--Amendment proposed- -Subclause (2) line 1, delete “and” and insert “or”.

    xvii.Clause15--Amendment proposed- - Add a new subclause (3) as “(3) other public officers may be seconded to the Fund or otherwise give assistance to it”.

    xviii. Clause 16-- Amendment proposed-- Delete clause 16 and insert the following:

    “16. (1) There is established by this Act a Mining Community Development Scheme for each mining community.”

    xix Clause 16-- Amendment proposed- - Add a new subclause (2) as follows:

    “(2) Where before the commence- ment of this Act a Mining Community Development Scheme

    exists in a mining community that Scheme shall be deemed to be a scheme established under sub- section (1)”.

    xx. Clause 17 --Amendment proposed- -Line 1, delete “provide for” and insert “facilitate”.

    xxi.Clause 18-- Amendment proposed -- Paragraph (c) delete “contributions” and insert “donations” and after mining companies” add “and” other related business entities”.

    xxii.Clause19-- Amendment proposed- - subclause and insert the following:”19. (1) without limiting section 11, the Board shall establish a Local Management Committee for a mining community.”

    xxiii.Clause 19 -- Amendment proposed -- Subclause (2), delete paragraph (b) and insert “(b) traditional rulers of the mining area, and”

    xxiv.Clause19 --Amendment proposed -- Delete subclause (2) paragraph (c) sub paragraph (i) line 2, after “Chief Executive Officer” and insert “of the Minerals Commission”.

    xxv. Clause 19-- Amendment proposed -- After subclause (2), add a new paragraph (d) and (e) as follows:

    “(d) one representative of an identified women's group in the community; and

    (e) one representative of an identified youth group in the community.”

    xxvi. Clause 19-- Amendment proposed -- Delete subclause (1) and insert the following:
    Mrs Gifty E. Kusi (NPP -- Tarkwa Nsuaem) 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the House to approve this Report, so that the Bill would go through the necessary stages, for it to be enacted by this House and given the assent by the President.
    This has been long overdue.We have looked at this Bill some time past. So, I am happy that now, it has come to the House for us to pass it into an Act.
    The problem of royalties -- the Development Fund and utilisation have been a problem since time immemorial and I think that with this Bill in place now, everybody would be clear in his or her mind what to do with the Mineral
    Development Fund. Because there are no strict laws or legislation governing it, District Assemblies and other bodies have had to struggle with the utilisation of this Fund. I think that with this Report and if Parliament passes the Bill, everything is going to be as we have proposed.
    I thank you for the opportunity and I know that we would speed it up. It is unfortunate that we are rising and it should have been done before we go on holidays.
    Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (NPP -- Atwima-Nwabiagya North) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I r ise to support the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy, regarding the Minerals Development Fund.
    Mr Speaker, my expectation is that, by the time or after this Bill has been passed and it becomes an Act, there would be focus on tackling the issue of land degradation and also, emphasis would be made towards re-afforestation as well.
    Mr Speaker, we all say that mining in Ghana has so much disadvantages in terms of land degradation due to the so- called galamsey and others. But, we should look at the completion of mining -- what happens to the land? This Fund must lay emphasis on putting aside a percentage of that Fund for addressing this particular issue.
    My hope and expectation is that, this would be done, so that, at least, we would have a Fund and some finances available to tackle this issue in future.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question. Unless of course, the Hon Minister wants to make a comment or two.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    The Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014 was accordingly read a Second time.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday we were on the Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014. If we can continue -- it is item number 28.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Item numbered 28 on the Order Paper -- Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014, at the Considera- tion Stage.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 11:50 a.m.

    STAGE 11:50 a.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from 22/07/ 15]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, we got to clause 4.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Magnus .K. Amoatey) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
    I would like to take the opportunity to clear some doubts that were expressed yesterday, in relation to Acts 702 and 709, as to which one were we considering.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, in the submissions, I informed the House that the Committee considered both Acts at the Committee stage.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to refer to the Interpretation Act 2009, Act 792, section 11(1). What it says there is that “An Act that has been amended”, when you are making reference to that Act, you refer to the parent Act. And therefore, the memorandum that accompanied the Bill referred to Act 702, which is the parent enactment for the Millennium Develop- ment Authority.
    Mr Speaker, some Hon Members, argued that we should be referring to Act 709 in our presentations. But what we did yesterday was perfect. We were correct by referring to Act 702 on the strength of the Interpretation Act, section 11(1), and section 12 (3). Mr Speaker, I think we were on course and we would continue from that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin -- On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, for our benefit, I would humbly crave the indulgence of the Hon Chairman to kindly read out the exact provisions he is referring to, so that all of us can follow him.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amoatey 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, section 11(1) of the Interpretation Act, Act 792 reads:
    11(1) “A reference in an enactment to any other enactment shall be construed as a reference to that other enactment as amended by or under any other enactment, including the enactment in which the reference is made.”
    Mr Speaker, section 12(3), also, reads 11:50 a.m.
    12(3) “A reference in an enactment to any other enactment shall be construed as a reference to that other enactment as amended by a provision, including the provision contained in the enactment in which the reference is made or in a later enactment”
    Mr Speaker, these are the references I made.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate the explanation of the Hon Chairman of your Committee. But probably, to understand what my Hon Colleague, opposite of the aisle has mentioned. The Hon Chairman is giving us an explanation to clear a doubt.
    Mr Speaker, he must share that doubt with us. For instance, Hon Members who were not in Parliament yesterday would need to appreciate the argument between Act 702 and 709. Some arguments were made, to which he is now seeking to dismiss, relying on the strength of the Interpretation Act. It is only fair that he tells us what doubt he wants to clear.
    I appreciate that he is relying on the strength of the Interpretation Act. But to respond to what conflict? I am sure probably, an Hon Colleague may have raised an issue on Act 702 and 709 and no reference as it is normally done; you say Act 702 into bracket as amended. That is what it is and so, if he can just give an explanation on what doubt was created. He should let us know the doubt and then he is free to clear it with his reference to the Interpretation Act.
    Mr Amoatey 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the doubt was that, yesterday, in the course of the debate, some Hon Members were referring to Act 702, sections of which had been amended by Act 709. And therefore, some Hon Members were referring to different Acts at the same time. But some of the provisions they were referring to had been amended.
    The argument was that, the memorandum referred to only Act 702 and not 709. And that is the doubt I am clearing, by saying that the parent Act, which had been amended or sections of which had been amended by Act 709, remains intact. So that, a reference to Act 702 includes the amendment for the same in Act 709.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Having cleared the air that way, I will put the Question.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin noon
    Mr Speaker, I humbly want at this stage to disagree with my brother and senior learned Colleague, in the sense that, the conclusion he arrives at is not too clear, whether it is a conclusion resulting from a presumption or an unambiguous position of the law, as read by him in the Interpretation Act.
    Mr Speaker, we have had several laws, which have been amended. Is the Hon Member saying that, a reference to a parent Act presupposes that all other amendments which stand on its own strength could be part? I do not get it. I am a bit confused and I would want him to give a better explanation, so that we
    Mr H. Iddrisu noon
    Mr Speaker, as much as I agree with my Hon Colleague, he ought to accept and understand that the Chairman of the Committee was not speaking on his personal authority. He quoted the Interpretation Act.
    Mr Speaker, you are aware, even the comment that the Hon Member has made, including my comments and whatever comments, there is an allusive judgement of the Supreme Court, that parliamentary debates are now a guide to interpre- tations. Therefore, every comment that every Hon Member of Parliament makes, would guide a Judge tomorrow to construe that particular Instrument.
    If he quoted the Interpretation Act as he rightly did, and my Hon Colleague knows very well— I know he was, of course, a very good student, that he would give words their ordinary meaning, safe when they lead to ambiguity or absurdity, and he has demonstrated that the ordinary meaning is that, because this particular amendment is not so
    substantial, he could not have qualified it and refer to it as an amendment Act. Precisely, that is what he said.
    Mr Speaker, in the Chairman's explanation, he referred to what is authoritative, that in interpreting any document in this country, ones guiding legal framework is the Interpretation Act and also, of course, the judgement. But I can understand that he may choose to be dissatisfied because he could belong to a different school of thought in terms of which leg of interpretation he would want to walk.
    But in my view, what the Chairman read would satisfy the ordinary simplistic understanding of the reading of an Instrument.
    Mr William Ofori Boafo noon
    Mr Speaker, in view of the explanation given by the Chairman, I would want him to advert his attention to the clause, which seeks to repeal section 7 of Act 702. In view of that fact, section 7 of Act 702 has been repealed by the Act 709, but the headnote in the Bill says; “Section 7 of Act 702”.
    Mr Speaker, one could go further and look at the clause which seeks to repeal section 19 A and 20 A of Act 709. Specific mention is made of Act 709 in the Bill. If we go by the Hon Member's explanation, then there should not be any reference to Act 709 at all in the Bill.
    I would want the Hon Member to reconcile his explanation with these occurrences in the Bill. This is because, if I see a headnote referring to section 7 of Act 702, I readily know that section 7 of Act 702 is the one which is being repealed and not the Act 709 which has been substituted by Act 702.
    Mr Speaker, we all know that amend- ments do not stand on their own. They form part of the principal enactment. But in this case, we have a situation where we need further interrogation, whether we would come by a second consideration to
    amend the headnote or something else. We need the Hon Member's explanation. We cannot retain it as it is. That would be bad drafting.
    Mr Frist Deputy Speaker noon
    Chairman of the Committee, I hope you followed the line of argument? Can you explain further?
    Mr Amoatey noon
    Mr Speaker, I very much appreciate the comments and enquiries of my senior learned Colleague.
    But in the first place, section 7 of Act 702, as was referred to by my senior learned Colleague was not repealed; it was substituted. So, there was a provision for the amended section 7 of Act 702 in Act 709 in reference to the Bill. The Bill mentioned all along, amendments to Act 702. Nowhere in the Bill was Act 709 mentioned, which confirms the explanation I had given, that the amendments were made on the strength of the parent Act, Act 702.
    Mr Speaker, section 19 A, as Hon W.O Boafo mentioned in the Bill, at page 5, says, and I beg to quote:
    “Section 19A of Act 702 repealed”.
    Mr Speaker, it is not referring to Act 709. So, we were very consistent and relied on Act 702 in the Bill.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin noon
    Mr Speaker, just one more clarification. Is it the case of the Chairman of the Committee that repeal and substitution have different effects?
    Mr Amoatey noon
    Mr Speaker, I would want to construe “repeal” to mean that that provision has clearly been taken out of an Instrument. But with “substitution”, it means to say that the original rendition has been substituted with a new rendition.
    Mr Frist Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, having cleared the air this way, I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Amoatey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 subclause (1), paragraph (a), sub-paragraph (v), delete and insert the following:
    “(v) one representative elected by relevant non-governmental organisations.”
    Mr Speaker, the original rendition in Act 702 referred to one representative of civil society, selected by the relevant civil society organisation through a trans- parent process.
    Mr Amoatey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are only substituting “civil society organi- s a t i on ” wi t h ” n on - g ove r n m e n t a l organisation.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Magnus Kofi Amoatey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 subclause (1), add the following new paragraph as subclause(6):
    “one representative from the private sector elected by the Association of Ghana Industries.”
    Mr Speaker, our understanding was that the policy is that, no matter the type of compact that we are dealing with under this Instrument, the Ghana Association of Industries (AGI) must be represented on the Board hence this amendment.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, I do not understand your point. With the issue concerning the deletion, are you abandoning that one or in addition to the deletion you are adding this other clause?
    Mr Amoatey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in addition to the rendition, we are adding a subclause (vi) specifically “one representative from the private sector elected by the Associa- tion of Ghana Industries.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we know AGI to be a body that has all the local businesses under its umbrella. Now, if we say that AGI should elect a representative from the private sector, what we are trying to do is that, we are limiting representation only to those who are members of the AGI. This is because there are some companies that are not members of AGI but are members of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
    There may be companies that belong to the Employers Association or other associations other than the AGI. So, it is not too clear; and if we say that AGI should elect, is it the case that AGI can go outside its membership and elect somebody? The Chairman should get it properly situated so that we could follow him.
    Thank you.
    Mr Amoatey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my quick response is that, yesterday, we passed an amendment which gave representation to the Private Enterprises Federation and its membership includes AGI, the Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Mines et cetera.They were given one represen- tation.
    In addition to that, the policy decision came that AGI must be represented on the
    Board, hence this amendment. So, whether AGI would go outside their fold to elect a representation, it is their business. They have been given a place in the law to be represented on the Board. So, how they select or elect their representation, is a matter for the AGI to handle.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, you know that this issue of freedom of association is the point that he has raised. You are free to join or refuse to join. So, it is in that respect that probably, we would want to look for one, which has a sort of wider scope of representation.
    I do not know if the Hon Member for Effutu --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:10 p.m.
    Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
    In his earlier submission, he indicated that the Private Enterprises Federation of which AGI is a member -- So, if we want to give representation to various organisations under the Private Enterprises Federation, the Hon Chairman should say so. But if, apart from that,we would want to now give special attention to AGI for the AGI to nominate, then we cannot now say that, how the AGI does it, it does not really matter. Then there is a little problem with the rendition.
    If, indeed,we want a representation from AGI, he should say so. But if we say AGI should elect from the private sector, then there is a problem with the rendition because already, we have given an oppor- tunity to the private sector, except that what perhaps, has been proposed, we would want to now give special attention to AGI. If that is the case, then he should say “a representation from AGI” or “AGI should elect one of its members”, then we are clear.
    Mr Speaker, that is my humble submission.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to persuade my Hon Colleague to abandon his opposition to this proposed amendment or probably, when I clarify, he would appreciate it.
    Mr Speaker, we do have a private sector of the country which is emerging and growing and within the private sector, we have the Private Enterprises Federation, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Mines and we have the Association of Ghana Industries.
    Mr Speaker, what the Chairman has proposed, is for the private sector, but for it to be elected by the AGI. So, it means that that seat would be occupied by someone necessarily from the private sector. And the second leg would be from the private sector, but must be a member of the AGI. [Interruption]. No! This is what I say the particular proposal seeks to achieve and I say so in my previous capacity. I invite Prof G. Y. Gyan-Baffour, the Hon Ranking Member on the Committee on Trade and Industry to assist me.
    He is very familiar with the private sector landscape. And the landscape is Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Mines, Private Enterprises Federation, AGI -- and Mr Speaker, they are a very well organised and respected entity with that advocacy for the private sector. So, for them to be given this representation on the Board, I think it is only fair.
    My difficulty was with the use of the word “elected” and not “nominated” but I am sure they would want to subject it to a competitive process where the leadership does not just, at their convenience, determine who serves on the Board. But the AGI, at a meeting, should organise for the purpose of this, would have conducted elections to get people to run for this particular position.
    So, I should think that the Chairman's amendment should stand.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Shall we hear from the Hon Member from Wenchi?
    Prof. George Yaw Gyan-Baffour 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think both Hon Members are talking about the same issue. The point from the Hon Member on this side is that, if you say that you would want a member from AGI, the rendition should say so. This rendition really makes it a bit vague, in the sense that, AGI can go and say that alright, Prof Gyan-Baffour, you are not even a member of the AGI but represent us. That is what he is concerned about. So, I think a better rendition, probably, would be “one representative from the AGI elected by the Association” and that makes it clearer, so that we would know exactly who they are looking for.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, how do you respond?
    Mr Amoatey 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate the views of Hon Gyan-Baffour, but I think there is an emphasis being placed on private sector there. AGI may comprise members from the public sector as well. But the emphasis being laid is that, the member must come from the private sector, simplicita, and not from the public sector. That person must also be a member of the
    AGI.
    Alhaji Abdul-Rashid H. Pelpuo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I tend to side with my Colleague, Hon Gyan-Baffour. The reason is that, the Private Enterprises Federation (PEF) is the umbrella organisation. So, if we ask them to choose somebody from the private
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee should explain to us the purpose of the amendment and the rationale behind it.
    Is it that we would want someone from the private sector? If that is the case, then let the umbrella private sector organisation so elect that person.
    However, if we want that person to come from the private sector but must be a member of the AGI, then we might as well say that the AGI should elect one of its members.
    I do not know whether AGI has public sector organisations like Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation (GIHOC) and Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) -- [Interruption] -- Yes.
    So, one representative elected by the AGI from the private sector. That is a member of the AGI from the private sector. That is it -- [Interruption] -- That is what they have said that we have AESL as a member of the AGI.What about the GIHOC industr ies, for instance? We want someone from AGI but who is from the private sector.
    Mr Amoatey 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we may concede to that suggestion and during the second Consideration Stage, we would move that we give representation to AGI in line with the thinking of Hon Members.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    So, if you agree with him, why do you not further amend your proposed amendment to fall in line? -- [Interruption] -- Just take some time to do that.
    Before you do that, Hon W. O. Boafo?
    Mr W. O. Boafo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the Hon Chairman should concede to these arguments because it appears that the AGI has a constituent instrument and they are asking the AGI to go beyond the constituent instrument. It would be ultra vires AGI.
    If he wants two representatives from the private sector, he should say so and then give the mandate to the PEF. If at all cost, he needs one representative from AGI, he could still go on and say that one of them should be from the AGI. Then, it becomes very simple. There is nothing wrong. Just concede and let us move on.
    Mr Amoatey 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do concede and I beg to move clause 4, (1) (vi )add the following new paragraph:
    “one representative elected by the Association of Ghana Industries.”
    I so move.
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that was not the understanding. The understanding I got from Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah was that, one, the person who is elected or selected must be a member of the AGI and also must be from the private sector. That is what I got and not just any member of the AGI.
    The person must be from the private sector because there are members of the AGI who are from the public sector. So, maybe, if he has made that clear and he did not get the rendition right, he could ask the draftsperson to do it. That is the understanding I got from him, that “(vi) the person should be from the AGI but should be from the private sector”.
    Mr Amoatey 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with this understanding then the old rendition proposed was perfect. it reads;
    “…from the private sector elected by Association of Ghana Industries”
    So, there was nothing wrong with that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    If I understood what the Hon Member for Sekondi said, it is like reversing the rendition. If you could say that it should be done by the AGI but the person must come from the private sector.
    Do you get it? The person must come from the private sector --
    [Interruption] -- Yes Hon Minister?
    Alhaji Pelpuo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wonder whether there are members of AGI who are not in the private sector. AGI means Association of Ghana Industries. These are people who are committed to industry and carrying out domestic production of goods and services in Ghana --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Minister, that is why he asked for example AESL. AESL is a member of AGI but it does not belong to the private sector.
    Alhaji Pelpuo 12:20 p.m.
    But do they belong to
    AGI?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Yes. So, there are quite a number of them who are members of the AGI but do not belong to the private sector.
    Alhaji Pelpuo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, AESL, GIHOC and all these other organisations are business organisations which are also in the private sector. There may be some public interest but they belong to the private sector. That is how come they belong to AGI. -- [Interruption] -- No! Even if they are publicly owned, they are involved in the private sector enterprise.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, if this thing is going to drag on, we might as well just defer it and then make some progress.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Nitiwul 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is about the ownership and not about the work they do. That is what we have talked about. If GIHOC industries are publicly owned -- [Interruption] They are publicly owned. Even though they are an organisation which does industry things, they are publicly owned. What they have said is that, the person must be a member of AGI and should come from the private sector.
    If we say that AGI should select a private person, it can select somebody who is not a member of the AGI though he is from the private sector. We are trying to avoid that interpretation. We are trying to say that the person so selected must be a member of the AGI and must also come from the private sector to make things very simple.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee, can you give a rendition which would capture this sense?
    Mr Amoatey 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1) (vi), add the following new paragraph:
    “one representative elected by the Association of Ghana Industries from the private sector”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    I think that is perfect.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Amoatey 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (5), delete.
    Mr Speaker, subclause (5), reads;
    “The Board may furnish a member of the Board referred to under subsection (4) with copies of correspondence and documents provided to the Board.”
    Mr Amoatey 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, our thinking is that, even though he is a member of the Board and has access to all documents except voting rights, subclause (5) becomes not too relevant because he is a member of the Board and has access to documents. We do not have to put it in the law again.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that I could have some engagements with the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Unfortunately, given the event of the day, it has not been possible to meet him.
    Mr Speaker, but I would want the Hon Chairman to have a second look at clause
    4 (1) (a) (ii). There was no amendment, but if one has a second look and Mr Speaker, I beg to quote:
    “Governing body of the Authority --
    7. (1) The Board is composed of :
    (a) not less than seven and not more than eleven voting members comprising;
    (i) a chairperson;
    (ii) a Minister or a representative of the Minister each from Ministries, Departments and Agencies whose functions are of direct relevance to the objectives and functions of the Authority.”
    Mr Speaker, if they could look at it again. This is because I thought that it should rather read;
    (ii) A Minister or a representative of the Minister from a Ministry, Department or Agency, the functions of which are of direct relevance to the objectives and func- tions of the Authority.”
    Mr Speaker, what is here is very clumsy. If the Hon Chairman was following what I said, I think that is tidier and brings out the sense better than what obtains on page 3 of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, do you get the point that he has made?
    Mr Amoatey 12:30 p.m.
    No! Mr Speaker, I am trying to figure out the submission.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, could you go over the point that you raised?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I propose that clause 4 (i) (a) (ii) should read as follows;
    (ii) A Minister or a representative of the Minister from a Ministry, Department or Agency, the functions of which are of direct relevance to the objectives and functions of the Authority.”
    Mr Amoatey 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we agree to the proposed amendment.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member for Effutu?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, kindly indulge me.
    I do not want us to go and come back. But I have noticed something on clause 4 (1) (a) (iv) and Mr Speaker, I beg to quote:
    “one representative of the private sector selected by the Private Enterprises Federation through a transparent process.”
    [Pause] --
    Mr Speaker, I rest my case because I was going to say that consistently, we have to look at it with respect to what has just been amended. But the Hon Minority Leader says that aspect was amended. So, I rest my case.
    Thank you.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 5 as advertised and Mr Speaker, I beg to quote:
    “…add ‘and any other relevant agreement.”
    Mr Speaker, I thought that we were dealing with Compact 2 and solely limiting ourselves to that. But to say, “and any other relevant agreement” --
    Mr Bernard Ahiafor 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are not yet there. We would get there, so that he can make his submission accordingly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, I am informed you are fast forwarding it; just bide your time.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 4 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 5 -- Section 8 of Act 702 amended.
    Mr Amoatey 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, paragraph (b), line 3, at end, add “and any other relevant agreement.”
    The new rendition would be:
    “review the quarterly performance of the Authority including state- ment of account of moneys disbursed from the funds of the Authority.”
    Mr Speaker, and to substitute paragraph (b) with a new paragraph (c) to read 12:30 p.m.
    “ensure adequate accountability to the stakeholders in compliance with the terms of each Compact”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, could you give us the rationale behind this proposed amendment?
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Chairman got a bit confused about moving that amendment.
    Mr Speaker, it would now read and I beg to quote 12:30 p.m.
    “(c) ensure adequate accountability to the stakeholders in com- pliance with the terms of each Compact and any other relevant agreement.”
    That is how it should be. That would then align it with the Long Title.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, are you in agreement with him?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I agree with him.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I probably seek a better explanation from the Hon Chairman or my able Hon Minority Leader. He said we should add “and any other relevant agreement.”
    My understanding was that we were focusing on Compact II, so why do we want to stretch it and make it amendable to adding any other agreement which may be relevant different from Compact II. I do not get that.
    MrAmoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, this was an issue which we took time to
    explain that the object of this amendment was to make provision for subsequent agreements or Compacts that may come on board from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and that is why there is a need to add other agreements.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    I hope Hon Member, you are satisfied with the explanation?
    Very well.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 5 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, there are no advertised amendments to these two clauses -- Sorry, Hon Member?
    Mr Boafo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not submit any proposal for amending clause 6 but I would want to find out from the Hon Chairman, that in clause 6, he has limited the tenure of some members of the Board to two and a half years and the general one is five years. But if one goes further down to read it, it is stated that, the representatives of the private sector whose tenure would be for two and a half years --
    In the first place, I would want to find out why he has chosen to limit the tenure of the private sector to two and a half years instead of five years.
    Secondly, if he is referring to the private sector, whether he is dealing with it in plural or it is just the singular. This is because we do not have only one representative for the private sector, we have more than one. We have the Private Enterprises Federation and the Associa- tion of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs). I would want to find out whether they are all covered by the two and a half years?
    MrAmoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the understanding. That, the representatives from the Private Enterprises Federation, NGOs and the other private sector are all coming from the private sector and they must all have that two and a half years tenure except those who are coming from institutions, they have a five-year term as it is in the law.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    What he wants to know is, what is the rationale behind it? Should I use the word “dichotomy”? What is the rationale behind the difference in tenure?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the rationale may include the fact that, some of these private sectors may have different periods or modes of electing their officers and there should be room for new members who have been elected into places to come, so that as much as possible, the private sector would have a much wider representation.
    Mr Boafo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, then it should be the representatives from the private sector and not the representative. I would make that amendment and leave it with the draftspersons to deal with that.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Chairman, whether the Chief Executive (CE) is among those who are to serve for five years or he is excluded. He is a member of the Board and whether he is also to serve for five years or he can serve for more than five years.
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we go to the interpretation section, we see that the lifespan of a Compact is five years and if a CE has been appointed for a particular Compact, then it presupposes that he is serving a term of five years. So, the CE as a member of the Board, would serve the full five year -term.
    Mr Boafo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have been made to understand that this law is not limited to a single Compact but it would serve several Compacts and is he saying that all the Compacts would perpetually be for five years?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the thinking is that, each Compact would have a separate Board constituted for it and therefore, the CE of a new Compact would be a member on the new Board.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Boafo, are you satisfied?
    Mr Boafo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it appears our Hon Chairman is not readily prepared to yield to some of the suggestion. So, I am satisfied.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    Clauses 6 and 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 8 --Section 19 of Act 702 amended.
    MrAmoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, subclause (1), paragraph (d), delete and insert the following:
    “any moneys that are approved by Parliament.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, sometimes we want to know why the proposed amendment.
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the thinking of the new law, we believe that there may be a time when Parliament may vote moneys for the utilisation of a particular Compact and that is the reason we are making provision for any moneys that may be approved by Parliament.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even for those Compacts, the moneys of which are coming from the United States of America (USA), there may be a need for some administrative expenses to be borne by the Government of Ghana, which moneys may have to be approved by Parliament. The original construction is approval by a Minister; it is not the Minister who does the approval; the Minister does the allocation and Parliament does the approval. So, one would want to capture that sense in this construction. I guess that is the meaning of what he is proposing to do.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    So, what rendition do we give it?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member is up in support of the rendition that we have here but giving further explanation as to why this rendition is --
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 8 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Boafo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was on my feet for clause 8 but you have put the Question. I wanted to raise an issue under clause 8 (2) where the opening of an account is subject to the rules contained in agreements of other development partners. I would want to find out from the Hon Chairman why the rules contained in the agreements with other develop- ments partners should be a condition precedent to pass the opening of an account under a compact.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfor- tunately, I did not get the Hon Member clearly. If he may please, repeat his query.
    Mr Boafo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we all know the source of the compact, that it is coming from the US Government. I do not understand why that arrangement with the US Government -- if we have any money to open an account, should it be subject to the rules contained in any other agreement with a development partner?
    Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfortunately, we do not get what the Hon Member is saying. Please, be very clear, so that we follow you.
    The Hon Chairman has not heard you and I have also not heard you. We do not follow what you are saying.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, I think that we were just being a little bit liberal. The Question has been put and the Vote has been taken. But we would still have room for you if the need arises.
    I do not know if the Hon Chairman understands what you are saying because I was having discussions with the Clerks- at-the-Table. So, if you are not ad idem, then we might as well move on and then the window of opportunity that would be opened to you, you could look at it.
    I am sorry about it but this is the state of affairs.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee, what do you say?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfor- tunately, I did not hear the question well -- [Interruption.]
    I did not hear his submission to react to it. If he may be louder or clearer, so that I could respond to his submission.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    It appears you have taken up quite a bit of our time. But already the Question has been put, so our hands are tied.
    Hon Boafo, you will have an opportunity to put across a proposed amendment at the next stage.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even though you have put the Question, I would want to count on the flexibility that is normally accorded at the Consideration Stage, to let us re-visit what we have just done in respect of clause 8.
    For subclause (1) (d), we have just effected an amendment and the amendment is to the effect that the moneys must be approved by Parliament, which would constitute part of the Authority.
    What we just did -- “any moneys that are approved by Parliament” -- Mr Speaker, if that one should hold, then clause 3 in the amendment Bill would become superfluous because clause 3 provides that:
    “Parliament shall approve such moneys as may be required of the Government under each Compact.”
    So, in that case, it becomes superfluous -- What is contained in clause 3.
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition the Hon Member read is clause 8:
    “Parliament shall approve such moneys as may be required of the Government under each Compact.”
    Mr Speaker, I agree and the explanation the Hon Member gave earlier -- For example, that Parliament may approve matching funds for instance, may come under that provision. But this time, we are saying that any other moneys that are approved by Parliament, which may not be covered under subclause 3.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, shall we make some progress -- clauses 9 and 10?
    Hon Members, no advertised amend- ments have been put up with regard to these two clauses. I will put the Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Chairman if the reconciliation was done in the morning. If it was done, then this one may be correct because clause 9 provides that section 19A of the principal enactment is repealed.
    Now, the principal enactment does not contain the 19 A. That is Act 702. But this one refers to the Act 709 and not Act 702. That is why I am asking if the reconciliation has been done, I would be alright with it. Otherwise, there is no 19 A in Act 702.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    In other words, what do you mean by the principal enactment? Is it Act 709 or Act 702? Which is which?
    Mr Amoatey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the principal enactment Act 702 was amended under Act 709, subclause 10:
    “The principal enactment is amended by the insertion after section 19 of the following:

    Moneys approved by Parliament.”

    And in 19A:

    “Parliament shall approve such monies as may be required of the Government under the Compact”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    So, which one are you repealing?
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are repealing the 19 A which was inserted under Act 709.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, so that is in respect of the Act 709, which sought to include this but that finds expression in Act 709 and not Act 702. Now, because of what we have just done in clause 8, where we have provided for Parliament to approve of moneys to be used by the Authority, then this one should fall because it becomes superfluous.
    I guess that is the reason he is proposing that amendment. But as I was saying, if they had done the reconciliation -- really, this one relates to Act 709. So, if we have that understanding, then Mr Speaker, you can put the Question.
    Clauses 9 and 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 11 -- Section 20 A of Act 702 repealed
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, the entire clause 11 be deleted.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, why do you want it deleted?
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is because it refers to section 20 (a) of the principal enactment as amended and which has been repealed.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, again, is the reconciliation business which we are talking about since this one relates to Act 709. But maybe, the Hon Chairman could offer further explanation on why he would want to delete it.
    This is because, section 20 (a), is on the exemption of the Authority from the payment of tax:
    “The Authority is exempted from the payment of taxes and duties specified under the Compact.”
    That is what he is deleting, and what is the reason for that?
    The Hon Chairman must be able to explain to us.
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I flag it and come back to it again?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Very well. In the meantime, I could see two Hon Members up.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo and then after that, the Hon Member for Wenchi.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the nature of MiDA is such that one cannot repeal it. Tax exemption comes with the Compact, and so one cannot repeal that part.
    Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is right. The Compact in itself would have stated somewhere that they do not have to pay taxes and duties on most of the items that they bring in. So, I do not know why we would want to repeal it. Maybe, we would have to check with the Compact and come out with the real situation.
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is why I said I would want to consult and refer to the agreement and come back to that one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    So, should we defer it?
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Yes, we would defer it.

    Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill

    Clause 13 -- Section 25 of Act 702 amended.
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, paragraph (a), line 2, delete “facilities”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    I normally would want to get the rationale behind the proposed amendment.
    Mr Amoatey 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are proposing the amendment to delete “facilities”, so that the new rendition would read:
    “(f) matters on the management of infrastructure constructed under each Compact term or any other agreement with a development partner”
    Mr Speaker, we are just removing the “facilities” so that we would be looking at infrastructure.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 13 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Members, because one of the clauses being considered has been deferred --
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a minor matter which I might want the Hon Chairman to address. It is in line 2. It is in respect of clause 14, in this case, section 26 of Act 702. [Pause.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Could you use the microphone? I cannot hear you.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was saying that you have not called clause 14. I do not know whether there is no advertised amendment to it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Yes, so, we would come to that.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    We were going back, and that is why I wanted to bring it out for the consideration of the Hon Chairman.
    The definition of “Compact Term” --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, could you allow me to announce the clause, then we would get the Table Office to give the subtitle.
    Clause 14 -- Section 26 of Act 702 amended.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to relate to the definition of “Compact Term”.
    Here, we are saying that we should substitute the definition of Compact Term as in Act 709 to bring this one, which means;
    “…each five year period commencing from the date of entry of a Compact”;
    In the earlier one, “Compact Term” was defined as'
    “… five years commencing from the date of entry into force of the Compact unless earlier terminated under the Compact”.
    Mr Amoatey 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the argument made, and it is presumed that a Compact might live shorter than five years and in which case I would go with the view of my senior Colleague.
    Mr Speaker, for now, the Compact agreement has a lifespan of five years and that is what we are capturing in this Instrument. It is possible that with the amendment we are making, subsequent agreements may last shorter than five years.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, while that may be true, I think the import of what my Leader is saying is that, the phrase, “unless earlier terminated by the Compact”, must always be there. This is because there is a provision that you could terminate it before. So, not bringing it might affect us.
    Mr Joseph Osei- Owusu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a problem with even the term “commencing from”. I think “commence” encompasses “starting from something”. We cannot say “start from”. So, I think we should use “commence”; the “from” will not be necessary. It is rather tautological and so:
    ‘“Compact term; means each five year period commencing on the date of entry of a Compact”;
    or “…commencing upon …”
    Mr Speaker, I think that would be a better rendition.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee, “commencing from” or “commencing on”? Do we leave it to the draftspersons to rectify?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, whether it is “on” or “from”, the proposal is that, at the end, we add “unless earlier terminated under the Compact”.
    Mr Amoatey 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the suggestion would be accepted.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Pardon me?
    Mr Amoatey 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was saying that we would accept the amendment proposed by the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    So, give us the rendition with that proposed amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, “Compact term, means each five year period commencing on the date of entry of a Compact, unless earlier terminated under the Compact”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not clear about the term the Minority Leader introduced -- “unless”. “Compact term” means what it means per what is written there. But he said “unless”. Could he explain a little further? This is because I am lost.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    I believe it is to make room for a period shorter than the five year-term. Am I right? The possibility of a period shorter than the five year term.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the agreement allows for the possibility of termination and if we do not bring it there, it could create a problem. So, that is the importance, otherwise, it is for five years but it could be terminated. I think the Minority Leader's rendition is in order.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Minority Leader is right but I also think it should not go beyond “unless earlier terminated”. This is because if we say “unless earlier terminated under the Compact”, the Compact was signed for five years. So, it could have been earlier terminated within that Compact. The Compact has been agreed upon and can be terminated but not within the remits of the Compact agreement. Maybe, that would be better.
    Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is alright.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    So, finally, what have we settled on, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the suggestion by the Hon Member for Wenchi is that, we add some more words to put the matter beyond doubt and he is saying that it should rather read:
    “Compact term, means each five year period commencing on the date of entry of a Compact, unless earlier terminated within the remits of the Compact agreement.”
    Mr Speaker, I think that makes it much more verbose. So “terminating under the Compact” is within the arrangement of the Compact. And I believe the Hon Professor would understand the simplicity of the language.
    I thank him very much, now that he is nodding his head.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do agree with him, except that at times, his is even more verbose than mine. [Laughter]
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 14 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, you are up? What is it?
    Mr Amoatey 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with leave, I would want to revisit clause 11.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    You want us to go back to clause 11?
    Mr Amoatey 1:20 p.m.
    That is so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Clause 11, then.
    Mr Amoatey 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Clause 11, section 20A
    “The Authority is exempted from payment of the taxes and duties specified under the Compact.”
    Mr Bernard Ahiafor 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, section 20(A) states:
    “The Authority is exempted from payment of the taxes and duties specified under the Compact”.
    Mr Speaker, clause 11 seeks to repeal this 20 (A) and it was an error. Therefore, the advertised amendment was seeking to delete the amendment proposed in clause 11, which is to delete section 20 (A). So, section 20 (A) would no longer be deleted. The proposed amendment that section 20 (A) of the law be repealed would no longer apply. So, it is being abandoned.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Compact arrangement provides for tax exemptions. What we are doing now is to have an arrangement which is outside the Compact Agreement and he is saying that, they should be subjected to tax.
    That is why I am asking, why? So, we should --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Is that the position?
    Very well then.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your kind indulgence, if I could take the House back to clause 13.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, why do you not let us close this one?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes Hon Member, were you drawing attention to something?
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just a quick one on clause 13, if you would indulge me.
    The Chairman has proposed that the word “facilities” should be struck out. I have been reading on it carefully. I thought that it should stay as it is, the rendition as it stands --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, we have already put the Question.
    Hon Members, the Long Title.
    The Long Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage for the Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill,
    2014.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item 29, Income Tax Bill, at the Consideration Stage, on page 13.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, item numbered 29 on the Order Paper -- Income Tax Bill, 2015, at the Consideration Stage.
    Hon Members, I believe we got to clause 77? Is that right?
    Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we could go to clause 87.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    No! I believe what I have on the Order Paper is that there was an amendment proposed and we are yet to put the Question.
    So, I will put the Question with regard to the amendment proposed to clause 77.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 1:20 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Clause 78?
    Hon Members, there is no advertised amendment to this clause.
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we completed clause 78 two days ago. Clause 77 and clause 79 were stepped down. So, we have already taken decisions on clause
    78.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    The Question has been put with regard to clause 78?
    Then, we go on to clause 79 then.
    Clause 79 -- Reconnaissance and prospecting operations
    Chairman of the Committee (MrJames K. Avedzi) 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 79, subclause (4), opening paragraph, delete and insert the following:
    “(4) Except for an amount that will be included to reduce the pool referred to in subsection (2), a person shall not include in the pool referred to in that subsection.”
    Mr Speaker, the purposal is to make the rendition clearer for the intention that needs to be captured under the clause (4), that when a person is calculating reconnaissance and then prospecting operations, those items that need to be included and those that need to be excluded are defined, or clearly stated under clause(4), that except for an amount that would be included to reduce the pool referred to, in subsection (2), a person shall not include in the pool referred to in that subsection.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 79 -- subclause (4), paragraph (a), line 2, delete “mineral” and insert “petroleum”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 1:30 p.m.
    “an amount which is included in calculating the income of the person from the separate petroleum operation”,
    instead of “mineral operation”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, do you have anything to say?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, early on, the Hon Chairman rose to propose that, in place of “mineral operation”, we delete and insert” “petroleum operations”.
    Later, he said “no”, he realised that it was inadvertent, so he dropped that amendment. Since then, we have not used “petroleum operations”.
    But he is coming back for the first time to introduce it. That is why I am wondering; I cannot understand.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can still stand this one down and continue with clause 87. We will come back and look at it properly. I do not remember doing that amendment earlier.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, the Hon Chairman told us that he could not remember why we were changing it, so, he would check. Maybe, because we were busy, he forgot to check. So, he can check and come back.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we did clause 80 to 86. So, we can continue from clause
    87.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Very well --
    Clause 87 then.
    Clause 87 -- Banking business
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 87 -- add the following new subclause:
    “(3) The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Regulations to require financial institutions to obtain from specified persons details of their place of residence for tax purposes.”
    Mr Speaker, in the Bill, the Committee was of the view that for banking businesses, the Minister, by Legislative Instrument, can empower the financial institutions to demand from specified persons, details of their places of residences, so that it would be easy for tax purposes in order to get them and demand from them their tax liabilities.
    So, the Committee, in addition to the two subclauses that we have under clause 87, proposed this new subclause to empower the Minister to make regulations for the banks to demand from these specified persons, information on their places of residences for tax purposes.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    The Chairman of the Committee -- Under normal circums- tances, the banks hide behind the current dispensation where the Bank of Ghana (BoG) is the one that they provide information to. It has been creating a lot of problems for our GRA. So, this ensures that the Minister can get some information for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 87 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    I was not in the Chair yesterday, so, I do not know. Should we move on to clause
    89?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the term “specified persons” is an industry term. Otherwise, because this is the first time we are introducing “specified persons”, here, do you not think that we may have to define who a “specified person” is? This is because it has not been used before; he is introducing it for the first time here.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I tried to look for the interpretation of “specified person” and I remember that it was defined. So, I am looking at it.
    But looking at the general interpreta- tion column, it is not there. But because of the style of this particular Bill, in various sections, there are definitions given to most of the words used at the various sections.
    We can go on. We will look for that. If it is not there, then we can define under “interpretation” what a “specified person” means.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we can make it simpler, we can say -- with your permission, I beg to read:
    “…obtain from its specified person…”
    This is because the world “person” is defined all over. So, “its specified person” -- It will also include the plural.
    The “persons” here is because there is more than one person. So, if we put “… from its specified person…”It will also suffice.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, are you al- right with it? Then I will go back and put the Question again.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 87 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 88 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker will take over the Chair.
    Clause 89 -- General insurance business
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 89 --
    subclause (4), line 3, delete “(4)” and insert
    “(3)”
    Mr Speaker, this is for cross referen- cing. We are correcting that the subsection being referred to, is 3 but not
    4.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 89 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 90 to 93 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 94 -- Taxation of retirement funds.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 94, subclause (2), paragraph (b), line 1, delete “consideration” and insert “to be treated as . . .”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read;
    “Retirement contributions received by a retirement Fund are to be treated as received for an asset or liability of the Fund.”
    But not as captured; “no” conside- ration received…” It does not capture and make it clear what the intention of the paragraph is. So, we are proposing this amendment to make it clearer.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 94 -- subclause (3), paragraph (a), line 2, delete “Fund,” and insert “Fund”;
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:40 a.m.
    Yesterday, I believe that the Speaker directed that in such circumstances, we should leave it to the draftspersons.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, I direct that the draftspersons handle this one.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, just a minor correction.
    Clause 94 (1), I beg to quote:
    “Subject to subsections (2) and (3) and section 93, the standard rules for calculation of income and taxation apply to the income of a retirement Fund.”
    Mr Speaker, if we want to use “calculation”, then it should be; “for the calculation of income and taxation apply.” Otherwise, it should be “for calculating income and taxation.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the Leader has pointed out that once they use “calculation of income”, then we should put before “calculation”, “they”. So, it will be “… standard rules for the calculation of income and taxation apply to the income of the retirement Fund.” The draftspersons could be directed to do that as well.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 94 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    I direct that the draftspersons treat it to clean up the issues raised by Hon Members.
    Clauses 95 and 96 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 97 -- Approval of charitable organisations.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 97, subclause (2), paragraph (b), sub-paragraph (iii), line 2, after “(a)”, delete “;” and insert “.”
    Mr Speaker, it is a drafting error. So, you could direct the draftspersons to do the correction.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Very well, I so direct.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 97 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 98 to 102 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Hon Members, clause 103.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you do not mind, I would just want to point out something to the Committee. That is in respect of clause 96. I know that you have already put the Question on it but with the definition of “retirement payment”-- 96 (b), I am not too sure about what is meant by that: --
    ‘“retirement payment, means a payment in the nature of a lump sum, pension or commuted pension, made by a person to:
    (b) a nominated beneficiary of an individual in the event of death of the individual.”
    Mr Speaker, I guess the nominated beneficiary refers to the beneficiary of that person. Not any other -- yes, so, it is made by a person to nominated beneficiary of that person.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, the problem is that I have already put the Question. So, if you could deal with it in another form.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 a.m.
    I am just agitating the mind of the Chair to have a re-look at that construction. Otherwise, it should read “a nominated beneficiary of that individual,” if we would want to use “individual”. He should just look at it, because we may come back.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, the Second Deputy Speaker is to take the Chair.
    [Pause] --
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:48 a.m.
    Hon Members, clause 103 -- Chairman of the Committee?
    Clause 103 -- Source of income and quarantining of foreign losses.
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 103 -- subclause (2), lines 3 and 4, delete “that has a source outside of the country from any business or investment” and insert the following:
    “from any business or investment that has a source outside of the country.”
    Mr Speaker, this is just to make the rendition clearer or properly couched.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 103 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 104 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 105 -- Payments sourced from the country
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 105 -- paragraph (d), line 3, delete “situated” and insert “situate”
    Mr Speaker, we are just changing from the past tense to present tense to make the rendition better for understanding. That using an asset “situate” in the country not “situated” in the country.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 105 -- paragraph (l), line 2, after “person”, delete “and”.
    Mr Speaker, we do not want the “and” to be there because we have an amendment to add another new sub- clause. So, we are deleting the “and” after the end of paragraph (l).
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 105
    Mr Jamed Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 105 -- paragraph (m), subparagraph (ii), line 2, delete “country.” and insert “country; and”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    I direct the draftspersons to take into account the amendment proposed in (xiii) on page 15 of today's Order Paper and act accordingly.
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 105 -- add the following new paragraph:
    “(n) any other payments brought into or received in the country by a resident person.”
    Mr Speaker, we want to make the list such that if there is some income that is brought into the country but has not been listed here, this provision can take care of that.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    The Hon Chairman and I made a slight correction. The word should be “payments” not “payment”. I heard him say “payments” which is the right one. All through, it should be “payments”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Dr Akoto Osei, why should the word be “payments”? Please!
    Dr A. A. OseI 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it should be any other “payments” with the (s).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    I said, why? We have used “payment” instead of “payments”. -- [Pause]
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman rose to move some amendments in respect of clause 105 (d) where he said they want to rather use the present tense of “situation” which in that
    case “situate in the country”. But before then, they have been using “situated” in respect of natural resources that is c1 and c2. But maybe, that may be a bit different from the referral to “assets”.
    You come to (e) and they are not using the word “situate” any longer; they are simply saying “asset in the country”. If you can do without the word “situate” as it is in (e), why now emphasis the use of the word “situate”?
    Let us be consistent in the language that we employ. If it is “situate” that we want to use, it should affect consequentially the others following, so that (e) would also read as follows:
    “royalties paid for the use of an asset situate in the country…”
    And so on and so forth. But you do not just isolate one subclause and say that, well, we are dealing with it that way and you leave the rest.
    Again, it is for the attention of Mr Speaker, maybe, he may confer with the draftspersons, so that we have that consistent application of the constructions.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, do you agree? Because there are three seeking to describe the same thing in three different ways.
    One, it says “natural resources situated within” then it says “asset situate in”. Then it says “asset in the country” which is about the same thing. So, why are there three? You know that when you describe it differently, in court, some people may want to give a different meaning to every description? So, what do you suggest we do, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that you can ask the draftspersons to clean that portion, so that it can be consistent with the (e).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    All right -- “asset in the country”.
    Clause 105 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    I accordingly direct the draftspersons to make the language in clause 105 consistent with the provision in (e) “asset in the country” all through clause 105.
    Clause 106 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 107 -- Principles of taxation
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 107 -- subclause (6), delete
    Clause 107-- subclause (5), delete.
    Mr Speaker, the subclause (5) says;
    “The Commissioner-General may give a written approval to a non- resident person to carry on a banking business through a Ghanaian permanent establishment, subject to conditions the Commissioner- General considers appropriate.”
    Mr Speaker, we are proposing the deletion of this because it relates to the banking sector. The Bank of Ghana cannot license permanent establishments. So, at the Committee level, the Commissioner- General informed the Committee that he may give a written approval to a non- resident person, which must be licensed by the Bank of Ghana to carry on business of banking through a Ghanaian permanent establishment.
    We are saying that because the Bank of Ghana cannot license for permanent establishment, the Commissioner-General can also not give a written approval to a
    non-resident person to carry on banking business through a permanent esta- blishment here in Ghana.
    So, the proposal is to delete this completely and it will not have any effect. In fact, when we go to the next one, which is subclause 6, we delete that as well, so that subclauses 5 and 6 will be deleted and the rest will be done by the Commissioner-General but not to give approval for non-resident persons.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Members, having regard to the state of affairs, I direct that Sitting be held outside the prescribed period.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, have you finished with your explanation?
    Mr Avedzi 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is what I was saying, that because the Com- missioner-General cannot give that approval, we are deleting subclauses 5 and 6.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    For the same reason?
    Mr Avedzi 2 p.m.
    For the same reason.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am confirming what the Hon Chairman said. The Commissioner-General does not have the authority to grant the banking licence and if you delete subclause 5, then subclause 6 is consequential.
    Question put and amendments agreed to.
    Clause 27 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    MrKyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, by mutual agreement, we have decided that we end this for the time being at clause 112 and then allow for some refueling and then come back.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, let us end at page 15. There is no amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, first, we are closing the chapter on Part 7. That is clause 112. That closes the chapter on Part 7.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    All right.
    Clause 108 to 112 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are we ending the Consideration Stage for now?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, again, I would want the Chairman to look at the definition in clause 106,the last one
    -- 2 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    I thought you were even going to ask that apart from cargo, what other thing can be “moveable tangible asset.” What “moveable tangible asset” is not cargo? I thought that was what you were going to ask.
    If you say “cargo, mail and other moveable assets” then you are suggesting that there are some form of “moveable tangible asset” that cannot fall within your description of “cargo” which
    it is tangible. We are not talking about intangible things like a spirit or something that you are carrying. We are talking about tangible. If it is tangible, is it not cargo or you have some --
    Mr Avedzi 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this definition of “transport business” was defined in the Customs Act. We tried to ensure that we use what we already defined in the Customs Act, so that we do not have -- So, we can look at that definition in the Customs Act because we defined “transport business” in that Act as well. We wanted to ensure that we use that definition here as well. We will look at that definition and see whether it is different from what we have here.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi, I thought you wanted to say something? I am sorry.
    So, there is soft tangible asset that is not cargo.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, given what the Hon Chairman has said,they may want to crosscheck with the interpretation in the other Act.
    My issue has not been addressed yet. I do not know whether he is carrying that on board as well, in respect of other water transport. Certainly, they will not qualify as sea transport.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Your question also falls within the comparison with the existing law. We are told that more or less, the previous definition was what we adopted.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, whereas consistency may be useful, if it is found out that there was this exclusion, rather perhaps, unconsciously, and we believe that it is proper to do what is right, we must do it. But let him find out for us.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do we bring the Consideration Stage to an end for the time being?
    MrAgbesi 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before we come to that, we have some Papers to be laid in item --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    This brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage for now.
  • [Continuation of debate from column 3541]
  • Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you said you had a Paper to lay? What Papers are those?
    Mr Agbesi 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Papers to be laid -- item number 5 (a), (b) and (c).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Item 5 (a)
    Hon Minister for Petroleum?
    PAPERS 2:10 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Item 5 (b).
    Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, number (ii) and (iii) are ready but (i) is not ready yet.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    We will lay those ones that are ready.
    By the Chairman of the Committee --
    (ii) Report of the Finance Committee on the request for ratification of tax exemption provisions in

    the Framework Agreement and Framework Arrangement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Korea con- cerning loans from the Economic Development Co-operation Fund for the years 2014 through 2016.

    (iii) Report of the Finance Committee on the request for approval of the 2015 Eurobond Financing Plan for an amount up to one billion, five hundred million United States dollars (US$1.5 billion) in respect of Liability Management and General Budget Support.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:10 p.m.
    On a point of Order.
    Mr Speaker, I think it is US$1.5 billion. I heard US$1billion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    It is one billion, five hundred million US dollars.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Item number 5(c) (i).
    Hon Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Let them lay the Paper first.
    By the Chairman of the Committee --
    (i) Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy on the Multi-Party Deed between the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the Bank of Ghana, ENI Ghana Exploration and Production Limited and Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited in support of the

    development of the Sankofa and Gye Nyame Oil and Gas Project in respect of the Offshore Cape Three Points Petroleum Agree- ment (OCTP PA).

    (ii) Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy on the Deed of Sovereign Guarantee between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana (as Gua-rantor), ENI Ghana Exploration and Production Limited and Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited (as Contractors) in in support of the development of the Sankofa and Gye Nyame Oil and Gas Project in respect of the Offshore Cape Three Points Petroleum Agree-ment (OCTP

    PA).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Is there one more Paper? Hon Chairman of Committee, is that one not ready yet?
    Item number 5 (b) (i) is the only one that has not been laid.
    Hon Members, the House stands suspended for one hour.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before you make that determination, I noticed that the first Paper that was laid, was laid by the Hon Minister responsible for Petroleum and it is in respect of the Petroleum Commission (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015.
    Mr Speaker, before the Hon Minister for Finance exits, can we have any explanation from him why the Regulations relating to the Petroleum Management Act has taken decades to come to this House? Mr Speaker, the use of the word “decades” is figurative and I believe the Hon Minister understands it that way.
    Mr Seth E. Terkper 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the last occasion, I had to explain this and I explained to the Hon Minority Leader, that because we had to come with an amendment to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, bringing the Regula- tions would be best served after the amendment, so that the Regulations would reflect the amendments. So, now that the amendment has been done, we would be bringing the Regulations.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Minister for Finance is a man of honour, so, I would not like to puncture this statement that he has made. But clearly, the Regulations would not depend on the amendment. Otherwise, tomorrow, if you come with new amendments, do we throw the Regulations overboard?
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    But I thought you said since he is a man of honour, you do not want to puncture his statement? So, we will take it like that.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just telling him that he should take notice of what I said. But clearly, what he has said -- I will not go further.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the cooperation of my Hon Colleagues, we can take item number 9.
    Mr Speaker, we agree that, we are going for refuelling.With your indulgence, we can take item number 9.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, item number 9 is just a Motion. I know the previous agreement but let us just take this Motion and the Hon Minister can go.
    We want power. He is the Hon Minister for Power. So, it should not be said that, our one hour delay delayed the power for Ghana.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:10 p.m.
    What power? Even yesterday, this House suffered serious affliction of the power outage. Mr Speaker, our salvation does not lie in this Agreement.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Blessed are those who have not seen but yet believe. -- [Laughter.]
    Yes, Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:10 p.m.
    Are we just doing item 9 now? We should not agree to do item 9 and then we go to item number 10. Item number 9 is procedural. So, we do not have to do anything about it. But now, I see he is setting us up when we do item 9, then he would say let us do item number 10. No! Let us go and eat and come back.
    It is a difficulty. When the Leadership agrees, we all agree. But we would do item
    number 9, then you would be forced to do 10 but we are still here. Please, look at the time.
    Mr Agbesi 2:10 p.m.
    The Hon Minister has assured us that this thing will not be more than ten minutes.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:10 p.m.
    That is procedural; you cannot anticipate a debate. So, do not say it is ten minutes. Item 9 is procedural. So, after item number 9 --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    If we had taken it, maybe, we would have gone far.
    I completely agree with what everybody is saying, but item number 9.
    Chairman of Committee?
    MOTIONS 2:20 a.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Emergency Power Purchase Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and GPGC Limited for the provision on a Fast- Track Basis, up to 107MW (ISO) Installed Capacity of Power Delivery Services may be moved today.
    Mr Mutawakilu Adam 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Emergency Power Purchase Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and GPGC Limited for the provision on a Fast- Track Basis, up to 107MW (ISO) Installed Capacity of Power Delivery Services.
    Mr Speaker, in so doing, I would like to present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Emergency Power Purchase Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the GPGC (TEI) Limited for the provision of a fast-track 107 MW (ISO) Installed Capacity of Power was laid in Parliament on 14th July, 2015 by the Hon Minister for Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor.
    The Emergency Power Purchase Agreement was subsequently referred by the Rt Hon Speaker to the Select Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report pursuant to Order 188 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    Deliberations
    The Committee met with the Hon Minister for Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor and officials of the Ministry to consider the Emergency Power Agreement.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and the officials for their attendance and for providing clarifications on issues raised at the meeting.
    Reference Documents
    In considering the referral, the Committee made reference to the under- listed documents:
    i. The 1992 Constitution
    ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment
    iii. The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538)
    iv. The Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994 (Act 490).
    Background Information
    Ghana's power systems continue to experience supply inadequacies and this is evidenced in the current load shedding being experienced in the country. The situation has been attributed largely to increasing demand for power for industrial and domestic consumption.
    The country's peak demand has been increasing consistently over the years since the completion of the Akosombo Dam in 1965. Demand for power has then increased from 1,161MW in 2000 to about 1970MW(excluding VALCO's suppressed demand of 300MW) in 2014. The suppressed demand is estimated at 2,500MW for 2014. This has been projected to hit 2,700 MWthis year, 2015.
    This is against the backdrop of the current dependable capacity of less than 2,300MW and suppressed peak demand of about 2,500MW for 2014. This is coupled with the fact that there is no redundancy.
    In this regard, the Government, acting through the Ministry of Power, has initiated a number of emergency power
    agreements to improve the country's power generation capacity to address the power challenges in the short term.
    In line with this, the Ministry of Power has negotiated and signed an Emergency Power Agreement (EPA) with the GPGC Limited to relocate and operate a total of 107MW Combined Cycle Unit in Ghana.
    It therefore become imperative to lay the EPA in Parliament for ratification in fulfillment of article 181 of the Constitu- tion and the terms of the Agreement.
    Parties to the Emergency Power Agreement
    The parties to the Emergency Power Agreement are the Government of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Power) and the GPGC Limited.(TEI).
    The Government of Ghana
    The Government of Ghana is represented under the Agreement by the Ministry of Power. The Ministry of Power is mandated to initiate and formulate policies to ensure the effective and efficient generation, transmission and supply of power to all sectors of the economy of Ghana in an environmentally sustainable manner.
    GPGC Limited
    GPGC is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) registered and incorporated in Ghana under the Company's Act, 1963 (Act 179) as a limited liability company. The Company has its office at No. 03 Mango St. East Legon, Accra.
    Per its Regulations, GPGC Limited is authorised to provide, install, maintain and operate power generation equipment and other related support services, to
    supplement the power requirement of power users.
    The Project
    The project consists of the deployment and operation of two Combined Cycle Power Plants owned by TEI Energy SpA. The equipment, which is currently located at Gorizia in Italy will be relocated to Aboadze in the Western Region.
    Nature of the Agreement
    The Power Purchase Agreement constitutes a tolling contract (Throughput). Per clause 7 of the Agreement, the equipment is to remain at all times the property of the GPGC Limited. The parties have accordingly confirmed that the EPA shall not constitute a financing transaction.
    Duration of The Agreement
    The duration of the Agreement is four years commencing on the date of the execution of the EPA. This is a guaranteed period and therefore any prior termination will attract sanctions (Clause 2 of the Power Agreement).
    Key Obligations of the parties
    GPGC has undertaken to perform certain key obligations under Clause 8 of the Agreement including the obligation to:
    i. mobilise and bring into Ghana, install and commission the two GE aeroderivative Gas Turbines, Thermodyn GE steam section and related accessories;
    ii. operate and maintain the plant;
    iii. provide compressors to increase gas pressure from the guaranteed 38 bar to 45 bar required for the gas turbines;
    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 2:20 a.m.
    iv. provide appropriate step-up transformers upon executing a Grid Connection Agreement with GRIDCo;
    v. inaugurate the open cycle not later than one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date all Conditions Subsequent are fulfilled; and
    vi. inaugurate the combined cycle not later than ninety (90) days from date of the inauguration of the open cycle.
    The Government of Ghana, on its part, has agreed to undertake certain obligations under clause 9 of the Agreement. Some of these obligations are to:
    i. assist GPGC in procuring utilities, site for the power plant and temporary accommodation facilities for GPGC's operations team required for the installations, pre- inauguration , inauguration;
    ii. assist GPGC to secure a Grid Connection Agreement with GRIDCo on acceptable terms;
    iii. ensure that National Inter- connection Transmission System (NITS) is ready and able to accept, utilise and evacuate power from the plant;
    iv. provide fuel in adequate quantity and acceptable quality and pressure for testing and operations of the power plant; and
    v. supply gas to the power plant and take delivery of the power at the Electricity Delivery Point.
    Pricing and Required Payments
    The parties have agreed on a tolling tariff to be paid at the end of the month. Payments under the Agreement are to be made within sixty (60) days after the end of each calendar month for the preceding month period.
    In determining payments under the EPA, the parties have agreed to apply the under-listed equipment and fiscal specifications:

    Total capacity -- 107MW (ISO)

    Guaranteed availability -- 92 per cent

    Capital recovery charge -- US Cent 3.700/kWh

    Fixed O & M charge -- US Cent 0.300/kWh

    Non-fuel variable O&M charge -- USCent 1.5 /kWh

    Total capacity charge -- US Cent 4.000/kWh

    Under the Agreement, the monthly capacity charge shall be paid by GoG irrespective of the actual dispatch of energy at the electricity delivery point (Annex 3 (a).

    Observations

    The Committee made the following observations during its deliberations:

    Due diligence

    The Committee was informed that the Ministry of Power has undertaken the necessary due diligence to ascertain the condition and suitability of the equipment. The Committee was informed that a seven (7) member technical team constituted by the Ministry undertook technical audit on the plants to assess their conditions and suitability.

    The officials of the Ministry stated that the gas and steam turbines were inaugurated July, 2004 and June, 2005 respectively. They also stated that while the gas turbine has 38,106.70 fired hours and has undergone one major inspection, the plant was mostly used for peaking and the last time it was put in service was in April, 2015. The steam turbines have also undergone inspection. The officials informed the Committee that all the equipment are in good condition and the boiler is under dry preservation.

    Favourable fiscal terms

    The Committee noted that though the EPA was negotiated under an emergency circumstances, the fiscal terms achieved under the Agreement are favourable. In particular, the capacity charge of 4.000 US cents/kWh agreed under the EPA is lower than the capacity charge obtained under recent Power Agreements including the Karpower (5.6076 US cents/kWh) and the AKSA (4.5000US cents/kWh).

    Additionally, the Committee noted that the EPA does not require the Government of Ghana to procure a standby Letter of Credit (LC) as a condition precedent for the execution of the project.

    Broad consultation

    The Committee was informed that the Ministry of Power engaged with a number of relevant stakeholders in the power sector including the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission during the negotiation of the EPA.

    Again, the Power Agreement was re- viewed by a team consisting of officials of the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's Department, the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

    The officials also stated that the technical team from the VRA, Ghana Grid Company and GPGC Ltd have agreed on a technical design of the project.

    Fuel Supply Requirement

    The Committee noted that the Government of Ghana has committed to provide fuel for the operation of the plant (clause 4 of the EPA). The Plant utilises natural gas for its power generation and will require a minimum of 17.36645MMSCF/day during base load operations. The Committee was informed that the Government intends to use the gas from the Jubilee Fields to meet its fuel supply obligations.

    The Ministry further stated that it was exploring the option of deploying a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regasifi- cation Plant to be located in Tema, to enable the country import natural gas to augment the current gas supply capacity of the country among other measures to ensure that adequate fuel is made available to run all power plants in the country.

    Insurance provisions

    The Committee noted that adequate provision has been made under the EPA to provide insurance against r isks associated with the operation of the power
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Motion is moved. Any seconder?
    I will defer this debate till we come back. So, Hon Member, you second the Motion and I will defer the debate till we come back.
    Mr Mutawakilu Adam 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    The Motion is moved and seconded and the debate is deferred to when we come back after the one hour break.
    The time is 2:20 p. m., so, we will resume at 3:20 p. m. The suspension is for one hour.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, after you said you were deferring the debate, the Deputy Majority Leader said “Resolution'. [Interruption] He said that. You have just finished with the Ramadan, your sins have been wiped away and you are going to accumulate more sins?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    He did not say that because it is only when you speak into the microphone that it is recognised in the House. So we have suspended and shall resume at 3:20 p. m. on the dot.
    2:24 p. m. -- Sitting suspended.
    4.05 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
  • [MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER IN CHAIR]
  • Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, we took item numbered 10. The Motion was seconded and we deferred the debate.
    Mr A. S. K. Bagbin 2:20 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I have been told that the debate is still on- going on that item. We have not come to the end of the debate on the Emergency Power Purchase Agreement.
    And so, continuation of debate.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Item numbered 10, commencement of debate. You moved and it was seconded -- no, we have not taken the debate. I proposed the Question and we deferred the debate. And so, we would take the debate now. -- [Pause]
    I have been advised that I did not put the Question for the adoption of the Motion. And so, I will put the Question for that.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, should I move on to item numbered 11? -- [Pause] --Well, I will go to item number 11 and then, I will move ahead.
    Mr Bagbin 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is now the consequential Resolution. Item numbered 11, please. -- [Interruptions] -- On item number 10, I got up, raised it and nobody stood up and so, the Question was put. -- [Interruption] --You were not attentive and so, we move to Resolution.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Yes, item number 11?
    RESOLUTIONS 2:20 a.m.

    Minister for Power (Dr Kwabena Donkor) 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
    WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181(5) of the Constitution the terms and conditions of any international business or economic transaction to which the Govern- ment of Ghana is a party shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by Parliament by a Resolution sup- ported by the votes of a majority of all Members of Parlia-ment;
    PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181(5) of the Constitution, and at the request of the Government of Ghana, acting through the Minister responsible for Power, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of an Emergency Power Purchase Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and GPGC Limited for the provision on a Fast-Track Basis, up to 107MW (ISO) Installed Capacity of Power Delivery Services.
    THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE 2:20 a.m.

    Mr Sorogho 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second to Motion
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader -- or we should go to item number 12? No! Item number 12 is something different.
    Mr Bagbin 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would now move onto the Income Tax Bill, 2014 -- [Interruption] -- Item number 29.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    The Income Tax Bill, 2014, at the Consideration Stage.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 2:20 a.m.

    STAGE 2:20 a.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from column 3523]
  • Mr James K. Avedzi 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 115 -- subclause (1), line 2, delete “6” and insert “8”
    Mr Speaker, it is just to correct the paragraph which is being referred to.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 115 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 116 -- Withholding from supply of goods, service fees and contract payments.
    Mr Avedzi 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 116 -- subclause (1), line 2, delete “6” and insert “8”
    Mr Speaker, the reason is the same as I explained earlier.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    Hon Chairman, take the next amendment. Take the three amendments for clause 116, and I will put the Question on them.
    Mr Avedzi 2:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 116 -- subclause (2), line 4, after “does” insert “not”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read; “who does not fall in sub-section (1) or section 114”.
    Mr Speaker, again, I beg to move, clause 116 -- subclause (2), paragraph (b), delete “provision” and insert “supply”
    And so, the new rendition would be “the supply of any works”, not the “provision of any works”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 a.m.
    I will put the Question on the three proposed amendments to clause 116, advertised on page 16 on the Order Paper.
    Question put and amendments agreed to.
    Clause 116 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill
    Clause 117 -- Statement and payment of tax withheld or treated as withheld
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 117-- subclause (6), line 1, delete “Act,” and insert “Act and except where an Agreement is ratified by Parliament,” and in line 3, delete “an” and insert “any”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read;
    “subject to this Act and except where an Agreement is ratified by Parliament, a provision in an Agreement which prohibits the deduction or withholding of a tax required to be deducted or withheld under this Act or any other enactment administered by the Commissioner-General is void”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 117 as amended ordered to stands part of the Bill
    Clause 118 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 119 -- Final withholding pay- ment.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 119 -- subclause (1), paragraph (c), line 3, delete “situated” and insert “situate”
    The new rendition would be;
    “…under a lease of land or a building situate in Ghana, with or without associated fittings and fixtures;”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Chairman, you would recollect that earlier, there was a question of “situated in”, “situate in” and “in”. Does this not fall within the same category? -- [Interruption] -- We will take the amendment and ask the draftspersons to ensure that the language is consistent throughout the Act.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I tried to follow the Hon Chairman to understand the import of the amendment but I could not get it properly. I felt that I could draw your attention for him to take it up one more time, so that I can appreciate it. [Interruption] -- I was on my feet.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    All right.
    What happened was that, before we went on suspension, this matter was raised on clause 112. In a certain place in the same clause, it said “situate in Ghana”; at another place, it said “situated in Ghana” and at another place, it said “in Ghana”. So, the point was made by the Hon Minority Leader and we agreed that we will refer it to the draftspersons, so that there is consistency.
    So, we will put this Question but we will add it to the group of matters we are referring to the draftspersons, because we could debate “situate in”, “situated in” and “in”, forever. As it were, I agree with you.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 119 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    I direct that the draftspersons take into account the earlier comments made and ensure that there is consistency in the language in the Act.
    Clause 120 -- Credit for non-final withholding tax.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 120 -- subclause (1), line 1, delete “The” and insert “A” and in line 2, delete “any” and insert “the”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition is;
    “A withholdee of a payment which is not a final withholding payment is treated as having paid the tax”
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman says he is amending “The” for “A”, perhaps, my humble request is that he should explain why? Is it the case that the existing “The” is a grammatical error or that within the context, the use of “The” is an error? --
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the context in which “the” is used here does not fit. We are referring to “a withholdee” of a payment. Therefore, we cannot say “The withholdee” of a payment. So, it is in the context in which it was used; that is why we want to amend it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 120 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 121 -- Payment of tax by quarterly instalment.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 121 -- subclause (2), line 1, delete “A” and insert “An”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read;
    “An instalment payer shall pay tax in instalments…”
    But not “A instalment payer…”
    So, here again, the context of using “A” is improper. It is “An instalment payer . . . “ and not “A instalment payer…”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, I am a little perplexed. In the first line of what I have, the Bill says, “An instalment payer…” -- [Interruption] - - Clause 121 (1); the Bill I have says “An instalment payer…” Then you want to delete “A” and insert “An” but the Bill does not say “A”. The Bill says “An”. That is what I can see here.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 121 (1) begins with “An”. So, if you go to clause 121 (2), we are beginning that one too with ‘An'.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 121-- subclause (3), paragraph (c), line 1, delete “117(3)” and insert “117(1)”
    Mr Speaker, we are just correcting the cross-reference here.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 121 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 122 -- Statement of estimated tax payable.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 122-- subclause (3), line 1, delete “(7)” and insert “(6)”
    Mr Speaker, if you would permit me, I would move the second one which is the same.
    Mr Avedzi 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 122-- subclause (6), line 1, delete “(6)” and insert “(5)”
    In both cases, we are just correcting the cross-referencing.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 122 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 123 and 124 ordered to stand part of the Bill
    Clause 125 - Return of income not required.
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 125, subclause (3), line 2, at end, add “do so.”
    The new rendition would read:
    “Despite subsection (1), a person may elect to file a return of income even though the person is not required to do so.”
    Mr Speaker, an option is given here for a person to elect to file a return even though he might not be required to do so.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 125 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 126 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 127 -- Regulations
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (1), paragraph (b), line 1, delete “a provision of”
    The new rendition would read; “the Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Regulations amending the schedules to this Act.”
    “not amending the provision of the schedules.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to further clean up that construction, it rather should read:
    “The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make regulations to amend the schedules to this Act.” And “not amending” --
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it conveys the same meaning. So, I do not have any problem with that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, address your mind to Standing Order 129 (c); at the Consideration Stage of a Bill.
    “Where an amendment appears on the Order Paper and exceeds four lines, it shall not be necessary for the Member moving it or Mr Speaker in putting it to read out the amendment, provided that the place in the Order Paper where it appears is pointed out.”
    Proceed accordingly.
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (1), paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (i), delete and insert the following:
    “any Competent Authority Agree- ment or other Agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the government of another territory, which makes provision correspon- ding, or substantially similar to the Common Reporting Standards; and”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (1),paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (ii), delete and insert the following:
    “any arrangements for the exchange of tax information in relation to the Republic of Ghana and any other territory which makes provision corresponding or substantially similar to the Common Reporting Standards; and”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (1), paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (iii), delete
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Opare-Ansah?
    Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee does not seem to know how to count roman numerals. Mr Speaker, roman numeral (xxxi) is 31 and not 32.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    He has moved on. He has finished with that; we are now at xxxii, which is 32 [Laughter].
    Hon Opare-Ansah, do you say that because that is less than four lines, he should have read it? [Interruption] What Standing Order is that?
    Mr Opare-Ansah 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Standing Order that you read made an exception; so, the rule is that he reads. The exception is when it is more than four lines and then he is not required to read.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    We shall continue looking at Standing Order 129 but I hold a slightly different view. That even the ones less than four lines, they do not have to be read but if we demand an explanation, then --
    Mr Opare-Ansah 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the interpretation of the Standing Orders is in your bosom.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Opare-Ansah, that is the fiction I do not agree with. Perhaps, when we go to court, we say the law is in the bosom of the Judge. In fact, it is in the books. So, do not say the law is in the Speaker's bosom; it is in the bosom of all of us as we are all here.
    So, we will continue to look at Standing Order 129. You will take my interpretation?
    We are on clause 127. Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (1), paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (iv), delete
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    I will put the Question --
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Do you want an explanation? [Pause.]
    All right. Hon Akoto Osei, we will grant you the explanation.
    But Hon AkotoOsei, you are the Ranking Member of the Committee, and this is the Committee's amendment, not the Chairman's. [Interruption.] --
    So Hon Akoto Osei, give us the explanation.
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Hon Akoto Osei will give us the explanation.
    Dr A. A. Osei 4:35 p.m.
    I defer it to the Chairman. [Laughter.]
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we propose an amendment to clause 127 (1) (c) (i) and (ii),with the new amendment that we proposed which makes reference to any competent authority agreement or any arrangement for the exchange of tax information has rendered the roman number (iii) and (iv) redundant, and that is the reason we are deleting these two paragraphs.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah 4:35 p.m.
    None

    Mr Speaker, item xxxvii — are we not under xxxvii?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, we are now going to xxxiv.
    Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (2), paragraph (a), line 3, delete “including the relevant financial entities”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read;
    “Authorise the Commissioner- General to require persons specified for the purposes of paragraph (c) of subsection 1 to provide the Commissioner-General with infor- mation of specified discretion”
    Mr Speaker, so the words “including the relevant financial entities” should be deleted. It is not relevant in this context.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (2), paragraph (c), line 1, delete “financial”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 4:35 p.m.
    “Impose obligations on relevant entities including obligations to obtain from specified persons details of their place or residence for tax purposes.”
    Mr Speaker, we are deleting “financial” so that it would include all entities but not limited to financial entities.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (2),paragraph (e), line 1, delete “about” and insert “for” and in line 2, delete “any” and insert “a”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read;
    “Make provision for appeals in relation to the imposition of a penalty”.
    It should be “any penalty”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (3), delete and insert the following:
    “(3) In this section, specified means specified in Regulations made under this section.”
    Mr Speaker, the Committee proposes all that we have in the Bill, by replacing it with “In this section, specified means, specified in Regulations made under this section”
    Question put and amendment agreed to
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 127, subclause (4), delete.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee recommends the deletion of the entire clause 4, which actually deals with the provision commonly known as Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). We say that this has a link with enactment in the United States of America (USA) called the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act.
    We cannot enact our laws and make reference to the enactment in another jurisdiction to have implication for our law
    here. So, we propose that we completely delete this particular clause from the Bill.
    Question put and deletion agreed to.
    Clause 127 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 128—Persons in a controlled relationship
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 128, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph:
    “(d) that of a settler, trustee and beneficiary;”
    Mr Speaker, this is a definition for persons in controlled relationship and it has been defined under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c). The Committee thinks that a settler, a trustee and beneficiary should also be covered under persons in a controlled relationship. That is the reason the Committee proposed this new paragraph.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment on page 19 of the Order Paper, item numbered xxxix that was proposed by the Hon Chairman, the new paragraph “(d) that of a settler, trustee and beneficiary.” The Hon Chairman read, “that of a settler, trustee and beneficiary.” What is here is, “that of a settler, trustee and beneficiary”. I do not know what he means. Is it a “settler”, a person who settles in a foreign place or “settler”, like settling debts and so on? [Interruptions] -- It is a person who settles debts, but the Hon Chairman pronounced “settler”. So, I was --
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clauses 128 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 129 to 132 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 133 -- Interpretation
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 -- add the following new interpretation:
    “‘associate means a person who is in a controlled relationship with another person and has the meaning assigned in section 128;”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    I believe “controlled relationship” has been defined in section 128.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 139 -- Interpretation of “expenditure or expense”, line 1, delete “expenditure or”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would limit the definition to only “expense”. It would no more be “expenditure or expense”. We are now defining only “expense”, which means that “payment made without reducing the asset of the person making the payment.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 -- Interpretation of “investment”
    -- 4:45 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    It is more than four lines.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is more than four lines; I so move.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, I believe you are moving amendment xlii?
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is on clause 133 on page 19.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the rule is that, if the amendment is more than four lines, he should point out where the amendment he wants to move and where it appears in the Order Paper. He did not say; he just said clause 133 “interpretation of investment”.
    He should either read or show us where it is in the document.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, page 108 of the Bill has “investment” there, which is now redefined and given a new definition.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 -- Interpretation of “investment” delete and insert the following: “‘investment” includes:
    (a) the owning of one or more assets of a similar nature or that are used in an integrated fashion; or
    (b) a present, past or prospective investment but does not include business or employment;”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 p.m.
    That may be found on page 19 on the Order Paper.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 --
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 4:45 p.m.
    (c) “Natural Resource payment means a payment in the nature of a premium or like amount for the rights to take natural resources from the land or the sea, or calculated in whole or parts by reference to the quantity of value of natural resources taken from the land or the sea.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 -- Interpretation of “payment”, paragraph (c), delete and insert the following:
    “(c) the supply of services by one person to another; and”
    Mr Speaker, this is just to adequately define what is meant by “payment”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    There are Hon Members who are doing double voting; the same people are saying “Aye” and Noe.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 -- Interpretation of “relative”, delete “given” and insert “assigned”
    The definition of relative now means “has the meaning assigned in section 128” not “has the meaning given in section
    128.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 133 --Interpretation of “small scale mining”, line 1, delete “given” and insert “assigned”
    Mr Speaker, it is the same reason as the previous one.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 133 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 134 and 135 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 136 -- Repeals and savings
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 136 -- subclause (1), paragraph (b), line 1, after “extent” insert “that”
    The new rendition would read;
    “any other laws to the extent that they are inconsistent to the provisions of this Act”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 136 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 137 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment is rather for clause 139. I would rather do it as clause 139 instead of clause 138.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Clause 138. No amendments?
    Clause 138 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 139 --Provisions for Tax Administration.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 138 -- line 1, delete “Tax” and insert “Revenue”
    The new rendition would be:
    “Until the date the revenue administration law administered by the Ghana Revenue Authority comes into force…”
    Mr Speaker, that proposed law is Revenue Administration Law but not Tax Administration Law.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Chairman -- Hon Avedzi, you have to, in fact, withdraw what has been advertised as clause 138. For the record, you have to get up and withdraw what has been advertised as clause 138.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to withdraw the amendment advertised as clause 138 on page 21 of the Order Paper.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    The amendment is accordingly withdrawn.
    Clause 138 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 139 --
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 139 -- line 1, delete “Tax” and insert “Revenue”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    So, I will put the Question on the proposed amendment to clause 139 --
    Yes, Hon Owusu Ankomah?
    Papa OwusuAnkomah 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry. I do not know whether we have dealt with clause 136 --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Pardon me?
    Papa OwusuAnkomah 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is just that clause 136 1(b), I believe that we could have tickled with it. It says “any other laws”. I would have thought that it should be the provisions of any other law, to the extent that they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.” -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, Order! Order!
    Papa OwusuAnkomah 4:55 p.m.
    I think it is quite an innocuous amendment but it makes it more meaningful because this is
    “any other law to the extent that they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act”.
    That is what I thought --not the entirety of a law but the provisions of any other law. So, it would read:
    1) The following enactments are repealed:
    a) subject to section 138, the Internal Revenue Act 2000 (Act 592); and those provisions of any other law
    b) any other law to the extent that they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    So, what do we do? Second Consideration?
    Papa OwusuAnkomah 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, strictly speaking, it would be second Consideration but I am wondering, since we are the masters of our own rules, probably, since it is not contentious, we could do it because you never know, before we know, we may overlook it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, what is your pleasure?
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my thinking is that, there would not be any law if there are no provision. So, once we make reference to law, there are provisions in that law. So, by making reference to the law, we are making reference to the provisions to that law.
    Again, when we say provisions of any other law, it does not change anything. So, I do not have any problem with that. I think that once we make reference to any other laws, we are by inference talking of provisions of that law.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I see they are already debating the matter but the Question has already been put on the clause and it is very dangerous to -- I do not want to join the debate because if the Speaker opens debate on clause 136, you do not know -- he did not say so -- he only asked the Hon Chairman, what his pleasure was in respect of he opening the debate on clause 136?
    I understood the question to mean that but if we do, then one would see Hon Members beginning to go back to clause 1, 2,3 and so on. That is why -- [Interruption] The Hon Minority Leader says especially him and if we do that, that is precisely why the Standing Orders makes room for a second Consideration.
    So, if we want to re-consider our position on a clause that we have already adopted to stand part of the Bill, we have to move on and come back at a later day.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the (b) as it stands would mean that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Which (b)?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 p.m.
    The 136 (1) (b).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    We are not debating it. We have moved on.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 p.m.
    I am not debating; I am referring to it. [Laughter.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, just about 30 minutes ago, I told you in your office that my time would come. Now, my time has come and I can decide to allow you to speak or not.
    Hon Minority Leader, have your say.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the preamble of 136 provides:
    “The following enactments are repealed:”
    And (a) is the Internal Revenue Act. (b) then says:
    “any other laws to the extent that they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act”.

    No, it says: “the following enactments are repealed”. What is an enactment?

    Mr Speaker, the request by the Hon Member for Sekondi is that, we rather relate to specific provisions in an enactment which may stand repealed or nullified by this. I think that is the appeal that he has made to you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    I think it would not be out of place to ask the draftsperson to look at it because the extension of the word “provision” puts the issue beyond doubt. That they are not talking about the whole Act but just a provision in the Act.
    So, I think we would move on and we would ask the draftsperson to look at it and see whether they can take it into account when they are drafting the final Act.
    I believe that I have put the Question on clause 139, or have I not? For the avoidance of doubt, I would put it again.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Now, we will consider the Schedules.
    The First Schedule?
    First Schedule -- Tax rates.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is one outstanding clause, which is clause 79, if we can take that one before we come to the Schedule.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    All right.
    Clause 79 -- Reconnaissance and prospecting operations.
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 79 (ii) -- we have taken that one already.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to abandon (iii), which is 4:55 p.m.
    “subclause (4), paragraph (a), line 2, delete “mineral” and insert petroleum”.
    It is an error because the section that we are dealing with, is for minerals and mining section. So, the “mineral” used there is appropriate. Therefore, I would want to abandon that clause.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Let me take this one first.
    The amendment of clause 79 proposed as (iii) on the Order Paper is accordingly withdrawn.

    You used the word “abandon” but I would prefer to use the word “withdrawn”.

    Yes, Hon Chairman of Committee, (iv)?
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause 79, subclasuse (6), opening paragraph, line 2, after “negative” add “by reason of a a reduction in subsection (4)”
    The new rendition would read:
    “Where at the end of a year of assessment the balance in the pool is negative by reason of a reduction in subsection (4)”
    Mr Speaker, it is similar to what we did under subclause (4).
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 79 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    The First Schedule?
    Mr Avedzi 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule, paragraph (3), sub- paragraph (6), line 2, delete “paragraph 3(1) and (3)” and insert “subparagraphs (1) and (3)”
    Mr Speaker, we are correcting the cross-referencing.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule, paragraph (3), sub- paragraph (6), the table, under “Rate of income tax”, delete all occurrence of “paragraph 3(1)” and insert “subparagraphs (1)”
    The new rendition would be:
    “75 per cent of the rate of income tax applicable to other income under sub-paragraph (1)”.

    No sub-paragraph (1), not paragraph 3 (1) as captured in the table.

    Mr Speaker, the next amendment is not captured, and so, if you would permit me.

    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, under location in the table, (b), manufacturing business located elsewhere in the country, under rate of income tax, delete “paragraph 3(1)” and insert “sub-paragraph 1”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    I do not understand your amendment. You mentioned the table, and you did not say anything about it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment as it is captured on the Order Paper is correct. He said, in that table,delete all occurrence of “paragraph 3(1)” and insert “sub-paragraph 1”. So, it is applicable to where we have the 75 per cent and also the 50 per cent.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    What is the rate of income tax now? Is it the same percentage?
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:15 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    All right. Are you just deleting the --
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:15 p.m.
    All we are deleting is, instead of paragraph 3(1), sub-paragraph 1 for both (a) and (b). That is the amendment he has.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    Are we not touching the rate?
    Dr A. A. Osei 5:15 p.m.
    No!
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule paragraph (3), add the following new subparagraph:
    “(7) In this paragraph, “non- traditional goods” means
    (a) horticultural products;
    (b)processed and raw agricul- tural products grown in Ghana, other than cocoa beans;
    (c) wood products, other than lumber and logs;
    (d) handicrafts; and
    (e)locally manufactured goods.”
    Mr Opare-Ansah 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, maybe, we should look at clause 136 again. My Leader has convinced me.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    All right. I will put the Question. Is it the one on the traditional goods?
    Hon Chairman, do you want to define “non-traditional goods” as specific goods?
    Mr Avedzi 5:15 p.m.
    Yes, this new sub- paragraph is defining what it meant by non-traditional goods, which covers “(a) to (e).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, what are “traditional goods?”
    Mr Avedzi 5:15 p.m.
    “Traditional goods” are the normal goods that bring in foreign exchange, like cocoa, gold, timber and the rest.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    When we will want to encourage export, which is the whole purpose of this different tax rates for non-traditional goods, and you have set a definite category of non- traditional goods, what if I am not into cocoa or one of those things, neither am I into these five things you have mentioned, what happens? Is there no space there for the Commissioner-General or somebody?
    Mr Avedzi 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the law covers all goods, and this one is dealing with the non-traditional goods. When we go on with the Schedule, those that covers other goods are also there.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, do you get the point I am making? I am making the point, that the purpose of this clause on the lower tax rate, is to encourage the non-traditional export. That is the purpose, but you have defined non-traditional export as five good categories. And so, if I do not fall within these five specific definitions, and still I am not into cocoa and so on, it means it is not a non-traditional goods. You have defined non-traditional goods as;
    (a) horticultural products;
    (b) processed and raw agricultural products grown in Ghana, other than cocoa beans;
    (c) wood products, other than lumber and logs;
    (d) handicrafts; and
    (e) locally manufactured goods.
    So for example, if I am exporting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or software, it is a non- traditional goods, but you have not put it here. The major export in China, and India and so on, are these kind of things -- if I am exporting something in the area of technology. Would it come under locally manufactured goods? Why do you give it this restrictive definition? I am not supposed to take part in the debate, and so, I will just put the Question. I will just ask you for your consideration.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was also thinking along the same line. I thought that what may cure this would be to delete the word “means” and substitute it for “includes” to have “non-traditional goods includes”. So, that if there is anything which we have not thought through well, it could find space there, rather than limiting it.
    If one uses the word “means”, he closes the door.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 p.m.
    If you use the word “means”, it means you have closed the door. It is a definite --
    Hon Minister for Finance, you are a tax expert and this is a policy issue as well. What is your view? Instead of limiting ourselves to five specific categories, the Hon Minority Leader is suggesting that we say “includes”, so that there could be other non-traditional exports. What is your view on that?
    Mr Terkper 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the “includes” allows for some latitude as the Hon Minority Leader indicated. So, “means” is very restrictive.
    And again, the intention is to promote the activity, and therefore, it allows to the extent that we are talking about exports, which is the subject of the activity. “Includes” may be preferable.
    Before I invite the Hon Chairman of the Committee to move this amendment, I would want to ask you who decides what goes into that category? If we use the word ‘includes”, who decides whether goods fall under that category?
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not hear you well, but I think that, I would want to side with the Hon Minority Leader and the Minister for Finance, so that we further amend the proposed amendment by changing “means” and replacing it with “includes”, so that it makes it elastic for people to add more goods which are not mentioned in this amendment.
    So, I beg to move, to further amend in line 1, delete “means” and replace it with “includes”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Before I put the Question, who decides what is included? The Commissioner- General? That is alright. It is provided for and he decides what rate of tax one pays. There is a procedure for that in the Act. This is because, a law must create as much certainty as possible.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule, paragraph (4), line 4, delete “eight” and insert “fifteen”.
    Mr Speaker, the income tax for free zone enterprises, after the chargeable income of free zone enterprises, the conces- sionary period are on export of goods and services outside the national custom territory for year of assessment, which is now taxed at 15 per not 8 per cent.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule, paragraph (6), Headnote delete “Mining” and insert “mineral”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Minority Leader, what do you say to that? This minerals and mining dichotomy again. We have changed “mining” to mean “minerals” now. Is it fine?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule, paragraph (8)(1)(b), sub- paragraph (vi), line 3, delete “and”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, First Schedule, paragraph 8(1)(b), sub- paragraph (vii) at end, add “and”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I remember that we were not too sure about the restriction that was being imposed by the use of the word “lottery” and we were looking at expanding it. I do not know whether the Chairman has done the necessary consultation. He has not done that. So, maybe, we would indicate that if we further consult and we have to expand it, it would then be appropriately affected.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Minority Leader, the use of the word?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, earlier, we were not too sure about restricting ourselves to the winning from lottery only or perhaps, to include other games of chance. And the Chairman is indicating that the consultation has not been done. So, let us allow some latitude, so that if it is done and it has to be affected consequentially, we do so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 p.m.
    Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just signalling him, that I have not worked on that. We would consult and get back.
    The First Schedule as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Second Schedule -- Modified Taxation
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Second Schedule, paragraph 4, line 4, delete “and insert “121”
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, 121 is correcting cross referencing.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Second Schedule as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Third schedule -- Capital Allowances
    Mr Avedzi 5:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Third Schedule, paragraph 5, sub- paragraph (8), after “unless” insert “the”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 5:25 p.m.
    “In this paragraph, unless the context otherwise requires.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Third Schedule, paragraph (5) sub- paragraph (8) definition of “capital allowance expenditure”, line 4, delete “61” and insert “67”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    The Third Schedule as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    The Fourth and Fifth Schedules ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Sixth Schedule -- Temporary con- cessions.
    Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, the Sixth Schedule, paragraph 1(1), sub- paragraph (b), lines 1 and 2, delete “farming livestock, other than cattle, fish or cash crops” and insert the following:
    “cash crops or farming livestock, other than cattle or fish”
    Mr Speaker, it is just to have a better rendition of what we have under this paragraph.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Sixth Schedule, paragraph 1, sub- paragraph (4), definition of “tree crops” delete”shearnut” and insert “shea nut”
    Mr Speaker, it is just correcting the spelling mistake in the Bill.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Sixth Schedule, paragraph 4, sub- paragraph (3), line 1, delete”the” and insert “this”
    Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Chairman, I have not put the Question -- [Pause]
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I can barely hear Hon Members who are contributing.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    I totally agree with you.
    Hon Members, Order! Order!
    Other Hon Members can barely hear the Hon Members who are contributing. I can also barely hear the Hon Members who are contributing. The reason we have spaces outside this Chamber is that, if you need to have a conversation or a discussion, you could have it outside the Chamber. There is a Division Room as well.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that we have sat through proceedings for a fairly lengthy time, and Consideration Stage of Bills are always a bit tortuous.
    I am sure that is why Hon Members are agitated, and of course, because they have to go and prepare to travel tomorrow after the House has adjourned sine die. But I would say that we have just got a little patience, if Hon Members would sit down tight, I am sure that Leadership would assist us to go through the Income Tax Bill fairly soon.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, I am sure you have received some Reports? We are yet to take the supplementary estimates -- we are yet to
    take the Report of the Finance Committee on the supplementary estimates of Government for the year 2015, so we have very important things ahead of us.
    I can see interesting movements going on. I can see cross-carpet, cross- pollination and people moving in and out.
    The Majority Chief Whip for example, has been very busy -- Hon Muntaka, he is still busy. Now, he is gesticulating and I can see he is managing things.
    Hon Muntaka, congratulations for your management skills. Blessed are those who have not seen but yet believe. Congratulations Hon Muntaka.
    So, let us finish with the Income Tax Bill. We are on the Schedules. Let us finish with this. Let us take it through a second Consideration Stage. Please, bear with us.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess just as we represent the good people of this country and we must be listening to them, the relevant authorities should also be listening -- the people who are propelling the agenda of Government.
    Mr Speaker, I was having some discussion with the Hon Chairman of the Committee with respect to what we just went through, the Second Schedule, the modified taxation.
    I thought that it relates rather to section 1 (5) and not 1(4), because 1(5) is on income from business, and not 1(4).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:35 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, what is your response to what the Hon Minority Leader said?
    Mr Avedzi 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the Second Schedule that the Hon Minority Leader is referring to, he is actually right. Because in my copy of the Bill, we amended that section to make it 1(5) instead of 1(4).
    We did it here. But it was not captured on the Order Paper. So, he is right.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, are we on the Sixth Schedule?
    Mr Avedzi 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are on the Sixth Schedule, but on the Second Schedule, there is an amendment which has not been captured on the Order Paper. So, we can look at that.
    That is the Second Schedule on page 121 of the Bill, which is “modified taxation”; the section should read “section 1(5)”, not “section 1(4)” as we have captured on the Bill. But that amendment was not captured here, so we should take that amendment.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, “under Second Schedule, the section, delete “4” and insert “5”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Bagbin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to propose that we stop the further consideration of the Income Tax Bill and continue tomorrow. But I just want to lay one important Paper on the Order Paper Addendum, and then after that handle the Motion on the Eurobond.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Could we complete the Sixth Schedule? We have started the Sixth Schedule; there are about two or three amendments left. If you do not mind.
    Mr Bagbin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we cannot finish with the Schedules today. We still have further amendments which have not been published.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    There is no problem. Where are we?
    Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Bagbin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, if we may handle the only item on the Order Paper Addentum.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Let me bring the Consideration Stage to an end first.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, for the records, where are we?
    Mr Avedzi 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item numbered lxi.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    All right. That brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage. [Pause]
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, can we now handle the item on the Order Paper Addendum for today? It is by the Hon Minister for Petroleum -- National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015. It is for laying.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Petroleum?
    Mr Bagbin 5:45 p.m.
    The Hon Minister for Power will lay, on behalf of the Hon Minister for Petroleum.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    The Hon Minister for Power on behalf of the Hon Minister for Petroleum.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister responsible for Petroleum has been coming in and going out when he considers appropriate. This is not the appropriate time for him to have exited. We want him here to come and do his own business. It is not as if he is on any other more serious engagement. He has been hovering around, he comes here and goes back.
    Mr Speaker, let us stay this particular process and await him; he must be here to do his business.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    He was here this morning.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he comes in and goes out; he has been hovering round. Let him come here and do his own business.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, have mercy.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr A. S. K. Bagbin 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Petroleum is definitely managing the Ministry from here. So, he moves out to manage and then comes back because of this item.
    Mr Speaker, because of the nature of the business, this has to be gazetted today, once it is laid and we have given instructions to that effect. So, I am pleading with my Hon Colleague, to allow the Hon Minister for Power to lay the Report, on behalf of the Hon Minister for Petroleum.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if there is any Ministry which is overly subtled, it is the Ministry of Finance and yet we have the Hon Minister for Finance here; he has been here with us throughout the day.
    His two Hon Deputy Ministers are here. Are they not managing their own Ministry as well? -- [Interruption] -- They are managing from Parliament? --
    Mr Speaker, let the Hon Minister come and do his business. He has been hovering round.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Yes, the Hon Minister for Petroleum, represented by the Hon Minister for Power.
    PAPERS 5:45 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Dr Prempeh?
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this Paper that was referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee is rightly so. But we have to include the Finance Committee because it has to do with levies.
    The Hon Minister for Finance has to inform us whether he has seen this Legislative Instrument which is being laid. The Committee should attend this meeting, so that we know what is happening -- [Interruption] -- He is here, let him speak. Are you the Hon Minister for Finance? Why should they even bring other levies? The Committee should give us the Report.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Nitiwul?
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to support what the Hon Member for Manhyia South said.
    This is because embedded in this formula are issues of taxes and levies. I believe it is right that we get the Finance Committee involved.
    Mr Speaker, this will be a very controversial topic and as many committees as possible to deal with it to get a bipartisan approach, will be helpful.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Sorogho?
    Alhaji Sorogho 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that the best place for this should be under the Mines and Energy Committee -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, it is not because I am the Hon Chairman for the Mines and Energy Committee, but this is being derived out of the actual Act -- the National Petroleum Act. If it can be a joint Committee, then we can shepherd them to quickly finish it.
    Mr Speaker, I believe it should be a joint Committee of the Subsidiary Legislation and the Mines and Energy Committees.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that we should try as much as possible to do business in accordance with our Standing Orders. I appreciate the concerns expressed by the Hon Members on the addition of some committees. However, Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to refer-- [Interruption] -- to Standing Order 166(3):
    “After each Order, Rule or Regula- tion is laid before the House, the Committee shall, in particular, consider: -
    (a) whether it is in accordance with the general objects of the Constitution or that Act pursuant to which it is made;
    (b) whether it contains any matter which in the opinion of the Committee should more properly be dealt with in an Act of Parliament;
    (c) whether it contains imposition on any tax;…”
    Mr Speaker, the concerns expressed by Hon Members are within the remit of the Committee of Subsidiary Legislation.
    If the Committee considers that this particular Regulation or any sub Regulation thereof ought to be dealt with by an Act of Parliament, it shall so recommend to the House, that it be annulled. Except that, the reality, Mr Speaker, is that it is difficult to get two- thirds to annul any Regulation, it is almost impossible; you cannot get Hon Members.
    But really, adding the Finance Committee will not change anything. This is because we cannot amend any Regulation; we can only annul. If it is a question of annulment, the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, as constituted and in accordance with our Standing Orders, can recommend to the House that a Regulation be annulled.
    So, I am inviting Hon Colleagues to lay down their arms. However, as Hon Members of Parliament, they can go and participate in the proceedings of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:55 a.m.
    Well, I am surprised that people still want to speak after that.
    Hon K. T. Hammond?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 5:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I heard the eloquent submission made by our senior Hon Member on the side here, but I also heard the submission made by the Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:55 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon K. T. Hammond --
    Mr Hammond 5:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not quite conclude. An Hon Member was diverting my attention.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:55 a.m.
    Hon Akoto Osei, do you have a point of order?
    Mr Hammond 5:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, even though it is a Legislative Instrument, (L.I.) and of course, it is within the purview of Hon O. B. Amoah's Committee, it is the Mines and Energy Committee which would better be in the position to add the relevant ingredients.
    Mr Speaker, I am sure I am making myself clear? You would be in the positon

    Mr Speaker, my Hon Chairman is just indicating that, under Standing Order 180 -- I am not sure what is there. Every Standing Order under energy -- Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I beg to quote Standing Order 188:

    “The Committee on Mines and Energy composed of eighteen Members shall examine all matters relating to mines and energy generally.”

    Mr Speaker, this is a mandatory “shall” and not the Supreme Court “shall”. [Interruption]— “Sore naka bi. Na woteho a wonka bi?”

    Mr Speaker, Standing Order188 -- It is wrong. There has been a wrong reference. The best you can do, Mr Speaker, at the very least, is to add your Committee on Mines and Energy by virtue of Standing Order 188.

    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:55 a.m.
    Hon Members, I think I will proceed.
    I have listened to the various arguments eloquently made. I have also listened to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Mines and Energy, who has argued among other things that they have the expertise and it is within their remit and also that it is emerging from a Parent Act.
    Indeed, if it was in the court, I would be relying on cases like Tuffour v. Attorney- General, to say that the position is clear with regard to, for example, the
    Constitution, that in interpreting the Constitution, it must be read as a whole. If I am reading the Standing Orders as a whole, then I cannot read Standing Order 188 to amend Standing Order 166.
    Standing Order 188, must be read, taking into account Standing Order 166 -- all the provisions. So, even though Standing Orders 188, 189 and subsequent Standing Orders give specific power to various committees, for example, the Order 188 he quoted “The Committee on Mines and Energy, composed of eighteen Members shall examine all matters relating to mines and energy generally,” -- we must also look at Order 166.
    Standing Order 166 (i) says, and I quote;
    “There shall be a Committee on Subsidiary Legislation which shall consist of not more than twenty-five Members.”
    (2) “Any Orders, Rules or Regula- tions made in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution or the legislative functions dele- gated by Parliament to a subordinate authority shall be laid before Parliament as provided under Order 77 (Orders, Rules or Regulations).”
    All Orders, Rules and Regulations under Order 166 are referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee. Indeed, when I read --

    Hon Members, let us have some order. Everything you say goes onto the records and years to come, you would not be here to answer the question. That is why I do not want to mention names. Please, let me just finish saying this, then we can continue.

    So, my decision is that, taking into account Standing Order 166, I will refer the matter only to the Subsidiary and Legislation Committee. I accordingly order that, this matter be referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee.

    With regard to the arguments made by the Hon K. T. Hammond and Hon Sorogho, I have much sympathy for those arguments and I share those sentiments. Since we are amending our Standing Orders, I recommend that they put their plea before the Committee which is amending the Orders.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 5:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, just to fortify -- [Interruptions]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:55 a.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, after I have ruled, you cannot fortify me. Please, Hon Afenyo- Markin, if we develop that --
    Thank you.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin wanted to point out that, Standing Order 166 (1) says that they can ask for elucidation. So, they can ask you to go and elucidate. I have made my order.
    Yes, Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 5:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I propose that we handle item 12 on the Order Paper.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:55 a.m.
    Hon Members, item 12 -- Chairman of the Committee?
    MOTIONS 5:55 a.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least,
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know which Motion I am supposed to second.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, Motion 12 -- the Eurobond.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:05 p.m.
    It is a procedural Motion --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    It is a procedural Motion, so?
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item 13 on the Order Paper at page 5.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Majority Leader, did you say item 13?
    Mr Bagbin 6:05 p.m.
    I said item 13 at page 5 of the Order Paper.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    MOTIONS 6:05 p.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for approval of the 2015 Eurobond Financing Plan for an amount up to one billion, five hundred million United States dollars (US$1.5 billion) in respect of Liability Management and General Budget Support.
    Introduction
    Further to the presentation by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper on Tuesday, 21st July, 2015 Supplementary Budget for 2015 financial year, the request for approval of the 2015 Eurobond Financing plan for an amount up to one billion, Hundred United States dollars (US$1.5 billion) in respect of Liability Management and General Budget Support was referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report pursuant to Order 171 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    The Committee was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth E. Terkper and his deputy, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson and technical team of the Ministry of Finance.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and the Deputy Minister as well as the officials from the Ministry of Finance for the assistance.
    Reference
    The following additional documents were referred to during the Committee's deliberations:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
    ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
    iii. Loans Act, 1970, (Act 335)
    Background
    It will be recalled that in December, 2013, Cabinet and Parliament approved a 2014 Eurobond Funding Plan with the following elements:
    a. A ceiling of up to USD$1.00 billion for debt refinancing and capital expenditures with an option to increase further by US$500.00 million (or a total of $1.5 billion in favourable market conditions with the additional amount targeted at the refinancing of more expensive domestic and international debt.
    b. A further US$1.0 billion under a two -year master registration that can be tapped for specific projects as and when specific self-financing projects are ready for execution and subject to Parliamentary approval of the relevant project documents.
    However, while Government in 2014 issued a USD$1.00 billion Eurobond, no
    transactions were undertaken under the two-year master registration option because of the decision to establish the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) to focus on commercial infrastruc- ture financing. In addition, the planned refinancing of the 2017 Eurobond did not take place because of unfavourable market conditions.
    The proposed bond transaction in 2015, is thus, designed to achieve the refinancing objectives and provide cheaper and longer term resources for financing 2015 budget.
    Purpose of the Issue
    The purpose of the bond issue, among others, is to continue the diversification of the country's sources of funding. The indicative utilisation of the 2015 Eurobond is as follows:
    The refinancing of domestic and external debt
    The financing of the 2015 budget in order to reduce the reliance on short term expensive domestic debt.
    Components of the Programme
    The proposed financing plan involves issuing of up to US$1.5 billion in Eurobonds to be disbursed as follows:
    Liability Management -- US$0.50 billion
    General Budget support -- US$1.00 billion
    Total -- US$ 1.50.00billion
    Observations
    Objective of the Issue
    Briefing the Committee on the purpose of the issue, the Minister for Finance
    stated that the proposed 2015 bond transaction has been designed to achieve the refinancing objectives and provide cheaper and longer term resources for financing the 2015 Budget.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:05 p.m.


    The Hon Minister explained that the maturity profile of public debt indicates that currently 75 per cent of domestic debt is short-to-medium-term with short-term debt constituting 39 per cent as at December, 2014. In addition, there are three Eurobonds outstanding with maturity profiles of 8.5 per cent October, 2017 (US$531 m), 7.875 per cent August 2023 (US$1,000 m) and 8.125 per cent January 2026 (US$1,000 m) respectively.

    The Hon Minister stressed that the current maturity profile of our domestic debt poses a number of challenges which include shigh risks associated with the frequent rollover of short and medium-term debt because of volatile interest rates. Further, the current high domestic interest rate also indicates that rollovers are increasing the debt services component of expenditures.

    The bond issue for the financing of the existing debt will therefore, create a fiscal space for a significant amount of domestic debt to be rolled over into longer maturity debt with lower interest costs.

    Impact on the overall debt stock

    Responding to the Committee's concerns on the impact of the bond issue on the national debt stock and the ability of the country to honour its debt obligations, the Hon Minister pointed out that the impact of the Sovereign Bond issue will be relatively neutral with respect to the overall debt stock as it will mostly replace debt that is already included in the public debt stock.

    Further, the portion of the proceeds that would be used to finance capital expenditures in the 2015 Budget will be in lieu of the previously projected domestic financing which is even more expensive.

    Uniqueness of the 2015 Bond

    Touching on the uniqueness of the 2015 bond, the Hon Minister indicated that the structure of the proposed bond will differ from previous Eurobond transactions in two basic ways.

    First, the bond issue will be backed by sinking fund to be funded from the portion of the excess of the Stabilisation Fund earmarked for debt amortisation. The amortisation and Sinking Fund plan backed by Petroleum Revenue Manage- ment Act (PRMA), the Hon Minister added, will smoothen the redemption obligations between 2023 and 2026.

    The second unique feature the Hon. Minister mentioned was that the bond issue will be backed by the World Bank Policy-based Guarantee, which would enable the bond to be issued with a higher rating than the current sovereign guarantee, thus reducing the interest rate.

    Conclusion

    The Committee after its deliberations respectfully recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve by Resolution, the request for approval of the 2015 Eurobond Financing Plan for an amount of up to one billion, five hundred Million United States dollars (US$1.5 Billion) in respect of Liability Management and General Budget Support in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution, section 7 of the Loans Act, 1970, (Act 335) and Order 171 of the Standing Orders of the House.

    Respectfully submitted.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am surprised that Hon Members are directing me and trying to usurp your powers. Only the Speaker can direct me.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, I would want to bring Hon Members' attention to a few things. Mr Speaker, I have some Hon Colleagues here who are going to contribute after me, but I would want to point out a few things.
    Mr Speaker, you would recall that when this matter came up, the issue of rescinding our decision came up but subsequently, we did not. What occurred at the Committee meeting is something that we discussed at the Committee meeting but I want to reiterate it on the floor of the House.
    Last year, we approved an amount up to one billion for specific things including retiring part of the 2017 Bond. That did not occur; we said it at the Committee. I just want to remind the Hon Minister that for the sake of probity, accountability and transparency, when we approve money for a specific purpose and for whatever reasons, we are not able to do that, it would be prudent to come back and say, this did not happen.
    We could not do liability management, therefore, we want to re-porgramme in these areas, so that we the Members can be fully aware.
    I said it at the Committee meeting but I want to say it on the floor of the House because that is very important for us -- the same situation could arise this year. You can go to the market and you want one billion from the budget -- five hundred million for the Liability Management and the market conditions may be such that you may decide to only go for five hundred.
    It would be prudent to come back and say this is what happened, now, we want to go in this direction. So, I just want to remind the Hon Minister.
    There are a lot of issues and I would want to crave your indulgence, that I
    would stop here and allow other Hon Members of the Committee to bring those other issues.
    Question proposed.
    MrKobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to speak to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker in doing so, it talks at page four, paragraph two -- the impact on the overall debt stock of the country and there is a suggestion here that it is going to be neutral. This is because it is going to settle some debt that has already been included in our national debt stock at any event. Mr Speaker, it is not clear which of the debts has already been settled out of some of the Bonds that has already been raised and supported by this House.
    Mr Speaker, I am extremely uncomfort- able. Yesterday, I was listening to a BBC programme, there was something about phrases in English Language; we could simply say “I am concerned”, we could simply say “I am worried” and then we can use the superlatives and go extremely and very, very anxious. I am worried, anxious and concerned.
    Mr Speaker, all of us have been listening to what is going on in Greece. The Greece nationals said what is causing the difficulty at the moment seems to be the small amount of over €90 billion. Our debt is already US$90 billion -- [Interruption.] ninety billion Ghana -- dollars or Ghana cedis.[Laughter.]Mr Speaker, they are laughing; they think it is a laughing matter--
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, but there is nothing known as “Ghana dollars” ? [Laughter.]
    Mr Hammond 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it was on the floor of this House that I first raised the matter of Ghana cedis. I thought it was only in this country that we use cedis. I have never known Mongolians
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:05 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, this is a House of record, I crave the indulgence of my Hon Colleague, there is nothing like “Ghana dollars”. So, if he can use the proper denomination that the Bank of Ghana has said, it would help all of us. This is because once he gave it in Ghana dollars, then some of us would have to compute what it means. We do not know, it is not legal tender. So, he should just go on the path he is going and it would be alright, because this is a House of record.
    Mr Hammond 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague does not want the “Ghana dollars” but I meant the dollars distributed by the Bank of Ghana. The Bank of Ghana is distributing some dollars.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    So, you were using Ghana as an adjective, not as a noun? You were describing the dollars as “Ghana dollars” because of the Bank of Ghana -- but it is United States dollars?
    Mr Hammond 6:05 p.m.
    I suspect it was United States dollars infused into the system by Bank of Ghana. That is the point Mr Speaker, you are right on the spot.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he says he suspects it is US dollars. If he does not know, he should say so, but it could have been Australian dollars --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Or Canadian dollars or Zimbabwe dollars?
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 6:15 p.m.
    The Bank of Ghana has not pronounced, so, he cannot say dollars.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is extremely helpful. So, we do not even know the dollar we are talking about. Alright. We will get the Minister for Finance to come and clarify which dollars are making the rise in Ghana.
    Thank you very much my Hon Colleague, I am very grateful.
    Mr Speaker, the critical point I made, I missed all these things -- we should be careful about the money that we are raising left, right and centre -- one million here, two million there, hundred million here, two hundred there. Mr Speaker, we go to the extent of raising even loans for US$16 million. The Savana Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) is there, Ghana Youth Entrepreneurial Develop- ment Agency (GYEEDA) is there; whatever is there, AGAMS Group of Companies is there and we are raising sixteen million --
    Mr Speaker, I am making this point, we should learn the Greece example,and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Central Bank of Europe, IMC, the Central Bank and the Eurozone are all on the back of Greece.
    Mr Speaker, the Syriza Party campaigned on the back of austerity, won and came to power. They went to Brussels and
    suggested that they would not take any austerity measures from the European Commission.
    Mr Speaker, in the process, the Minister for Finance had to resign. They have now gone on a referendum and voted “No” against the austerity measures. What has happened now is that, the European Central Bank and the European Union are telling them that they have gone on a referendum and voted against these measures but we are giving you measures worse than the one you voted against. They have accepted that. The EU and the IMF are giving them some money.
    Mr Kwaku A. Kwarteng (NPP -- Obuasi West) 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the facility we are taking now is in two parts. There is a US$500 million facility to manage our liabilities. To the extent that we are using those moneys to pair off existing liabilities, its impact on our debt sustainability will be minimal.
    Mr Speaker, there is a bigger component. The US$1 billion facility --
    the Hon Minister has not demonstrated to this House that its impact on debt sustainability is something we can handle.
    As it has been the case with earlier facilities, the Hon Minister just says its impact on debt sustainability is something we can handle. We have come to a point, when Mr Speaker, we have to let the Hon Minister accompany and request for approval with the debt sustainability assessment, so that we can judge for ourselves that the many loans we are approving will not drive us into situations we cannot handle in the future.
    Mr Speaker, if you would indulge me, we should request the Hon Minister to provide for this particular facility an assessment of its impact on our debt sustainability. This is my point, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Member for Winneba.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you mean Effutu.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Effutu. Sorry.
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to support -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Frederick Opare-Ansah, do you have a point of order?
    Mr Opare-Ansah 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just taking note that some Hon Members seem to be more equal than others. I have noticed that some Hon Members have been served with water and the rest of us are thirsty.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in order not to disrupt the concentration of Hon Members, any Hon Member seated here could request for water to quench his or her thirst. That is what the ushers are available to do -- To serve you while you are in the Chamber. It is normally done but not in the sense of disrupting the flow of proceedings.
    From time to time, Mr Speaker, it is very obvious that my Hon Colleagues opposite have seen me a number of times request for water to be brought here in such a way that I take it without interrupting the proceedings of the House. It is allowed because you need to from time to time refill. So, there is nothing out of order in this matter. As I said, it should be done in such a way that it does not interrupt the proceedings of the House.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to support this Motion ably moved by the Chairman of the Finance Committee.
    Mr Speaker, by way of preliminary comments, I would like to refer to paragraph 2.0, where I believe there was a little omission. It is not so fatal. The Committee's Report makes reference to additional documents. I believe in future, the primary document that we rely on could be stated to assist Hon Members.
    Again, the Hon Deputy Finance Minister, Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson, did not really assist us during our deliberation. It was rather the Hon Minister for Finance. He came in alright, but he assisted us in another matter. I believe that would also be noted.
    Now, to the main issue. Mr Speaker, if you go to page 3, paragraph 6 of the Report, there is reference to three Eurobonds that have already been issued.
    One which will mature in 2017, another in August, 2023 and the last one in January
    2026 --
    Mr Avedzi 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the record, this new loan, US$1.5 billion, which is yet to be approved by this House, is not yet issued. The Bond is not issued yet: so, you cannot know when it will mature. The Hon Member should wait, after we approve of it, if it is issued, the maturity date would be known -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to my Hon Chairman, this matter came up at the Committee. This is not the first time we are dealing with Eurobonds. In previous documents, we were given the maturity dates. When we asked the Hon Minister, he could not tell us.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Finance, I will give you the opportunity to answer or you would want to --
    Mr Tekper 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I understand that you will give me the opportunity but the Hon Member is making a very specific charge. I just want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, in the memorandum to Parliament, which I read at the Committee meeting and I indicated that given our experience last year, where we did soft amortisation --
    It is specifically stated that there is a possibility that this Bond would also follow soft amortisation and mature over a period of 2023 to 2026. It is there in the memorandum, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has not in any way watered down the point I was making earlier. Certainty, in such matters, it is very critical. In his own submission, he has not said anything different from what he told us at the Committee level. How can he say that they are issuing a Bond and it will mature between 2023 and 2026?
    Mr Speaker, what I am asking and demanding of the Hon Minister, is to give us specific time. This is because in previous ones, they were bold to tell us that, it would mature in 2017 and the other would be in 2023. So, they are still unable to tell this House when this Eurobond would mature.
    Ghanaians need to know to ensure that this facility is tracked. So, Mr Speaker, his inability to tell this House when this facility would mature brings into question whether the Ministry of Finance has really done sufficient preparation and whether the Ministry really knows what it is doing in respect to this particular Eurobond. Mr Speaker, this is the question that the Hon Minister must answer and ensure certainty. It is very important.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Alex Agyekum, do you have a point of order?
    Mr Alex K. Agyekum 6:25 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want your direction on this, respectfully.
    Mr Speaker, this is the Report by the Finance Committee, a very important Committee of this House. Many a time, I have studied that, when a Report comes from a Committee like that, it is supposed
    to be a Committee made up of Hon Members from both sides of the House and certain critical issues on reports that they use are sometimes challenged by the very Hon Members that we have entrusted the work of this House to go and deliberate upon.
    What the Hon Member for Effutu is saying now, if it is something to go by, then I believe that the Finance Committee is not letting this House know the truth of the Reports that they present. And it is something that I have observed since the time I arrived in this House. It is something that we cannot allow to continue.
    If we ask a committee to go and do a report, we expect that the reports that they present, pertinent questions that would be asked there would appear there so that they do not give us a blind report with some pertinent issues not being brought to the fore of this House.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Member for Effutu, continue.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in this Report the Ministry of Finance tells us that they are going to use the US$1.5 billion to re-finance domestic and external debts and also, finance the 2015 Budget in order to reduce the reliance on the short- term expensive domestic debts. Mr Speaker, in the previous Eurobond that was issued last year, we were told that US$250 million was going to be used to retire certain debts.
    We do not know whether the Ministry has been able to do this. In fact, the Ministry has not been able to provide us with information to confirm what it told us it was going to do. So, how the US$250 million was applied, we still do not know.

    Mr Speaker, they are saying that the US$500 million out of the US$1.5 billion, which is going to be used in re-financing the external and internal debts, is to help in debt sustainability policy of the Ministry. But what is the breakdown? We are the people's representatives. We need to know the specific breakdown, so that if we need to monitor and know exactly what the US$500 millon is being used for
    -- 6:25 p.m.

    MrAgbesi 6:25 p.m.
    On a point of Order.
    Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that you refer issues to committees to produce reports to this House. Some of us are not Hon Members of the Finance Committee which produced this Report.
    Indeed, Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague on his feet is an Hon Member of the Committee which brought this Report. If for any reason he thinks that this Report is not adequate enough, representing what they did at the Committee level, he should say so. Otherwise, he should tell us what is wrong with this Report of the Committee for which he is an Hon Member.
    Mr Speaker, we are here to move forward. You produced this Report and you are telling us the Hon Minister should tell this House. What did you get from the Report at the Committee level? Mr Speaker, that is the issue. So, he should
    be asked to restrict himself because he looked at whatever document the Hon Minister brought to the Committee, he satisfied himself and he produced this Report before the whole House.
    Mr Speaker, he cannot be taking us back. He should not be seen to be taking us back.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that my very senior at the Bar and the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is well acquainted with the rules of this House. I would not belabour -- I have options. I am speaking to the Report and in supporting same, I am making known my concerns, things that I believe if they are put right, would help Hon Members to appreciate the efforts being made by Government. I am not attacking the Report.
    Mr Speaker, if the Ministry of Finance is proposing to utilise US$1billion for investment, we are supposed to know specifically -- we are supposed to be given a breakdown of those investments. What we have is insufficient. The Hon Minister must come clear -- the Hon Minister must ensure transparency in how the Ministry is going to utilise this US$1billion.
    Mr Woyome 6:25 p.m.
    On a point order.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is a Member of this Committee that worked on the Report. And if you read the conclusion, it states here clearly:
    “The Committee, after its delibera- tions, respectfully recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve by Resolution…”
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because our credit rating -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:35 a.m.
    Would you yield to Hon Akoto Osei?
    MrAfenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Well, I am told he is on point of information; I do not know if it is your pleasure to call him.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:35 a.m.
    Would you yield to him?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    I will yield, Mr Speaker.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is just a point of information.
    Some Hon Members have been longer than some of us, including our current Speaker. You can check the Hansard.
    The current Speaker has stated on this floor, that he has a right to disown the Report of the Committee that he belongs. So, the Hon Member has every right to speak. When you have the chance, you contribute.
    The Hon Majority Leader has done same. So, please, we have rules; allow the Hon Member to contribute and when it gets to your turn, you contribute. Otherwise, you disrupt the flow. The rules are very clear.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because our credit rating is so bad as a result of our fiscal policies, on this occasion, we have gone to the World Bank for US$400 million guarantee to shore us up, so that this package would be attractive. This guarantee is not for free; it is coming at a cost that adds on to the debt burden of the average Ghanaian. So, it is something that I would urge the Ministry to take a critical look at.
    Again, the IMF, in approving the package for the Government, gave a ceiling of US$1 billion with respect to commercial loans. My information is that, there are some discussions between the Ministry and the IMF for that to be adjusted upwards. I am also aware that as a result of that discussion, some assurances have been given by the IMF.
    Mr Benjamin K. Kpodo 6:35 a.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading the House by quoting a specific figure. If you read the first line of the last page of the Finance Committee's Report, it is clearly indicated an amount up to US$1.5 billion. It does not mean that right now, we are sitting here to approve US$1.5 billion. It says up to US$1.5 billion. So, why would he not wait until that time before he begins to bring up his figure.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is a needless intervention because if you go to page 3, paragraph 5, of the Report -- “Components of the Programme”; “Liability Management”, US$0.50 billion; “General Budget Support”, it is there. The question is, are we so sure that the IMF Board would approve US$1.5 billion as the new ceiling? The Minister should let us know because the team has not referred this new proposal to their Board, so, there is some uncertainty which must be cleared.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:35 a.m.
    It is 6.30 p.m.; make the submission, Hon Afenyo- Markin.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I submit that there are loopholes in our tax system, where payments are made, which do not get into the right channel. We have situations where people pay their taxes and are assessed and moneys get into private pockets. This is because we have a receipt which was generated at GRA and one Patrick Kwarifa paid his tax and after same had been assessed, the amount here is GH¢5,700. It has the seal, the GRA stamp and all the details.
    The assessment form which preceded the payment was also done at the GRA Office with their stamp by an official but when a verification of these records were made, GRA did not have these in their records --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:35 a.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, do you think that we have the time to go into this much detail? GRA is not here. You make your point -- [Interruption.]
    Please, let me finish.
    When you make your point, we accept your point. You have made your point that there are leakages in the tax system and I do not have a problem with that. But when you start going into this much detail, which is difficult to follow at first glance, that this person did this or that -- I am trying hard to be on the same page with you.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the point I am trying to drive home is that, the Ministry should put the necessary support systems in place to do away with the direct cash payments that are effected at the counters, so that they go the electronic way, where tax payments are made at the banks and people submit receipts to the GRA for records to be entered.
    Alhaji Sorogho 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, sitting here and listening to my Hon Brother, I felt so sad. Sad because I know that my Hon Brother from all what he is saying is showing that he is so patriotic. I would want to find out if he has gone to report this because it borders on criminality and the way he is speaking means that he has investigated and has come out clearly that this is a crime. Has he gone to the appropriate quarters to report to the police, so that they could follow-up so that these things do not happen again?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:35 a.m.
    Hon Sorogho, I invited him to desist from that line of argument but I think that he abandoned it. Hon Afenyo-Markin, I suspect that we will be concluding.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would conclude but my Hon Friend has made an important point on this matter. For the records, I brought this matter to the attention of the Commissioner- General and I reported same to the police,
    for the officer and those involved to be arrested. I have done so. Except that I wanted to bring this to the attention of the Ministry, so that they strengthen the system and ensure that people do not take advantage of our system and pay directly through the banks. This is because I believe that if we initiate --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, please. You have made the point, which is a good one and has been accepted. You are saying that we should be careful about our revenue and we agree with you. So, if you have another point, proceed and conclude.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, all that I am trying to say is that, instead of always going to borrow at an extra cost, we should put in place measures where we could maximise our revenue base. Then again, the Government must demonstrate good faith. It is not just enough to be borrowing and borrowing. We are interested as a people in what you use those moneys for.
    Alhaji Sorogho 6:45 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I think that my younger brother should take his time. This is a House of record. He should not get up and make sweeping statements -- “An embarrassment to all of us”. He and who? -- [Interruption] --Please, he must be careful when he is talking. There are people watching. Mr Speaker, that “this is embarrassing to all of us”. [Uproar] --
    Mr Speaker, what has just happened is an embarrassment to all of us. What they
    have just exhibited is an embarrassment to all of us. What they have done --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Sorogho, thank you. --
    MrAfenyo-Markin 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, all that I would want to put across is that, looking at our debt stock, and the projects that the Government claims to have used all these moneys for, there seems to be no positive correlation. The inelasticity is there and this has resulted in Government itself instituting investigations. [Inter- ruption.]
    Mr Boniface Adagbila 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just thought we feel threatened by Hon Sorogho, to the extent that his heart was being removed and he was knocking it back. I feel you should protect us. This is because the emotional discharge and body language by Hon Sorogho, Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina or wherever, is threatening. And we do not know what is under his sleeves. Maybe, he has a cutlass or a knife. We feel threatened.
    Mr Speaker, you need to caution him. This is because, that emotional discharge does not make us feel happy in this House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, I remember that the Hon Member for Akwatia, once spoke and then they said he was emotional. He said that is how he speaks. You speak in a very gentle manner; we almost did not hear you. Hon Sorogho is passionate and that is his style.
    I wish to assure you that he would not cross the line. He would not attack anybody. He is a passionate gentleman and you are a gentle gentleman. You are all Hon Members.
    Hon Afenyo Markin, the time is 6.47p.m At 6:50 p.m, I will advise you to resume your seat even without me telling you that time is up. You have spoken for --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, from all the points I have made, with all the concerns I have expressed, paramount of them being the worries of Ghanaians with respect to the loans we procure and the projects we use them for. I would want to urge the indefatigable Hon Finance Minister and his able deputies and all Hon Ministers to ensure that, this US$1.5 billion is given a special attention.
    That with respect to this US$1.5 billion, they would ensure transparency, they would ensure that the projects they earmark would be executed and executed successfully, so that all of us would at least, be happy with them for the first time.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    The last contribution by Hon Nitiwul, then the Hon Minister for Finance will wind up.
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP -- Bimbilla) 6:45 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, the Motion is that, this House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee. Let it be very clear to all Hon Members that, the Finance Committee of Parliament does not have the jurisdiction to adopt a Report. They can only work on the Report and present to Parliament to adopt it. It is also the duty of the Hon Members of the Committee to inform this House.
    In fact, they have the singular honour to inform this House about the details of the Report and speak to it, so that this House can be informed to decide on whether to reject or approve the Report. That is the duty of all Hon Members of each committee. They have all the information. They met the technical people, the Hon Ministers and every body. It is their duty to inform this House
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Hon Nitiwul and so, if there are matters that are very dear to the hearts of the Hon Members of the Committee, is it not your duty to ensure that it appears in the Report?
    Mr Nitiwul 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, precisely --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    Is it not your paramount duty?
    Mr Nitiwul 6:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not everything that Hon Members say there that can appear here.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:45 p.m.
    I am not talking about everything. I am saying that if there is something -- This is because, we have seen Reports here and any way, sorry, continue.
    Mr Nitiwul 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying that it is the right of Hon Members of the Committee to contribute and inform this House, so that the House can take an informed decision. It would not be in the interest of Parliament, not to allow Hon Members to have a critical analysis of their own Report on this floor.
    So, let nobody think that Hon Members are doing an injustice by critiquing their own Report. It is right and they have the right to do that even as one, as individual Hon Members of Parliament and two, as Hon Members of the Committee.
    This is because, if one is not on the Committee, one only reads the Report and does not know what went in, and the technical details that were not in the Report. And so, it is Hon Members who should inform you, so that you can take a decision whether to reject or to accept the Committee's Report.
    Mr Speaker, in going to the Committee's Report itself, it is important to note that, we have decided as a country, through

    Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome -- rose
    -- 6:55 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Hon Woyome, do you have a point of order?
    Mr Woyome 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just want some clarification on the submission of my Hon Colleague.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Now, when you stand up on a point of order, you have to show us which Order you are relying on. Order what?
    Mr Woyome 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a point of clarification.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Order what? Read it. Put your house in order.
    Hon Nitiwul, continue.
    Mr Nitiwul 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Finance Minister brought US$1 billion Eurobond for us to approve. We did approve it and he has come with another US$500 million for us to add to it.
    Mr Speaker, I just think that the rate of borrowing is too much. We cannot borrow our way out of trouble because we cannot sustain it.
    Mr Speaker, if in seven years, we have increased our debt stock, whether through the management of our currency, which is the fault of the Government and not us or the average Ghanaian, or that we have actually borrowed the real quantum that we have today, to rise from GH¢9.5 billion to over GH¢90 billion as we
    have today, it is too much. In seven years, -- and that is not good for us as a country, and our children would blame us if we continue at this rate. This is because most of the loans are long-term loans.
    Mr Speaker, we would be paying these loans in 2023, 2024, 2030, 2040, when none of us here may be Members of Parliament or even be alive --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Hon Dominic Nitiwul, if you would want to leave Parliament or leave the world too, please, leave alone. This is because by God's grace, I would still be alive by 2040 and Hon Dr Anthony Akoto Osei and I would still be Hon Members of Parliament—[Laughter.]
    Mr Nitiwul 6:55 p.m.
    Well, the Hon Majority Leader has said that he has a path with God that he would have 100 years and so, I do not want to talk about him.
    Mr Speaker, the truth is that, we are borrowing too much as a country, particularly this Government. We are simply just borrowing too much and we cannot continue at this rate and that is the point I would want to make straight and clear.
    Mr Speaker, this side of the House has decided that we cannot continue to support just any borrowing—[Uproar.] We would support borrowing but not just any borrowing.
    Mr Speaker, secondly, we would demand that the impact on our debt sustainability accompanies every major loans from now onwards. This is because as a country, we must know the impact of this US$1.5 billion on debt sustainability that we are taking as we move forward.
    We are alerting the Hon Minister for Finance, that he must hint us on that Report and any subsequent loan he would bring, particularly the large ones, he should bring the Report on debt sustainability on that particular loan as against all.
    Mr Nitiwul 6:55 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister stated that in 2014, a US$1 billion Eurobond was issued to refinance debt—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Hon Dominic Nitiwul, what paragraph, please?
    Mr Nitiwul 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the second paragraph of page 2—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:55 p.m.
    Thank you. I have seen it.
    Mr Nitiwul 6:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, and it says, and I beg to quote:
    “In addition, the planned refinancing of the 2017 Eurobond did not take place because of unfavourable market conditions”.
    Mr Speaker, if you remember, this House authorised the Hon Minister for Finance to use US$250 million to refinance this. If this House gave him that authority and he decided that because of unfavourable market conditions, he would not do it; it is just good that he should inform this House. This is because if one goes to the bank to borrow money to do groundnut farming and decided to go and pay a gir lfr iend's debt, it is bad management. It is called misapplication of funds and in fact, one could be prosecuted for it.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister may have to tell us why and what he used that money for. That was the point that the Hon Member for Effutu made, that if we took US$1 billion to refinance— to use US$250 million to do some refinancing of the Eurobond, which was due to mature in 2017 and we did not do it, what did we use that money for? Did we use that money for capital expenditure, for payment of recurrent expenditure or what did we
    use it for? It is important because this debt is a commercial loan and not a concessionary loan.
    Mr Speaker, we were also told that US$250 million of that US$1 billion was to be put into the Infrastructure Fund. As we sit today, that Infrastructure Fund has not taken off. Where is that US$250 million? Have we used that money for something else or that money is still sitting in our bank or somewhere? We need to know before we approve this.
    It is important because half of that money was not used for the purpose for which we acquired it: meanwhile, interest is building on it and we are being told today that we can go for another US$500 million. That is not right, and I do not think that it is good for us as a country to continue on this line.
    Mr Speaker, when one looks at the components of the programme -- Liability Management is US$500 million -- local and external. It would be very important for the Hon Minister because at the Committee meeting, he said they would go and work at it and so, as we sit today, we do not know how much and I hope the Hon Minister is listening—We do not know how much of the US$500 million would be used, unlike the past, to retire external loans or debts and we do not know how much of the US$500 million would be used to retire internal debt. That is not good for us as a House.
    It is only the terms and conditions that, we can excuse the Hon Minister and give him that leverage and say that because he has to go on a road show and the conditions may change, we can agree to the terms and conditions. But we must know what the money would be used for.
    Mr Speaker, this House would not be doing the nation any good if we do not know what we are borrowing the money for. If we have just “General Budget Support and Liability Management”, it is
    not good for us. If this Report gets out to anybody, the people of Ghana would not be happy with us. What is “General Budget Support”? Which are the specific projects, under which Ministries and departments— which roads, how much and where?
    Mr Speaker, I understand when the terms and conditions are not tackled because we would not know. But as for the loan itself, US$1 billion which today is equivalent to, depending on whom you talk to, GH¢3.5 billion or GH¢4 billion. This is because if one goes to the Forex Bureau, it is likely to be GH¢3 billion; if one goes to the banks, they would say GH¢3.3 billion or GH¢3.4 billion and so, we are not too sure how much this US$1 billion would be translated into and the Hon Minister may tell us because we do not spend dollars here.
    It is Ghana cedis, and so, I would have wished to mention this figure in cedis. But, whatever the case may be, if the Hon Minister is handed even the minimum of GH¢3.2 billion, he should be able to tell us what he would use it for in the budget. We discussed it before in the main budget but if there are changes to it, the Hon Minister should let us know. But if he would stick to what was in the budget, he should let us know.
    The extra US$500 million, like I said before, how much of it would be used to retire the 2017 Eurobond and how much of it would be left? What did we use the money we were supposed to use to retired the debt last year?
    Mr Speaker, these are but some of the issues that we have particularly and I will repeat, our debt stock is rising, so, we cannot borrow our way out of trouble. If we do not manage our country's resources prudently -- If you are a father and you do not manage the little money
    you have prudently, you cannot borrow your way out of trouble. You would always borrow your way into trouble because as a country, the biggest and greatest embarrassment is to tell people that I have to borrow to go and pay my debts and the next time, I would have to borrow to go and pay my debt. When should we stop borrowing?
    So, Mr Speaker, I would just say that if we have decided to go on a borrowing spree, we should be careful not to drag our little oil resources into it as it is being found on page 4. Mr Speaker, on page 4, the Hon Minister says for the 2015 Eurobond, they would use some of the oil resources to secure it by what we call “Sinking Fund” to back it. It is so unique.
    I would say that we should leave those resources for future generations to enjoy, particularly Stabilisation Fund and Heritage Fund. We should leave them for future generations to come and enjoy.
    If we are borrowing for the sake of borrowing, we should leave the oil resources for others to come in 2017 and use it prudently. This is because by 2017, when that side of the House is sitting here [Interruption] , they would want to demand that we do the right thing. So, I would urge that we thread with caution in borrowing.
    We should thread with caution on the usage of our oil resources and that we should demand, for the last time, the impact on debt sustainability report of every loan that the Hon Minister now brings to Parliament.
    Thank you.
    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E.Terkper) 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:05 p.m.
    On a point order.

    Mr Speaker, there are several ways of repayment; we did it in 2007, knowing that it was due in 2017. The elections came in 2008 and we were out of government. This refinancing he talked about is in 2013. Mr Speaker, in 2008, we were out and they came in 2009. It took them up to 2013 to even think about it. Why that? This is because of the mess they put us in in 2012 and that is the reason they are panicking.

    The deficit moves from 6.5 to 12.4 and that again, is the reason they are panicking. Mr Speaker, since 2012, the space to manoeuvre has become difficult for them. So, out of necessity, they have to borrow to pay debts.
    Mr Terkper 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the same vein, when we talk about liability management with respect to the current bond issue, what we are really saying is that, if we were to liquidate the US$531
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, do you have a point of order?
    Prof. G. Y. Gyan-Baffour 7:05 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, it is sad to hear from the Finance Minister that if you go and borrow money to pay for a borrowed money, it is a plan. [Uproar.] They are going to borrow to pay for money that they have borrowed and they call that a plan. It is a very sad comment from the Minister for Finance.
    A plan to pay your debt should be a local plan but not to go and borrow money from somewhere to come and pay for a loan that they have taken.
    Mr Speaker, more importantly, there are two other bonds, what is their plan for the payment of those bonds? He should tell us the plan that they have for the payment of the 2023 and then the 2026 Bonds. He should give us the plan right now.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Minister, continue.
    MrTerkper 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, refinancing is a plan and that plan is superior to waiting till 2017 before we redeem the bond. Mr Speaker, households refinance -- And they do refinance their credit card debts. Mr Speaker, households refinance their mortgages, businesses refinance their loans. It is a plan, therefore, for a Government to sit down and look at the structure of its loans and come out with a refinancing plan. [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr Speaker, the point I made before this issue came up is that, if we have to redenominate our debt in cedis, then we must in all fairness redenominate the US$ 750 million, which we are refinancing in Ghanaian cedis and look at its equivalent. It is not just the debt that was contracted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government, which should be redenominated in cedis.
    Mr Speaker, I say this because 33 per cent of the debt that is being serviced today was contracted before 2009. Mr Speaker, I am even told it is 42 per cent.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Dr Akoto Osei, do you have a point of order? [Interruption.]
    Hon Members, if I ask an Hon Member whether he has a point of order, and you pre-empt me and ask what Order and so on, I would not ask it. So, let me manage the House. I was going to ask him what Order like I did to -- But I heard shouting of “what Order?” So, I would not ask it. Please, let us --
    Hon Akoto Osei, if you have a point of order, please, tell us what Order -- [Interruptions] -- Hon Akoto Osei, continue.
    Dr A.A. Osei 7:15 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, he is misleading this House. He used the words, “superior plan”. He and I know that if one goes out to borrow at 9 per cent to refinance something that was borrowed at 8.5 per cent, it cannot be “superior”. Mr Speaker, this is common knowledge. So, to use the word “superior”, I would want to caution him against that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Akoto Osei, it is his opinion. He believes that --
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not an opinion. In finance, it cannot be an opinion. An interest rate at 9 per cent cannot be superior to 8.5 per cent; it is not an opinion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Minister for Finance, continue.
    MrTerkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt, we never borrowed the sovereign bond at 9 per cent. It is in the Report that we brought. Mr Speaker, the 2017 Bond was issued at 8.5 per cent. The 2023 Bond was issued at 7.875 per cent and it is cheaper because it includes the refinancing of the 8.5 per cent. Even the most expensive, which is the 2026 Bond, was financed at 8.125 per cent and not at 9 per cent. So, for the record, we did not borrow at 9 per cent.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Minister, I agree with what you said that you can borrow to refinance. But what I understood Hon Akoto Osei to have said was that, if you borrow at a higher interest rate to refinance a debt -- For instance, if I go to borrow at the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) at 10 per cent and then I go to borrow at the National Investment Bank (NIB) at 20 per cent to pay the 10 per cent interest at ADB, it cannot be refinancing.
    But if I go to NIB and they give it to me at 8 per cent, I can use that to pay it; that is refinancing.
    So, continue to make your point and just take that on board. That is the point I understand he made.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Where did you quote from, please?
    MrTerkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I referred to the official website of the World Bank, which gave us the guarantee -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Simon Osei-Mensah, do you have a point of order and under what Order are you coming under?
    Mr Simon Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a point of order.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    What Order are you coming under, please?
    Mr Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Members of Parliament who are on their first term would have to quote the Order, but I have a point of order against what the Hon Minister for Finance said.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Simon Osei-Mensah, I asked you, what Order and what did you say?
    Mr Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of elucidation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    What Order is that under?
    MrOsei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know the Order number. I am raising a point of order on what he said.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    No! Hon Osei-Mensah, put your house in order -- [Interruption]
    Hon Members, Order! Order!
    Mr Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am coming under Order 92 (2).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Read it for us, please.
    Mr Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have the Standing Orders with me.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Then Hon Osei-Mensah, hold your peace. When you get the Standing Orders, then I will recognise you.
    Mr Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “When a point of order has been stated the Member interrupting shall
    resume his seat and except by leave of Mr Speaker no other Member shall rise until Mr Speaker …”
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Ranking Member raised a point of order and resumed his seat. Now, I am getting up to also raise another point of order.
    I can still come under order 92 (1) (b). Mr Speaker, if you do not want Order 92 (2), I would come under 92 (1) (b). [Pause] -- Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read:
    “(b) to elucidate some matter raised by the Member speaking …”

    7. 25 p.m.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, Order! Order!
    Hon Minister for Finance, I will recognise you in a minute.
    The rules are in my bosom. So, I can make certain discretions.

    Hon Osei-Mensah, I will give you two minutes to make your point. This is a Speaker's alliance.
    Mr Osei-Mensah 7:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, in the submission of the Hon Minister for Finance, he did say that, over 32 per cent of the loans that are being

    Mr Speaker, he said 42 per cent -- If we take the total loan stock that we have now, which is about GH¢25 billion, when we were leaving power, we had just about GH¢8 billion for which included loans borrowed by previous Governments. So, it cannot be true that the loan facility they are servicing, which is over 32 per cent are loans borrowed by the NPP Government or even all the previous regimes.

    That can never be true and even some of us still doubt whether the total loan stock is about 25 billion because the reference point is after the first quarter, that is the end of March, and we have facilities that have been approved after March, which presupposes that the loan position now would be more than the GH¢25 million and GH¢8 billion of over GH¢25 million can never be around 22 per cent. So, what he said can never be actually correct.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I do not think I would be very hesitant to accept any more points of orders because I gave people 20-30 minutes to talk.
    Mr Terkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the point I made is a very simple one. What I am alluding to, which the Hon Member is disputing, is the fact that, if one were to multiply US$750 million, which is part of the current debt stock by GH¢3.9 at today's rate, it is about GH¢2.9 billion. That alone is 2.9 billion, which is higher or closer to almost half of the 8 billion that they quoted and that is the essence of the exchange rate-- that is the end of May quote.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Finance Minister is doubly speaking because only yesterday, when he presented -- on Tuesday, I should
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Finance Minister?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:15 p.m.
    In any event, the amount outstanding is not US$750 million. He knows that. So, why does he go back to use US$750 million? Mr Speaker why I said the Hon Minister, doubly speaking -- [Interruption]
    Mr Terkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is perfectly right and the essence of what I said in the mid-year review is that, if one took the end of May figure, which was GH¢2.9 and the appreciation at GH¢3.3, it would no longer be GH¢2.9, but that same amount would now be GH¢2.7. That is the point I made. So, I am not contradicting what he said nor what I said, at all.
    I only said that if one took the exchange rate US$750 million in 2007, it was a certain amount and if one took it as at May and took it through the re- financing, then that same amount, which is now in the debt stock has a different and higher cedi denominated amount. That is the essence.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:15 p.m.
    How much would the US$2 billion that has been borrowed be? Let him tell us that it is 33 per cent or whatever we have said. This arithmetic is simply incongruous. He knows that.
    Mr Terkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I may -on uses of the Eurobond [Interruction.] --
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister knows -- because this House has given him approval to retire some. So, he cannot say that what is in the debt stock is US$750 billion.
    In fact, the information that he has brought to us is US$531million. So, how does he go back and say the US$750 billion is in the debt stock? It is not true.
    Mr Terkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member, with all due respect --
    Mr Bagbin 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just to put a plea. This is because Hon Members are not listening to one another. They are making statements that have not been made by other Hon Members. So, drawing conclusions based on their -- [Interruption.] Please, I have not even concluded the same -- [Interruption]-- he is confirming what I am just saying.
    Hon Members are not listening to one another. I have not yet landed; he has not listened to me and he has just confirmed what I said. It is important we listen to one another. None of us gains from this debate of throwing mud at one another.
    In today's Ghana, it is important we listened to one another; identify the problems and see how we, in Leadership can solve those problems. It is a plea -- and I am talking about political leadership.
    We are in political leadership; please, let us listen to one another. That is what democracy is about.
    Mr Terkper 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, I agree with the Hon Ranking Member and I made the point that the 2017 Bond -- [Interruption]
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Finance, Hon Cudjoe has been standing --
    Do you have a point of order?
    Mr Joseph Cudjoe 7:15 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I think --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    What Standing Order are you coming under?
    Mr Cudjoe 7:15 p.m.
    The Hon Minister for Finance made a statement that could be misleading and I would want to clarify things, so that the conclusion we would reach on the statement would be understandable to all.
    I would want to do a little clarification here. If one looks at the 2015 Budget Statement, page 34, we see a description of the Eurobond that was issued and we see the terms. There are two factors I would want to isolate -- the issue price, which was 99.101 per cent, together with the coupon rate which is 8.125 per cent.
    One comes to the current Report, one sees this Bond referred to in the Report in addition to --I would read a section of the Report on page 3 under the caption, “Observations,” in the mid-section of the paragraph, it says:
    “…In addition, there are three Eurobonds outstanding with maturity profiles of 8.5 per cent October, 2017 (US $531m), 7.875 per cent August 2023 (US$ 1,000 m) and 8.125 per cent January, 2026 (US$1,000 m) respectively.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    So, which?
    Mr Cudjoe 7:35 p.m.
    It is the one referred to in the budget.

    Mr Speaker, a bond can be a premium bond; it can be par bond and it can be a discount bond depending on the issue price. You just do not look at the interest rate or the coupon rate and conclude which one is cheaper.

    That is the point I would want to --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr Terkper 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the interest of transparency, we showed all the information, coupon rates and everything. For that analysis to hold, the Hon Member should have taken the same structure for all the three Bonds in making the charge that he is making. He cannot just take one Bond, then come to the conclusion that he is making. So, I urge him to take the structure for all the three Bonds and then he can come to that conclusion.
    Mr Speaker, two more points; first of all, on the use of funds. Let me give you examples of how we used the 2013 Bonds. We used part of the 2013 Bond to pay for
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    That brings us to the end of the debate --
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader, you would want to contribute?
    Majority Leader (Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin) 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to say a few words in addition to what my Hon Colleagues have said, particularly to focus on educating Ghanaians about the benefits of the loans that we take as political leaders.
    Mr Speaker, in 1977, I was to attend a recruitment process into the Ghana Armed Forces. At that time -- [Interruption] - - By this time, I would have been a General. At that time the Pantoo Bridge was not constructed and I had to spend three days waiting for it to be repaired to cross us from Bamboi to New Longoro. When it was done, I got to Kumasi late and I had to go by the night train. I got here on the interview date and that time there were no tarred roads.
    I was all dusty and I rushed to Burma Camp for the interview. The punishment and the reception there was something I do not want anybody to go through.

    Mr Speaker, the Achemapong Regime, with a loan, constructed the Bamboi Bridge. So, other governments --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, did you pass that interview?
    Mr Bagbin 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was allowed to write the examination and I was third in the whole country. The results are there.
    Mr Speaker, I went through the process. I was admitted into the University of Ghana, Legon, at the same time, to read Administration and Law. I had to choose and I chose to read Administration. When I got to the University of Ghana, I was advised by a senior lecturer to read law. So, I left Administration to go and read Law.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, if you had gone to the Army, you may have been a retired Head of State -- [Laughter.]

    Please, continue.
    Mr Bagbin 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the benefits we are now enjoying on that road cannot be calculated; it cannot be calculated. There are so many things that we do with the loans that we cannot calculate in monetary terms.
    So, it is important that in our debates, we try to lead Ghanaians to understand these benefits.
    Mr Speaker, I like one of the statements of former President Kufuor, that Ghanaians know only the cost of projects
    and not the benefits. The concern is only the cost and not the benefits and we in political leadership, should lead Ghanaians by explaining to them, not through these debates.
    Mr Speaker, we all know that the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Government found oil. We know that it was urgent for us to put the infrastructure in place, else we would not benefit from the finance and therefore, there was the urgent need to contract more loans because we could not generate it locally.
    We know that Hon K. T. Hammond would not oppose any facility coming through the Committee on Mines and Energy. He comes here to support them and later on complains that they take too many loans. What sort of double tongue is that?
    Mr Speaker, it is important. This Report is coming from the Finance Committee, and so, he was talking that way. If it were from the Committee on Mines and Energy, he would be speaking in a different language. [Interruption] -- It is true.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, I would not have called anybody. You mentioned Hon K. T. Hammond's name.
    Mr Hammond 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he ran into trouble by mentioning my name. But Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Majority Leader is missing the point this side of the House is making. Nobody has any problem with Acheampong contracting some loans to construct the Bamboi road. Nobody has a problem with the former President, Mr Kufuor making sure that some infrastructure was put into place to get
    Mr Bagbin 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, a few years ago, together with my Friends, we used between four or five hours by road to Kumasi. He now uses 35 minutes by air to Kumasi. -- [Laughter] -- That shows that the moneys that the Governments have been borrowing -- I am talking about all Governments and not a particular Government -- are beneficial to the country. Mr Speaker, we are making progress. It should not be said that the moneys that we are contracting are not beneficial to the good people of Ghana.
    Mr Speaker, my last point 7:45 p.m.
    When we refer a matter to a committee and the committee is convinced that a facility would benefit the good people of Ghana, they recommend for us to approve it and that is what has been done on this Report. If the committee is of the view that it would not benefit the country, they say so in the Report and they lead us to debate. It does
    not lie in the mouth of committees to recommend approval and to come and try to give the impression that a facility would not benefit the good people of Ghana.
    I know that by principle, individual Hon Members could criticise what is written here.
    Mr Nitiwul 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Majority Leader is right when he says that people are giving the impression that it would not benefit the nation. But there is no Hon Member from this side of the House or in the whole House who gave the impression that it would not benefit the nation today. What Hon Members have said and done was to raise critical issues. And I think the Hon Majority Leader would agree that it is important for Hon Members to raise critical issues, unless he has a problem with that one too.
    Mr Bagbin 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I support the loan and I call on all Hon Members to support the Motion. I expect Hon Members to change the course of discourse in the House, particularly the democratic culture of listening to people who disagree with us.
    Please, I sat down and observed, and that is why I am raising this point. It is very important.
    All the furore, the heat and all that we have said would end up with this approval, which would benefit all of us. - - [Interruption] -- Please, the Ranking Member gave an indication that others did not follow.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Members have been elected by their constituents to represent them and not to follow me. In fact, they would be in trouble if they are seen as taking instructions from me. So, we should allow them to express themselves for their people not to say
    that Dr A. A. Osei gave the lead. That would not be good. My job is not to give the lead. It is to give them the room to debate, and that was what I did, but not that they should follow me.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Thank you.
    The Hon Majority Leader has concluded. That brings us to the end of the debate.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item 14, which is the Resolution on the Eurobond Financing Plan.
    RESOLUTIONS 7:55 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkper) 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
    WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution and section 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), the terms and conditions of any loan raised by the Government of Ghana on behalf of itself or any public institution or authority shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by Parliament by a Resolution supported by the votes of a majority of all Members of Parliament;
    BY THE PROVISIONS of section 5 (1) of Act 335, the Minister responsible for Finance may issue
    the necessary bonds, promissory notes or any other instruments and on the terms and conditions that are necessary for the purpose of giving effect to the terms of a loan agreement entered into;
    BY THE PROVISIONS of section 11(1) of Act 335, Parliament may by Resolution approve standard terms and conditions of agreements for the purposes of a loan up to the limits that Parliament may by Resolution prescribe;
    IN ACCORDANCE with the provisions of the Constitution and the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335) at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament a request for approval of the 2015 Eurobond Financing Plan for an amount up to one billion, five hundred million United States dollars (US$1.5 billion) in respect of Liability Management and General Budget Support.
    NOW THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitution and sections 5 (1), 7 and 11(1) of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335) this House approves the request for the 2015 Eurobond Financing Plan for an amount up to one billion, five hundred million United States dollars (US$1.5 billion) in respect of Liability Management and General Budget Support.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was consulting with the Majority Leader but I think he did not see me. Some of us are imagining that we have to vote but there are consequential matters following that imagination. So, I just want you to take note.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Bagbin 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number
    16.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:55 p.m.
    Item number 16 -- Chairman of the Committee?
    MOTIONS 7:55 p.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the joint Committee on Mines and Energy and Finance on the Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Weldy/Lamont Associates Inc. of Illinois, U.S.A. for the extension of Credit Facility Availability and Letter of Credit (LC) under the Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and US EXIM Bank for the financing of the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP IV) Turnkey Rural Electrification may be moved today.
    Mr Kobina T. Hammond 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question proposed.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is tradition that when there is a joint Committee and it is moved by the
    Chairman on the other side, a person on the other Committee seconds the Motion. But the energy people are so eager to break the practice. We should not do that. It was a joint Committee.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:55 p.m.
    I agree with you. I am sorry.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    MrBagbin 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number
    17.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:55 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Commercial Agreement between Government of Ghana and Weldy/
    Lamont Associates Inc.
    Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the joint Committee on Mines and Energy and Finance on the Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Weldy/Lamont Associates Inc. of Illinois, U.S.A. for the extension of Credit Facility Availability and Letter of Credit (LC) under the Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and US EXIM Bank for the financing of the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP IV) Turnkey Rural Electrification.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The request for approval of the Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Weldy/Lamont Associates Inc. of Illinois, USA for the Extension of Credit Facility Availability and Letter of Credit (LC)
    under the Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and U.S.A EXIM Bank for the financing of the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP IV) Turnkey Rural Electrification was presented to the House by the Hon Minister for Power Dr Kwabena Donkor, on Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. The Rt Hon Speaker referred the request to the joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    The Committee was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor and a technical team from the Ministry.The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and the technical team for the cooperation and assistance.
    Reference
    The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
    The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
    The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
    Loans Act 1970 (Act 335)
    Legal opinion of the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice on the Proposed Amendments on SHEP IV Financing
    Value for money negotiations between the Contractor and Crown Agents.
    Background
    In partial fulfilment of Government's policy for universal access to electricity
    and in accordance with the implemen- tation of the National Electrification Scheme (NEC), the then Ministry of Energy entered into an Agreement with Weldy Lamont Associates Inc. of U.S.A on April 25th, 2006 for WeldyLamont to supply and install materials/equipment valued at US$350 million in 1,200 communities in Western, Central and Brong Ahafo Regions of Ghana. Parliament subsequently at its first special meeting held on Tuesday, 12th August, 2008, approved a credit facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and U.S A. Exim Bank for an amount of US$357,773,500.00 to finance the Project.
    The Government further commissioned Crown Agents to conduct value for money audit on the project. The outcome of the value for money audit occasioned the renegotiation and subsequent amendment to some portions of the contract.
    Justification of the Request
    The Rural Electrification Scheme being implemented under the U.S Exim Bank facility is consistent with the goals and objectives of the National Electrification Scheme of the Government. The Scheme among others is targeted at rural poverty reduction, improving standards of living in rural areas, creating rural industries, creating jobs in rural areas and increasing the overall economic development of the nation.
    Following the expansion of the scope of the project and the amendments which were necessitated by the value for money audit, there is the need to seek parliamentary approval for the amended contract and to allow for the extension of the Credit Facility Availability and the Letter of Credit by the U.S Exim Bank for
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think there is a reason the Hon Chairman is moving so fast. But if we are not careful in reading the Motion, one may think that we are extending credit. No!
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:55 p.m.
    Are you seconding the Motion?
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry.
    I beg to second the Motion and in doing so, I would want to say a few words.
    Mr Speaker, all we are simply being asked to do is to regularise an Agreement that has now been brought to Parliament. That issue of extension of credit is not in our domain. So, people should not think that there is any credit. We are approving the commercial Agreement, which paves way for the US EXIM Bank to automatically extend the credit. So, it is not a controversial issue.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:55 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    RESOLUTIONS 7:55 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Terkper) 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
    WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181(5) of the Constitution the terms and conditions of any international business or economic transaction to which the Govern- ment of Ghana is a party shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by Parliament by a Resolution supported by the votes of a majority of all Members of Parlia- ment;
    PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181(5) of the Constitution, and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and
    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Terkper) 7:55 p.m.


    conditions of a Commercial Agree- ment between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Weldy/ Lamont Associates Inc. of Illinois, U.S.A. for the Extension of Credit Facility Availability and Letter of Credit (LC) under the Credit Facility Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and US EXIM Bank for the financing of the Self Help Electr ification Programme (SHEP IV) Turnkey Rural Electrification.
    THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE 7:55 p.m.

    Alhaji Sorogho 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 7:55 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 7:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we cannot conclude all the work today, particularly the issues bordering contempt. The Report of the Privileges Committee would be dealt with more thoroughly tomorrow.
    So, I believe that the House is entirely in your hands and we would want to thank Hon Members for the hardwork and the patience. And I agree that at least, the good people of Ghana would reciprocate the hardwork that Hon Members have been doing.