Debates of 17 May 2016

MR SPEAKER

PRAYERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, do youhave the Order Papers on your console?

Speaker
Some Hon Members

No!

Speaker
Mr Speaker

What I intend doing isthat, I will administer the Oath to theHon Member of Parliament for AbuakwaNorth. After that I have onecommunication from the Office of thePresident, then we will suspend Sitting forsome few minutes and come back.[Pause.] Hon Members, by virtue of StandingOrder 53, in terms of the order of Business,the Oath is the next business afterPrayers. I will want to administer theOath, and then suspend Sitting until weget the Order Papers ready. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin

Thank you,Mr Speaker. I entirely agree with you. We arefollowing Standing Order 53. Thepreparation of the Order Paper has takensome time, due to the fact that today isthe first day and the Business Committeehas just completed its meeting. So, wewill take the other leg of Standing Order53 (1).

Speaker
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I begto read

“The business for each Sitting day,as decided by the BusinessCommittee shall be set out in theOrder Paper, and shall wheneverpossible be transacted in thefollowing order…” Mr Speaker, as you said earlier -- “(a) Prayers; (b) Oaths…” Depending on that, we can take theoath of the newest Member of Parliament-- (MP) elect.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, doyou want to say something?

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu)

MrSpeaker, I noticed that we are in somedifficulty.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes!

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

And wewould want to help the House wriggleitself out of the difficulty that we have.Otherwise, Mr Speaker, technicallyspeaking, we cannot do anything now. The reason is, Mr Speaker, Order 53 (1)reads as follows: “The business for each Sitting day,as decided by the BusinessCommittee...” Mr Speaker, the Business Committeejust met. “…shall be set out…” Mr Speaker, the operative word is“shall”. “…shall be set out in the OrderPaper…” So, since we do not have the OrderPaper, nobody can jump-start the businessof the House. I agree with you that you recognisedthat we are in a difficulty. With theindulgence of the House, we may agreethat given the circumstances of the times-- [Interruption] -- We could agree.Otherwise, Mr Speaker, as I said, once wedo not have the Order Paper which setsout the agenda for the day --[Interruption] -- The circumstance iswhat Mr Speaker has tangentially andinferentially related to.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let ussuspend Sitting, once the Order Paper --

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker, inthis particular situation, Leadership shouldapologise to the House. They are incharge of the Business Committee and theHon Minority Leader says that we cannotdo anything because the Order Paper is not ready. Meanwhile, he is a principalmember of the Business Committee --[Laughter.] We would probably take a cue from thisand the Business Committee would meeta day prior to the day that we arescheduled to Sit, so that the House wouldnot be put in this embarrassing situation. However, Mr Speaker, I would suggestthat since the Standing Orders are in yourbosom, we should swear in the HonMember of Parliament-elect, then we maysuspend Sitting.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, if you lookat the net effect of Standing Orders 5 and6, when you are confronted with adifficulty, the rules of the House allow theSpeaker to make provision to address thesituation. But whichever way you look atit, it means that -- [Pause.] Hon Members, before I proceed toadminister the Oath, I will -- Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,with respect to the Chair, I have twoconflicting signals from the Chair. Mr Speaker, you said that you weresuspending Sitting, then before youactualise it, you recognised the HonMember for Sekondi, who said that themembership of the Business Committeeshould be sanctioned. I do not knowwhether he wants to revisit his schooldays, when errant students were laid andgiven lashes. I do not know whether he isreferring to that -- but to what offenceshould we apologise? Mr Speaker, following from that, youthen said; “Hon Members, before Iadminister the Oath…” So, where are we?[Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we arewhere we are, and that is theadministration of the Oath.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, what Iintend doing is to take a communicationfrom the President of the Republic. I willthen invite the two Leaders to welcomethe new Hon Member who has just joinedus.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

WELCOME ADDRESS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let mewelcome you to the Second Meeting ofthe Fourth Session of the Sixth Parliamentof the Fourth Republic. I thank theAlmighty God for graciously granting youprotection, strength and good health andfor seeing to your wellbeing during theEaster recess and bringing you all backsafely to the House this morning. It is myprayer that the Almighty God will continueto extend His hand of favour and divinemercies over this House during the courseof this Meeting and the period thereafter. Hon Members, you would recall thatin my Closing Remarks prior to theadjournment of the House, I noted thatyou deserved to take a good rest duringthe Easter recess in order to returnrefreshed for the Second Meeting. I am aware, however, that most of youwere unable to take sufficient rest duringthe recess, primarily because you were inaddition to the surgeries, engaged indischarging your very tiresome duties toyour constituents during the limitedelectoral registration exercise. Hon Members, this is an election year,and the time available to the House islimited. I do hope that, your preparationfor the general elections later this year willnot significantly affect attendance duringSittings of the House. I would like to drawyour attention to the fact that the agendafor this current Meeting is a tall one. Having regard to the paucity of time atour disposal, I would entreat HonMembers to attend upon the business ofthe House with punctuality andseriousness, both at plenary and incommittee in order to facilitate theexpeditious consideration of pro-grammed business. I do hope Hon Members would give the Chair and theLeadership maximum cooperation, toenable us complete our business on time. Hon Members, we need to give priorityto the consideration of the Right toInformation Bill, which is at theConsideration Stage. I also urge the Leadership of theMajority Caucus, to impress upon HonMinisters to respect the timetable of theHouse and respond promptly toinvitations to answer parliamentaryQuestions and carry through GovernmentBusiness outlined on the agenda ofbusiness in this House relating to theirrespective Ministries, Departments andAgencies (MDAs). Hon Members, the Leadership isextremely concerned about the recentspate of attacks on Hon Members of thisaugust House. You will recall that earlier this year, welost a distinguished Member of Parliamentthrough what is suspected to be an armedrobbery incident. Another incidentoccurred about a fortnight ago against amember of the Leadership and hishousehold. Thankfully, God intervenedand their lives were spared. We have made the necessaryrepresentations to the security agenciesand they are handling the situation. TheLeadership will take whatever lawful andreasonable additional steps that arenecessary to protect and secure itsMembers and staff. I urge Hon Membersto take all necessary security precautionsin their respective homes while the matteris being addressed. On this note, I once again welcome HonMembers to the House. It is my prayerthat the good Lord will guide us in ourdeliberations. Hon Members, thank you very much. Before we proceed, I would want toinvite the Leaders if they have any wordof advice for the newly sworn Member ofParliament for Abuakwa North. Mr Speaker, I would want to relate inparticular to the attendance of HonMinisters upon the House to answerQuestions. Mr Speaker, often times, when therehas been some noticeable lethargy on thepart of the Hon Ministers and theyeventually appear, their plea have alwaysbeen that Questions were transmitted tothem very late. Some of them would saythey had them just yesterday or maybe,the day before. In that regard, may I respectfullysubmit to you, Mr Speaker, that,Questions that you have alreadyapproved of, be transmitted to the HonMinisters even before we programme themto attend to the Business of the House,so, they are aware and prepare to attendto the House rather than store themsomewhere and then, maybe, the weekbefore, they are programmed to appear,they are transmitted to them, then theyhave to scamper all over looking for therelevant information. I believe it is one reason that explainswhy in many cases, the Hon Ministers,especially the Hon Deputy Ministers whostand in for the Hon Ministers, are foundwanting when they come to respond toQuestions. We do not have the luxury oftime in this Meeting. Mr Speaker, as I said, I would want toplead with you, that Questions that wewould want to recycle, especially thebacklog that we had before we went onrecess, if you have approved of them, through the normal channels ofcommunication, let us serve them on theHon Ministers to prepare themadequately, so that when we programmethem, there would not be any excuses. Mr Speaker, relating to the swearingin, even though we do not have much timeas we speak, between now and theelections, -- nobody is sure whether itis going to be 7th November or the statusquo is going to be maintained. There hasbeen some indications. Be that as it may, Mr Speaker, our ladywould not have much time to register herpresence strongly and boldly in theHouse. However, Mr Speaker, if she is agood material, as I think she is, I believeeven given the limited time, she wouldblossom. My advice to her is that, the rule hereis simple. There are two primarydocuments that Hon Members have toavail themselves to. The first one relatesto the conduct of business in the House-- the Standing Orders of the Parliamentof Ghana. The second one, which, in myview, is the supreme rule, is theConstitution of the Republic of Ghana. To quote the words of the venerable J.H. Mensah, the former Hon MinorityLeader who subsequently became the HonMajority Leader. He said and I beg toquote: “The relative importance of the twodocuments find expression in thevolume of the two documents . . . ”-- The Constitution and the StandingOrders. Without doubt, the Constitution is theprimary document for us; it is the basedocument for us in this Parliament. The rules of procedure -- if an HonMember would want to be relevant in thisHouse, would have be be learnt by thatparticular Hon Member. I would entreat her to apply herselfreligiously to the two documents -- theConstitution of the Republic and theStanding Orders. Fortunately for her, many Bills are listedfor consideration and passage; there aremany Instruments -- some Bills are withcommittees; some Bills are programmedfor Second Reading and Instrumentswould be presented. Mr Speaker, I believethis would give her the baptism that sherequires in this House -- [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, I am being threatened bythe Hon Member for Sekondi, who isdirectly behind me, himself a former HonMajority Leader.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

I will give you all thenecessary protection.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Thank youvery much, Mr Speaker. But Mr Speaker, I believe that I havespoken to her on a couple of occasions. Isee in her quality and I would plead withthe people of Abuakwa North, thatbetween now and the general elections,we do not have much time. I would pleadwith them to give her all the support thatshe requires, which is outside theprecincts of this House, in order for her tobe able to concentrate on the job in theHouse. And with the combination of the effortsto marry constituency business, nationalbusiness and parliamentary business, Ibelieve that even though we have scantytime, she would be able to elevate herselfto a level that she aspires to. Mr Speaker, I pray for God's blessingsfor her. Thank you very much.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Majority Leader (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Mr Speaker, let me also take thisopportunity to welcome all Hon Membersof Parliament from the very long recess inwhich we applied ourselves to thebusiness of our people in theconstituencies. I know it was quite a heavyburden, having to lead the constituenciesin the limited registration exercise andalso to respond to the insatiable demandsof our constituents. Mr Speaker, it is a pleasure to welcomeanother female Hon Member of Parliamentto the House. It has been a challenge tothis country to get the critical number ofour fairer side in the House ofrepresentation. And I think that we as acountry, have scored another plus inelecting a lady to take over from our lateHon Colleague and Friend, Hon J. B. AduDanquah. Mr Speaker, yesterday, I had theopportunity of meeting all the HonMinisters to firm up the agenda for thisMeeting and I did not fail to draw theirattention to the need for them to focus onparliamentary business. Mr Speaker, I think it is important welet people know that, in this Meeting, wesubmit to all Hon Ministers, the copy ofthe draft agenda. The draft agenda is aclear indication of the businesses for theMeeting, including Questions. So, HonMinisters have advance notice ofQuestions that are likely to be posed tothem during the course of the Meeting. Mr Speaker, it is also the case thatusually, after admission of Questions byyou, they are immediately submitted to theHon Ministers before even the BusinessCommittee gets the opportunity toschedule them to come and answer in theHouse. So, Mr Speaker, I know ample

Speaker
Majority Leader (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, on behalfof the House, I congratulate the HonMember for Abuakwa North. I havecarefully listened to the two Leaders andI have nothing useful to add but to saythat I am happy that we have added to thenumber of women representation in thisHonourable House. I believe that we needmore of them in this House. As I have indicated, the person whomyou are succeeding was a good man. Hewas a very affable and respected Memberof this House. But for where he sat, you would not know which political divide hebelonged to. I hope that you would pursuethat path, so that you would become oneof the peacemakers of this House. I wish you all the best and if you areable to tap into the experience of the seniorMembers of the House, I can assure youthat even though you would have alimited period in this House, you can makeyour mark before the end of this year. Once again, congratulations!

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we havea number of Official Reports forcorrection. I would want to get the senseof the House. Do we take them tomorrow?Is that the sense of the House?

Speaker
Some Hon Members

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, then we will correct onlythe Votes and Proceedings. Correction of Votes and Proceedingsof Friday, 18th March, 2016. Page 1? Yes, Hon Member for Wenchi?

Speaker
Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour

Thankyou, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, regarding the Votes andProceedings that were not available earlier,it is very good that we are all trying to goe-Governance and e-Parliament andothers. However, the essence of this isto ensure that there is efficiency and costreduction. But what I have observed sincethis started is that, efficiency is actuallydown. Maybe, it is not easy to scroll thetext and get it at the right point. So, we have to find a way that -- therehas to be a downtime. In all these things,it is natural for every innovation but letus try and mitigate that by probably, firstly,having about 50 per cent of what wenormally process available, in hard copy,so that those of us who come early, wouldhave access to them. Secondly, either we do that or weproject the text on the wall, so that HonMembers could look at it. I say sobecause when I look round and goingthrough the Votes and Proceedings, Iobserved that Hon Members are findingit difficult to follow and so, they let go.This is very serious and not a matter ofwhether an Hon Member can scroll. WhatI have observed is that, there is a downtimehere and we have to find a way to resolveit. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Wenchi,the decision that was taken is that weshould print 100 copies. So, if the 100copies have not been printed, it is anothermatter and I could suspend the correctionof the Votes and Proceedings, so thatthose who have not been able to catchup, would use the hard copies for thatpurpose. That is the decision and indeed,in most Parliaments that use e-Parliament,that is what is done. They print a limitednumber of the hard copies for them touse. [Interruption.] Hon Members, Order! So, if it is the sense of the House thatwe take the Votes and Proceedings of 18thMarch, 2016 tomorrow, I will do so. What is the sense of the House?

Speaker
Some Hon Members

Tomorrow.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, the Votes andProceedings of Friday, 18th March, 2016accordingly deferred to tomorrow.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Mr Speaker, the Committee mettoday, Tuesday, 17 th May, 2016 andarranged Business of the House for theFirst Week of the Meeting.

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of theBusiness Committee (Mr Alban S. K.Bagbin)

Speaker
Nana Amoakoh (Upper DenkyiraEast)

To ask the Minister for Healthwhat the Ministry is doing about theX-ray machine at Dunkwa Govern-ment Hospital which has brokendown since May, 2015. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Reconciliation Report on thePetroleum Holding Fund for theyear 2015. (b) Annual Report of the NationalRoad Safety Commission for theyear 2014. (c) 2015 Report on Ghana MillenniumDevelopment Goals by theNational Development PlanningCommission. (d) Report of the National DevelopmentPlanning Commission on the 2014Citizen's Assessment Report on theCapitation Grant Scheme underthe Implementation of the GhanaShared Growth and DevelopmentAgenda (GSGDA), 2010-2013. Motions Second Reading of Bills -- Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2014. (b) Adoption of the Report of thePublic Accounts Committee onthe Report of the Auditor-Generalon the Accounts of DistrictAssemblies for the years ended31st December, 2010, 2011 and2012. (b) Adoption of the Report of thePublic Accounts Committee onthe Report of the Auditor-Generalon the management and utilisa-tion of the District Assemblies'Common Fund (DACF) andother statutory funds for theyears ended 31st December, 2010,2011 and 2012. (c) Adoption of the Report of thePublic Accounts Committee onthe Performance Audit Report ofthe Auditor-General on theconstruction of the Achimota-Ofankor Road Project. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill,2014. (Continuation of debate) National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Right to Information Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Committee sittings. Thursday, 19th May, 2016 Statements Presentation of Papers -- Report of the Committee on Minesand Energy on the 2016 programmeof activities of the Ghana NationalPetroleum Corporation (GNPC). Motions-- (a) Adoption of the Report of thePublic Accounts Committee onthe Financial Audit Report of theAuditor-General on theVerification Study of Multi-Donor Budgetary SupportInflows (2010 - 2012). (b) Adoption of the Report of thePublic Accounts Committee onthe Comprehensive Audit Reportof the Auditor-General on theAudit of Unified Petroleum PriceFund for the period 1st January,2010 to 31st December, 2012. Consideration Stage of Bills-- Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill,2014. (Continuation of debate) National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015. (Continuationof debate) Right to Information Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Committee sittings. Friday, 20th May, 2016 Urgent Question --

Speaker
Mr Francis Adu-Blay Koffie(Prestea/Huni Valley)

To ask theMinister for Roads and Highwayswhat steps the Ministry is taking toprevent the collapse of the mainbridge that links Prestea andBogoso (Ankobra River) which hasbecome very weak. Statements Motions-- Adoption of the Report of thePublic Accounts Committee on thePerformance Audit Report of theAuditor-General on phase one of theLand Administration Project (LAP-1). Consideration Stage of Bills-- Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill,2014. (Continuation of debate) National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Right to Information Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Committee sittings.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Member forKwadaso?

Speaker
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Thank you,Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunityto raise this issue. Mr Speaker, we have been on breakfor nearly two months. Before then, theHon Minister for Finance came to answerthe Question about the circumstances forthe closure of plants at the CocoaProcessing Company in Tema. I was expecting that after all thesemonths, the Hon Minister would come andanswer the Question. Unfortunately, Ihave not heard anything from theBusiness Committee on this issue and Iam wondering whether it is still very mucha Cocoa Processing Company, which isthe Question put to the Hon Minister forFinance and for which he said he neededtime to investigate and come back to us. I was expecting that at least, the issuewould be raised and the Hon Ministerwould come to answer the Question, butI do not see any sign of it.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member forKwadaso, there is no Question on thatmatter. He said he would want to do furtherenquiry and come back to brief the House.So, it is for the Business Committee to getin touch with the Hon Minister and invitehim to come to the House. You filed theQuestion and the Hon Minister came torespond to it. Based on what happened on the floor,he said he would come back to that effect.So, there is no Question standing on thatissue now. But it is rather inviting theHon Minister to come back to the House.

Speaker
Dr Akoto

Mr Speaker, I am justwondering --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, after that,did you file any other Question?

Speaker
Dr Akoto

Then, Mr Speaker. But isthere any action taken by the Business Committee on this? That is what I had wanted to find out.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, it should not be as if a Question is hanging and the Hon Minister has not come to answer. You should find out from the Business Committee when they are inviting the Hon Minister to come to the House on the subject matter.

Speaker
Dr Akoto

Very well, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, in the absence of any other comments, the Business Statement for the First Week is accordingly adopted. At the Commencement of Public Business. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is available to lay the Papers for and on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance as itemised on page two on the Order Paper -- Item 6b (ii), (iii) and (iv).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, regarding the Papers to be presented, the Hon Majority Leader is inviting the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance to present some Papers to the House. Unfortunately, I am not seeing those Papers for which he is inviting the Hon Deputy Minister -- [Interruption] -- I have not seen them.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

We have an application in respect of 6b (ii), (iii) and (iv).

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I have not seen the Order Paper. [Interruption] -- I see that they are listed on the Order Paper now. But my worry is, we just exited the Business Committee's meeting and approved of the agenda for the entire week -- Tuesday being the first Sitting day. Mr Speaker, these are not listed in what we approved and that is my worry.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, normally, the general statement is made that “Papers to be laid” and so --

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Order Paper would provide Papers to be laid; I agree. But at the committee level, they went further to provide details -- That is my worry.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, any response to the point being raised by the Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,it appears the Hon Majority Leader isindicating to me that in the Statement thathe read, which is different from the draftthat was given to us, he included thoseones. But I do not find them here. I knowhe mentioned it but they are not here,and I do not have the final one that he isholding. I was speaking to what I have, andthat is why I was raising the matter. But ifhe says that he captured it in the Statementthat he read to us, then I may want to bowto that. But clearly, it is not here and ifit is not part of the Business Statementread to us, then it cannot find expressionon the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Item number 6 (b), (ii), (iii) and (iv) —The Hon Deputy Minister on behalf ofthe Hon Minister for Finance.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,if we are in the realm of consistency, I maywant to inquire from the Hon DeputyMinister why he laid emphasis on“Offshore” in the second Paper — thefirst one does not bear that word. So, itis the consistency. He is stressing thatthis is Offshore, in the second application.The first one does not mention it at all. Isit referring to the same Agreement?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, yes, we arereferring to the same Agreement, but thetradition has always been that the stampduty is exempted on offshore componentand it is up to 0.5 per cent of the totalamount, and that is why — 0.5 per cent ofUS$ 2 billion gives us the US$10 million.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

The point being made bythe Hon Minority Leader is that, you didnot use the word “Offshore” at itemnumber 6 (b) (ii). You only used theexpression, “Consortium of Banks andFinancial Institutions”. But in item 6 (b)(iii), you placed emphasis on “OffshoreSyndicated Receivables-Backed TradeFinance Facility” The question is, why the emphasis,on “Offshore” in the second one? But youshould know that the item numbered 6(b) (iii) is a function of the 6 (b) (ii). Itflows automatically from the item 6 (b)(ii). Why are you putting emphasis on the“Offshore” and why do you not use thesame terminology as it is in item numbered6 (b) (ii)? That is the point the HonMinority Leader is raising. What is yourresponse?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader is right. Yes, the itemnumbered 6 (b) (iii) is a component of 6(b) (ii). Mr Speaker, we normally put the word,“Offshore” because the Stamp Duty Actmakes reference to Offshore to qualifyfor the exemption of taxes under thatcomponent.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

You know why I am tryingto clarify this issue before I do the referral? It is because if a Committee wants to bedifficult, they can come back and say thatwhat you have laid is different from whatis before them and that would waste thetime of the House. So, we need to clarifythis before I do the referral. It is important that you clarify thissituation since the 6 (b) (ii) and 6 (b) (iii)are directly related. So, let us get theright terminology and then I can do thereferral. Is that the main reason? Is it becausethe Act says “Offshore”? Is that the onlyreason?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, that is one ofthe reasons. [Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member forWenchi?

Speaker
Prof. Gyan-Baffour

Mr Speaker, theHon Deputy Minister should only amendit because it is going to be “Offshore”.Otherwise, it means that the group can befrom banks in Ghana but that is not theissue. It is not from banks in Ghana butoffshore banks. So, all that he has to do is to amendwhat is here to reflect that, and I thinkthat would be in order.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

But on a more seriousnote, do we need the use of the word“Offshore”? [Interruption] -- Yes?

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker, itis just to indicate that the consortium ofbanks are not located within this country.That is what “Offshore” means - outsidethe shores of Ghana.

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Yes! That iswhy they are talking about offshore andit has always been like that.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

The point that the HonMinority Leader is making is that, yes, weknow that this syndicated banks are alsooffshore. So, why did you not use theword “offshore” in the first one, which isthe loan itself but you are puttingemphasis on offshore in the second? Thisis because the item numbered 6 (b) (iii)flows from the item numbered 6 (b) (ii).That is the point the Hon Minority Leaderis raising. At times, we do not want this matter togo back to the Committee and become avery technical issue to waste everybody'stime. Yes, Hon Member for Subin?

Speaker
Mr Isaac Osei

I thank you, MrSpeaker. I am just following up on what the HonMember for Sekondi said. Let me just say that it is not quitecorrect that all the banks are from outside.Some of the banks are Ghanaian banksbut they may use offshore funds. So,some Ghanaian banks actually participate.It may be a small amount but they doparticipate.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, it is a certainpercentage of the amount up to US$2billion. Is that not correct? [Interruption.]Then, why do you not use the sameterminology used in item numbered 6 (b)(ii) because it is also percentage of whatwe are getting in item numbered 6 (b) (ii)? Would that offend any law?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, for thepurposes of consistency, I would nowhave to amend the item numbered 6 (b)(ii) to include the “offshore”. Mr Chairman, obviously, the word“offshore” would not significantly changewhat we want to achieve.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, you are talking about syndicatedbanks and financial institutions. They canbe onshore or offshore in the itemnumbered 6 (b) (ii). It is a certain percentage of thatamount which is in the item numbered 6(b) (iii) --[Pause.] Yes?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the applicationis for us to waive a tax for the wholeamount of up to US$2 billion.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes!

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the bankstaking part of this --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Where are you gettingthe US$2 billion from?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the US$2billion is coming from an offshore --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Please, where are yougetting the US$2 billion from?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, the US$2billion is coming from a syndicated facilityamong consortium of banks within anoffshore environment. Mr Speaker, it is true that Ghanaianbanks --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, but in the itemnumbered 6 (b) (ii), you did not use theword “offshore”.

Speaker
Mr Forson

Yes, Mr Speaker. That iswhat I am trying to explain, that I am nowapplying to amend the item numbered 6(b) (ii) to include the word “offshore”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, before I call the Hon SecondDeputy Speaker, you have laid that Paperand it has already been referred to theFinance Committee. Why do you notrather amend the item numbered 6 (b) (iii)to be in conformity with the item numbered6 (b) (ii)? Whether it is for offshore or onshore,it is of no moment. This is because youhave laid it. Otherwise, you would haveto withdraw it and I will have to doanother referral again. Do you get my point? Yes, Hon Second Deputy Speaker?

Speaker
Mr Joe Ghartey

Mr Speaker, I wouldjust want to encourage the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance to be very clear aboutwhat he means by “offshore” and“onshore”. I remember we passed a banking law,which was through with offshore bankingand stayed with offshore; it is not aboutphysical location. Offshore, I believe, isabout the source of the funds. So, hewould have to provide that clarity. Thisis because from the way he is talking, itmay suggest that he means a bank whichis physically located outside the shoresof Ghana. Offshore does not deal with physicallocation. So, if he provides that clarity, itcan advise him as to the amendmentbecause the Hon Speaker keeps on askinghim where the US$2 billion is coming fromand he seems to suggest -- the clarity isnot there. The question is, what does he meanby “offshore”? Does he mean physicallocation or the funds? “Offshore” is aterm of art within the banking sector,when one says “offshore”, everybodyunderstands it. So, Mr Speaker, he shouldmake it clear and let us all follow him. Thank you Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,does the request for waiver of stampedduty relate only to the offshorecomponent of the syndicated loan?[Interruption.] -- It refers to everything.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

If it does,then we do not need onshore itemnumbered 6 (b) (iii).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Absolutely!

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,that is the issue that I raised. Otherwise,we would have to then amend the firstone that we did to include “offshore”. Itis as simple as that.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

That is the point I justmade that you use the same terminologythat you used in item numbered 6 (b) (ii)in item numbered 6 (b) (iii) and that solvesthe problem. Yes?

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker. I accordinglyamend the item numbered 6 (b) (iii) todelete the word, “offshore” to read: “Request for waiver of stamp dutyamounting to ten million UnitedStates dollars (US$10,000,000.00)on a Syndicated Receivable-backedTrade Finance Facility of twobillion United States dollars(US$2,000,000,000.00) for Cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Boardfor the year 2016/2017 cropseason.” Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

This is consequential. Isthat not it? -- [Interruption] -- So, usethe same language you used in the itemnumbered 6 (b) (ii) but the language youare using is not the same as the languageyou used. The words you have used now are notthe same as the words in item number 6(b) (ii).

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, it cannot beexactly the same, because the first onetalks about the terms of the facility andthe second one talks about waiver ofstamp duty. The two cannot be the same.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

I am talking about“Consortium of Banks and FinancialInstitutions”, which you used in itemnumber 6 (b) (ii) but they are missing initem number 6 (b) (iii).

Speaker
Mr Forson

Mr Speaker, I would thenapply to the House to consequentiallyamend it accordingly.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Absolutely! That is all --[Interruption] -- Have you bowed now?[Laughter.] By the Deputy Minister for Finance (onbehalf of the Minister for Finance) (iii) Request for waiver of stamp dutyamounting to ten million UnitedStates dollars (US$10,000,000.00)Receivable-backed Trade FinanceFacility between the Ghana CocoaBoard and a Consortium ofBanks and Financial Institutionson a Syndicated Receivable-Backed Trade Finance Facility ofup to ten million United States

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,really very leveraging. Can he take itagain?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, I have taken note.In fact, I was monitoring and the TableOffice finally got it right.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,can we get it again?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, they finally got itright.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Can we getit again? This is because there were amixture of so many ingredients.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

It is consequential --[Laughter.] I so direct. The Votes and Proceedingswould capture it. Referred to the Finance Committee forconsideration and report.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item number 6 (b) (iv)? By the Deputy Minister for Finance (onbehalf of the Minister for Finance) (iv) Credit Facility Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and CAL Bankfor an amount of eighty millionUnited States dollars (US$80,000,000.00) for the procurementof smart prepaid metres andaccessories for the ElectricityCompany of Ghana (ECG)Limited. Referred to the Finance Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, weare deferring item number 6 (b) (i). Is thatcorrect? Are we deferring it?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I think arepresentation from the Ministry ofForeign Affairs and Regional Integrationis not visible in the House, so, we willtake item number 6(a). The Hon DeputyMinister for Gender, Children and SocialProtection is available to present the Paperfor and on behalf of the Hon Minister forGender, Children and Social Protection.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,I guess we do not have any problem exceptto say that within the ambits of theconsequential realignments that the HonDeputy and the Chair are drawingattention to, I would plead that they dothe right thing for item number 6 (b) (iii)line 4. This is because as we have justagreed, that stamp duty relates to theUS$2,000,000,000 for the purchase ofcocoa beans. Mr Speaker, it does not relate to thenursing and nurturing of cocoa seedlingsfor instance, so, when they say that it isfor cocoa purchases, that is --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Corrected accordingly.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,it is different.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

I agree. Correctedaccordingly.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Hon DeputyMinister, I guess you have understoodwhat I mean. So, just do the proper --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes. Clerks-at-the-Tableto take note and capture it in the Votesand Proceedings. I so direct. By the Hon Deputy Minister for Gender,Children and Social Protection (MrsDella Sowah) (on behalf of the Ministerfor Gender, Children and SocialProtection) -- Report by the Ministry of Gender,Children and Social Protection onthe twenty-three (23) childrenreported missing in the 2013Performance Audit Report of theAuditor-General on the Regulationof Residential Homes for Children(Orphanages) by the Department ofSocial Welfare (DSW).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, are wereferring the Paper that has just been laidby the Hon Deputy Minister on behalf ofthe Substantive Minister to anycommittee? I thought it is for distribution.It came out from the performance auditand I directed -- I was presiding and Idirected that they should submit a reporton this matter to the House. The reporthas come --Are we going to refer it toany committee again to look at?

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker, ifthe report is going to be debated, it mustnecessarily go to a committee for it toconsider it and report to the House.Based on the report, we will then debateit, to find out whether they are satisfiedand there are other things to be done.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. So, it is referred to the Committee onGender and Children for consideration andreport. Thank you very much, Hon Memberfor Sekondi.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we can nowtake item number 7 -- Presentation andFirst Reading of Bills.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, item --

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Item number 7(a), the HonMinister for --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Do we have the HonMinister for the Interior here?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

No! Then, we will do itemnumber 7 (e) by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance. The Hon Deputy Minister forFinance is available to present the Bill forand on behalf of the Hon Minister.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members,Presentation and First Reading of Bills,the item numbered 7 (e) -- SupplementaryAppropriation Bill, 2016 by the HonDeputy Minister for Finance on behalf ofthe Minister for Finance.

BILLS -- FIRST READING

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, itemnumber 7 (d) by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Finance. Public Private Partnership Bill, 2016 An Act to provide for thedevelopment, implementation andregulation of Public PrivatePartnership arrangement betweenpublic authorities and privateentities for the provision ofinfrastructure and services to Presented by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance (on behalf of the Minister forFinance). Read the First time; referredto the Finance Committee.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, item numbered7 (b), the Hon Minister of State at theOffice of the President will lay the Bill onthe National Youth Scheme for and onbehalf of the Hon Minister for Youth andSports.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,sorry to take us a bit back with respect tothe Public Private Partnership. Mr Speaker, I know in other juris-dictions that have applied themselves tothis new arrangement, it really involves anew legal regime in dealing with sucharrangements. So, I would believe that --I think we have made the referral to theFinance Committee, that we join theConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs Committee to it. This is because it is not as simplisticas that at all. It has real legal implicationsand I believe if we had the Constitutional,Legal and Parliamentary AffairsCommittee to really guide or partner themin dealing with this, it will be to the benefitof this body.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I have noobjection to another committee beingadded. We were just referring to thesponsor of the Bill which is the Hon Ministerfor Finance. In fact, that is why -- But if there are other issues that wethink other committees could assist thatcommittee to iron out and present a betterreport to the House, why not? I have noobjection to it.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, theConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs Committee is added to the referralas regards the Public Private PartnershipBill, 2016. Ordered accordingly. Yes, Hon Minister of State at the Officeof the President? Item number 7 (b). National Youth Scheme Bill, 2016 An ACT to establish a NationalYouth Scheme, to develop adynamic and disciplined youthimbued with a spirit of nationalismand a sense of public service andmorality and to provide for relatedmatters. Presented by the Minister of State at theOffice of the President (on behalf of theMinister for Youth and Sports). Read theFirst time; referred to the Committee onYouth and Sports.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, Item 7 (a) --Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, with your permission andthe indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, ifthe Hon Minister of State at the Office ofthe President, in the person of the formerHon Minister for the Interior, Hon MarkWoyongo, could present it for and onbehalf of the current Hon Minister, Hon Prosper Bani. So, if the former Hon Ministeris available -- Hon Woyongo --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Minister of State at the Office ofthe President and Hon Member forNavrongo Central -- Item 7 (a). Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill,2016 An ACT to amend the PublicHolidays Act 2001/Act 601/ toinclude a Schedule, the 21st day ofSeptember as a Public Holiday to beknown as Founder's Day. Presented by the Minister of State at theOffice of the President (Mr Mark O.Woyongo)(on behalf of the Minister forthe Interior). Read the First time; referredto the Committee on Defence and Interior.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon MajorityLeader? Where are your Hon Ministers?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

My Hon Ministers?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes! When we are talkingabout Government Business, then theybecome your Hon Ministers on the floor.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the HonMinisters of State are available. Wehave --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

You are in charge of theirbusiness.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I am onlyconsulting with them to see which of them would be appropriate to present the Paperfor and on behalf of an absent HonMinister. So, they are available. We havemany of them here. Mr Speaker, if we could now take item7 (c).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Is the Hon Minister forEducation here?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the HonMinister of State at the Office of thePresident and in charge of Public SectorReforms would present that Paper for andon behalf of the Hon Minister forEducation. Our Hon Colleague, HonAlhassan Azong.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Item 7 (c). HonMinister? Tertiary Education Research FundBill, 2016 An ACT to establish the TertiaryEducation Research Fund toprovide financial resources tosupport research in publicuniversities and polytechnics, toprovide for management of theFund and to provide for relatedmatters. Presented by the Minister of State at theOffice of the President (Mr AlhassanAzong)(on behalf of the Minister forEducation). Read the First time; referredto the Committee on Education.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we hadprogrammed to continue with theConsideration Stage of the MaritimePollution Bill, 2015. In fact, yesterday, boththe Hon Minister and the Hon Deputy

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Speaker
Mr Speaker

I am rather surprised thatwe have not advertised the Right toInformation Bill. I informed the Clerks-at-the-Table through the Clerk to Parliamentthat they should put it, so that we canstart it. Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes?

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah

Mr Speaker, Ihave in my hand the Order Paper for theFirst Sitting of the Second Meeting ofParliament, Tuesday, 17th May, 2016. Itemnumber 11 -- Right to Information Bill,2013 at the Consideration Stage.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. You are right.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the copy heis referring to has just been presented tome. The earlier copy that I have was verylimited. It did not include that. It was frompage 4 to page 57.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

That is what I also have.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Exactly. So, the new --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Then, can we start theRight to Information Bill? Hon Minority Leader, do we start theRight to Information Bill?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

We can start it today.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,if the Leader of Government Businesshimself is misled -- This is because I amhaving the same document and I noticedthat from page 4, it goes straight to page57. So, he was speaking to it. Mr Speaker, with respect, I would wantto believe that arising out of that, hehimself is not properly constituted to leadthe House in this discourse. I say so aboutmyself as well because when we had it, Ithought that business was then light.Today, being the first day, I would pleadthat we go and properly constituteourselves --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Are you suggestingthat we should take it tomorrow?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker,exactly what I mean.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, this Bill is a veryimportant one, so, we would take ittomorrow. Is that the sense of the House? Hon Majority Leader, what is the nextitem?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I have justbeen informed that we could take itemsnumber 6 (c) and 6 (d). For item 6 (c), theHon Minister for Petroleum would lay itfor and on behalf of the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we wouldgo back to the Presentation of Papers. Itemnumber 6 (c), by the Minister forPetroleum on behalf of the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item 6 (d), who is layingit on behalf of the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, with your kindpermission and the indulgence of myColleagues, could the Hon DeputyAttorney-General and Deputy Ministerfor Justice lay the Paper for and on behalfof the Attorney-General and Minister forJustice? That is item 6 (d).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, itemnumber 6 (d), by the Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justiceon behalf of the substantive Minister. Presented by the Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice(on behalf of the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice) -- Agreement between the Republic ofGhana and the United Kingdom ofGreat Britain and Northern Irelandon the Transfer of SentencedPersons. Referred to the Committee onConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin

Mr Speaker, Ithink this is enough welcome to thisMeeting of the House and I believe that itwould be the right time to pray that weadjourn till tomorrow to continue with theBusiness of the House. I would want to urge Hon Members toprepare particularly for the considerationof the Right to Information Bill. It is quitea crucial and important Bill we have topass during the course of this Meeting. So, Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon MinorityLeader?

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, Icommend you. Today being the first day,I am impressed with your attendance.[Hear! Hear!] I hope it would continue inthis same spirit. Hon Members, in consultation with theLeadership, we have decided that wewould start business at 10.00 o'clockprompt. If for any reason I am busysomewhere, one of my deputies wouldstart the day. Hon Members, this is an election year,and this is a major Meeting before theelection. We therefore need to be verypunctual with the Business of the House.I made the point earlier and would want torepeat it before I leave the Chair thismorning. Hon Members, thank you very much.

ADJOURNMENT