MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonMembers, clause 115? Clause 115 -- Capital increase byexisting shareholders
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 115, subclause (2), delete and insertthe following: “Where any existing shareholder ofa bank or specialised deposit-takinginstitution is unable to subscribe and purchase additional shares asprovided under subsection (1), theofficial administrator shall have theright to invite other person orpersons to subscribe and purchasethe unsubscribed additionalshares.” Mr Speaker, this is to allow theadministrator to offer the right to inviteother persons who want to subscribe forand purchase shares in the company ifthe original owners are unable to take onadditional shares of the company. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 115 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Clause 116? Clause 116 -- Recapitalisation by newshareholders
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 116, subclause (3), delete. Mr Speaker, the subclause is talkingabout requirement under the PNDCL 1993(P.N.D.C.L.333) for the security that theExchange Commission and the Bank ofGhana should seek within three workingdays to take necessary action to permitthe issuance under paragraph (d) ofsubsection 2. Mr Speaker, the Committee thinks that,it would be impossible for the bank to dothat, so we would leave this to be guidedby the Security and Exchange CommissionAct that would prescribe the number ofdays or period within which this can besolved. Mr Speaker, forth is reason we shoulddelete this completely from the Bill. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 116 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clauses 117 to 123 ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause 124? Clause 124 -- Qualification andcompensation for receiver
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 124, subclause (2), delete andinsert the following: “A person shall not be appointed areceiver unless that person satisfiesthe qualifications prescribed by theBank of Ghana”. Mr Speaker, for a person to beappointed as a receiver, he or she needsto have the prescribed qualification andthat is what we want to capture undersubclause 2. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 124, subclause (4), delete and insertthe following: “(4) The following payments shallbe made from the assets of thebank or specialised deposit-taking institution involved in thereceivership: (a) the compensation of a receiverand an expert engaged by thereceiver; and (b) the reimbursement of expensesincurred by the receiver and theexpert for the purpose of thereceivership”. Mr Speaker, that the following paymentshall be made from the assets of the bankor the SDI involved in the receivership. Ifthere is a receiver, this is the order in whichthe payment shall be made for whateveris running from the asset of the bank orthe SDI. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 124 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 125 -- Notice and registrationof receivership.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 125, subclause (5), paragraph (c),delete “where necessary”.
“The receiver shall inform thecompetent authorities”. The words “where necessary” are notrelevant in this context. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 125 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 126 -- Oversight of Bank ofGhana over receiver.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 126, subclause (1), line 1, delete“Regulations”. Mr Speaker, based on the earlieramendment that we did under clause 108,we would want to delete the word“regulations” and replace it with“directives”.
HonChairman, you are only deleting andnot --
Mr Speaker, I am replacing“regulations” with “directives”, so that itcan conform to clause 108.
I agree withyou, but what you have on the Order Paperdoes not reflect what you are saying.
Mr Speaker, I am making afurther amendment on the Order Paper.
Very well,leave granted to amend.
Mr Speaker, I am furtheramending what is on the Order Paper toclause126, subclause (1), line 1, delete“Regulations” and insert “directives”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 126 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 127 -- General powers of thereceiver
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 127, subclause (3), paragraph (f),after “basis” insert “with the approval ofthe Bank of Ghana”. Mr Speaker, borrowing money onsecured or unsecured basis with theapproval of the Bank of Ghana. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 127, subclause (12), line 6, delete“53” and insert “52”. Mr Speaker, this is to make a propercross referencing. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 127 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 128 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 129 -- Taking control of thebank or specialised deposit-takinginstitution.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 129, headnote, delete “Takingcontrol” and insert “Control” and after“institution” insert “by receiver”
“Control of the bank or specialiseddeposit-taking institutions byreceiver”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 129 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 129, subclause (5), add thefollowing new paragraph: “(g) any action necessary for theefficient exercise of the powersof the receiver”. Mr Speaker, this amendment isnecessary to ensure that the receiver caneffectively perform his or her duties.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 129 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 129, subclause (4), after sub-clause (5) (f), at beginning, delete “(4)”and insert “(6)” and in line 5, before “fine”insert “a” and further in line 6, delete “foreach day but” and insert “and”. Mr Speaker, the first portion of theproposed amendment is to re-number thesub paragraphs, and the second portionis to correct that; “on a summaryconviction to a fine…” the word “a” hasbeen omitted. “A fine of not less than one hundredpenalty units and not more than fivehundred penalty units”. The words “each day”, has been takenoff.
HonChairman, I am getting confused. Can you go over the new rendition, ifthis amendment is carried?
Mr Speaker, the newrendition would then read as follows: “A person who wilfully interfereswith the access of a receiver to orthe control of a receiver over theoffices, assets, books of account andother records of a bank or specialiseddeposit-taking institution for whichthat person has been appointedcommits an offence and is liable onsummary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty unitsand not more than five hundredpenalty units…” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 129, subclause (6), lines 3 and 4,delete “with the approval of the Bank ofGhana”
“The receiver shall furnish the GhanaDeposit Protection Corporation withinformation and reports in the formand manner that may be determinedby the Corporation...” Mr Speaker, here, the Corporation willnot need approval of Bank of Ghana inthe manner and form of the Report. So, weare ending at “Corporation”. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Mr Speaker, the GhanaDeposit Protection Corporation has notbeen created yet. There is a new Act thatwe would be doing, that would create it.So, what would we do here?
We areanticipating that it would be created, so,we are making provision for its creation,and the role that it would play.
Assuming that we donot pass this Bill, then what happens tothe one that we are creating?
MrSpeaker, what we can do, is to put this inthe Interpretation section, to meanwhatever institution that would haveresponsibility for what we seek to createthis institution for and the Act that wehave created. We will create this institution for acertain purpose, just as we would definean Hon Minister to mean the “HonMinister responsible for Finance”. Wewould define this institution to be thatinstitution which is responsible for thefunctions that would be assigned to it,under the Act for which it would becreated.
Mr Speaker, I agreewith him.What we may simply do is that,we would make reference to it as: “The receiver shall furnish theInstitutions responsible for DepositProtection”. This is so that, when it is establishedthere, whichever name that would befinally given to it, would be the‘institution, responsible for DepositProtection'. But when we get to the Billand we decide not to use this name, butuse another name, or some reason hasbeen put before us that convince all of usto name it something completely differentfrom this, then we would have to bringthis Bill back for amendment. But when we say that an institutionresponsible for Deposit Protection,regardless of how we put it, definitely, wehope to have an institution that would bein charge. Then that becomes neater,regardless of how --
HonChairman, what do you say?
Mr Speaker, that was thedifficulty the Committee faced at the timewe were considering it, because there
were some references made by thisparticular Bill to the Protection Bill andwhen we go to the Protection Bill also,there were references made to this one. Now, the issue is, which of them passfirst and for that matter -- To me, the new rendition coming upwould be neater. Mr Afenyo-Markin -- rose --
HonMember for Effutu?
Mr Speaker, withreference to your earlier question, did yousay: “how sayest thou”, or “how sayyou”?
HonMember, I combined the two. [Laughter.] Mr Kpodo-- rose --
Mr Speaker, with this newdevelopment; we need to go back toclause 123. Your direction would be necessarybecause subclause 7 of clause 123 alsomakes reference to Ghana DepositProtection Corporation. So, that can alsobe changed to conform to the new thinkingwe have now.
Mr Speaker, Irecommend that you direct thedraftspersons to make that amendmentwherever it occurs.
I would dothat, but in the meantime, can you moveyour further amendment to -- Or would the Hon Chairman take it up as a furtheramendment --
The way it is put, maybethe Chairman can offer the amendment.
Hon Opare-Ansah, can you move your furtheramendment? Alhaji Muntaka -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 129, subclause (6), lines 1and 2, delete “Ghana Deposit ProtectionCorporation” and insert “Institutionresponsible for Deposit Protection”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, further to thatamendment, in line 3, we have to replacethe “Corporation” with “that institution”.
Very well. Let me give the directive, which wouldcover it all. Hon Members, I direct that whereverapplicable, this amendment which hasbeen accepted by this House, will apply. Clause 129 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 130 -- Inventory of assets andnew financial position.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause130, subclause (5), delete and insertthe following: “The Bank of Ghana shall publishthe Inventory Report in two dailynewspapers of national circulation”. Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that the Bank of Ghana shouldpublish this Report in at least two dailynational newspapers of nationalcirculation. Mr Boamah -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I want tomake a suggestion that the said Reportcould also be made available on thewebsite of the Central Bank to enable thepublic to also have access to it. This is because if we are saying itshould be published in two dailynewspapers of national circulation, nowthat we have a lot of newspapers -- The Central Bank's website is theofficial website where everybody acrossthe world could go and accessinformation. That is my suggestion.
Well, I thinkit is a very useful suggestion. HonChairman of Committee, what do you say?
Mr Speaker, I think, it doesnot destroy anything, it rather adds moreavenue for which the public can accessthe Report. So, we can add the website ofthe Bank of Ghana, in addition topublishing in two daily newspapers ofnational circulation.
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Questionwith regard to this proposed amendmentand its further amendment. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Clause 131 Dr A. A. Osei --rose--
Mr Speaker, there wassome discussion that we should have heldhere. I am referring to clause 132, sub-clause (2) (a) and (b). There was a policyissue which we have -- We should haveamended the amounts to GH¢1,200 andGH¢6,000, that somehow, has beenforgotten. Since the Hon Deputy Ministeris here, I would want to bring his attentionto it. This is because the Bank of Ghana hadagreed that it would be revised. GH¢1,000should move GH¢ 1,200 and GH¢5,000, Ibelieve to GH¢6,000. So, I would want tobring the Hon Deputy Minister's attentionso that we do not forget it.
Mr Speaker, I remember theamount being proposed is that, we haveGH¢1,250 for Specialised Deposit-TakingInstitutions and GH¢ 6,250 for banks. So,if the officials from the Bank of Ghana canconfirm -- Mr Speaker, I would propose anamendment --
Very well. Before we get to that, let us not jumpthe gun. Let us move step by step. Iannounced clause 131 because there wasno advertised amendment to it. So, let meput the Question on that one before Icome to clause 132 where we can deal withthis amendment. Clause 131 ordered to stand part of theBill.
Now, wecome to clause 132. Clause 132 -- Setting aside of pre-receivership transactions
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 132, subclause (2), paragraph (a),line 1, delete GH¢ 1,000 and insertGH¢ 1,250 and in paragraph (b), line 1,delete GH¢ 5,000 and insert GH¢ 6,250.
Very well.Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I do notwant to say that I oppose this amendment,but just to draw the Committee'sattention. If you put the actual figures likeGH¢1,250, in five years, what does thatbecome?Are you now going to be runningevery now and then back to this Housewith this Law, just to be able to changethe figure? Mr Speaker, I am suggesting that inplace of these actual figures, we rathergive Bank of Ghana the mandate to be ableto charge the necessary fees. When youdo that, they can, on daily basis, decideto change it depending on circumstances.But when you now fix it, GH¢1,250, GH¢5,000 or GH¢6,250, in five years, what dothose figures become? [Interruptions.] No! But that is not proper. You do notdo that. Unless otherwise, if you want to,you can look at the equivalent of penaltyunits. This is because the penalty unitsare revised --[Interruption]-- No, I amsaying that, when you do that-- This is because you are tagging it tosomething, that is revised, but if you putit as a fixed thing in the Law, Mr Speaker,we all know how difficult it is to re-introduce a law apart from the HonMinister for Finance, who can easily bringTax Bills, it is not easy for laws to be re-introduced. So, to put figures there, I think it is notappropriate. This is because in five years,it becomes irrelevant, then you arestruggling and when people arecomplaining that this is too small, thenthey would say that, that is what is in thelaw, until we amend it, that is what wouldbe going on. I do not think that is proper.
Very well. Hon Ranking Member, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, this isimportant to start the insurance withcertainty. It also allows us to follow theBank of Ghana, which would have to comeback in three years as is envisaged in theDeposit Protection Bill. It is a matter thatyou cannot leave for Regulations whichmay never come. If these amounts are not known, theuncertainty that you create in terms ofdeposit insurance would not be -- It istrue that the amount may be small now,but the original amount was done instudies about three years ago. So, theagreement was that, they would go andrevise it. But there has to be certainty tobe able to do the protection scheme fromday one. It would also make them come back inthree years for us to determine the newamount. We are not going to leave it totheir discretion. Keep in mind what isenvisaged here; deposit insurance fordepositors. The banks ought to know what itwould be now, if you leave it in theregulations and the Regulations nevercome, they cannot start operation at all.So, it is important in this case that we putan initial amount, knowing that the Billwill require them to come back. Otherwise,you would not be able to start --
Mr Speaker, my worryis that, we are all anticipating that, in threeyears' time, they would come. But are weasking ourselves if they do not come? Ihave seen in past laws here and MrSpeaker, we state that the institutionshould take a year to come withregulations and they have not done it andwe have not been able to do anything. So, if you say, in three years, theyshould come and they do not come, whathappens?
I am not saying theyshould come through regulations. Theinstitution, which is responsible fordeposit protection is going to require themto come. That, we have not yet done so, Ido not want to call it. But the institutionreferred to is going to require them tocome and tell us this amount. It is for theprotection of our depositors, keep it inmind, it is important.
Yes, HonChairman of Committee?
Mr Speaker, as explainedby the Hon Ranking Member, this isinsurance protection for depositors so,definitely, we need to state the amountinvolved. If not, it will be difficult for Bankof Ghana or the deposit protectioncorporation to service those depositorsin the event of the occurrence of thoseevents that have been described in thelaw, that in the occurrence of those events,depositors are protected up to thatamount. So, we need to know the amount thateach depositor is protected up to. If I havea deposit in a bank and it amounts to, letus say, GH¢10,000 and any insuranceevent has occurred, I am protected up toonly GH¢6,250. If the amount is not stated, I would bethinking that I am protected to all the fullamount that I have in the bank. So, weneed to state the amount. That is why weare doing this particular one. Mr Speaker, if you go further in thesubclause (2), we still have some difficulty. Mr Speaker, after paragraph (b), wemade reference to Ghana DepositProtection Act which has also not beenpassed. Based on that difficulty we facedunder clause 129, we are facing the samedifficulty under clause 132. This isbecause we are making reference to GhanaDeposit Protection Act here.
Yes, HonKpodo, you were up. Do you think yourissue has been taken care of?
Yes, Mr Speaker. I hadwanted to buttress the point raised by theHon Ranking Member that, that figure isnot only peculiar to this law alone. Wehave had such figures fixed in the PublicProcurement Act (PPA) and although ithas taken a lot of time for it to be broughtto the House, we have been applyingthose figures in dealing with procurementissues. So, we can fix this here so that theBanks and the SDIs would know howmuch insurance cover is for thedepositor's monies. It is necessary to have some certaintywith regard to the insurance cover.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,I do not see any amendment to clause 132.[Interruption] -- It was just amended. Mr Speaker, I am looking at what ismeant by the word “gratuitous transfers”.What is it? Are we talking about transferof gratuity or “gratuitous transfers”?
HonChairman of the Committee, can you helpus out?
Mr Speaker, I believe thisis a term that the Bank of Ghana used,which says: (a) “gratuitous transfers to, or topersons related to, affiliates,insiders or key managementpersonnel of the bank orspecialised deposit-takinginstitution made within fiveyears…” Mr Speaker, if a payment is made topeople who are affiliates to the keymanagement personnel of the bank andthose payments are in relation, togratuity -- Mr Speaker, we can get furtherexplanation from the technical people fromthe bench.
HonMembers, the problem we have with thisis that, we have gone past it. But I thoughtif we were given the correct explanation itwould help all of us.
Mr Speaker,in the context, I thought that it really refersto the “transfer of gratuities”. But if it isthe word “gratuitous”, there is a world ofdifference between the words “gratuitous” and “gratuity”. That is why I am sayingthat we should be very clear in our minds.But the Hon Chairman confirmed my fears,when he used the terminology “gratuity”. Mr Speaker, we should be careful ofwhat we are doing. What exactly are wedoing?
Mr Speaker, we have foundthe meaning of the word “gratuitous” asunwarranted or unnecessary transfers. So,it is not the word “gratuity”. [Interruption]-- No, I have taken it for myself.
Very well. Having satisfied ourselves, we wouldmove on. Clauses 133 to 139 ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 140 -- Review of decisions ofthe Bank of Ghana on licensing
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 140, subclause (1), line 2, delete“ten” and insert “thirty”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe; “Where a person is aggrieved witha decision of the Bank of Ghana inrespect of issuance of a licence, thatperson may, within thirty days ofthe decision, petition the Bank ofGhana…” Mr Speaker, the Committee thinks thatthe ten days given is too short for anyonewho is aggrieved by the bank's decisionto petition the Bank of Ghana. So, we areproposing an extension to “thirty days”instead of “ten days”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 140, subclause (2), lines 2 and 3,delete “may, in writing, appeal to the ChiefJustice” and insert the following: “may within thirty days from thedate of the decision in writing,appeal to the Adjudicative Panelestablished under section 141,against the decision”. Mr Speaker, the Committee, first of allis saying that, one does not appeal directlyto the Chief Justice, but under section 141,a panel would be established to adjudicateon those issues. So, one would first appealwithin thirty days to the Panel.
Vey well. Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, theamendment and the numbering arecreating a bit of a problem. This is becauseif they are referring to adjudicative bodyin section 141, the Committee went furtherto even delete section 141 and substitutedit as section 140. So, the cross referencescertainly would be wrong if we approveit. This is because they are referring tosection 141 here, but if we go beyond that,we are changing the whole thing andsetting up the Adjudicative Panel insection 140. So, they should take note.
HonMember, I appreciate the point that youhave made, but I believe that we cannotdo without it. Therefore, I would like todirect that the draftspersons take care ofit so that we do not have any overlap.Are we all right with that? [Pause.] Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 140, subclauses (3) to (8), deleteand insert the following new clause: “(1) There is established anAdjudicative Panel consisting of (a) A chairperson who is a Justiceof the High Court nominatedby the Chief Justice; (b) One person with knowledgein banking and finance andwith not less than ten yearsexperience in banking andfinance nominated by theChartered Institute ofBankers; and (c) One member of the Instituteof Chartered Accountants,Ghana who has been inpractice for not less than tenyears, nominated by theInstitute of CharteredAccountants, Ghana. (2) The Chief Justice shall appointMembers of the AdjudicativePanel. (3) The Adjudicative Panel shalladopt its own rules of procedure. (4) The Adjudicative Panel shallcommunicate its decision to theapplicant within thirty days ofreceipt of the appeal made to itin writing under subsection (2)of section 140.
Yes, HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, that is exactlywhat I am saying. If you look at it, in that same clause140, you are deleting subclauses (3) to(8) and substituting. In that substitution,that is where you are creating theAdjudicative Panel. That is why I wastalking about the cross referencing. Mr Speaker, but my main issue is that,you have an Adjudicative Panel and atthe same time you have another bodywhich should primarily be the one for theBank, for one to appeal through before heor she goes to the Adjudicative Panel. You are setting up two panels in whichyou are asking the Chief Justice to be theappointing authority, and that is where theproblem would arise. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, Iam looking at subclause (2) in theproposed amendment. It says: “the Chief Justice shall appoint members of theAdjudicative Panel” I would want to find out from the HonChairman of the Committee, whether thatPanel is an open-ended panel, or there hasto be a cap on the membership of the panelbeing three, four or five?
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, there is nocap? Is that it?
Mr Speaker, I think thatthere is a cap. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the Panel has amembership of the Chairperson, oneperson with knowledge in banking andfinance, and then one member of theChartered Institute of Accountants,Ghana. So, I think we have a membershipof three for the Panel. Therefore, it is notopen-ended.
I hope whatyou are referring to is not part of whatyou are deleting?
No! Mr Speaker, it is partof what we are now proposing.
Very well. How about the issue raised by the HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, first of all Iagreed with him that the earlier crossreferencing should be section 140 and notsection 141. This is because theAdjudicative Panel is established undersection 140. So, I agree with him. The other issue says that we areestablishing two separate bodies for thebanks and then the SDI. So, if he canmake reference to where we are doing that,we would look at it.
HonMember for Wa West, I believe that thisomnibus directive that I have given shouldtake care of the concerns that you haveraised.
Mr Speaker, I think thedirective should go further to ensure thatthe body is first of all set up before theappeals can be made within it. Forinstance, the clause 1 that we have alreadydealt with should be after this one hasbeen established. This is because youcannot be asking people to make anapplication, or appeal to a body beforethe body is created. So, that is strictlyspeaking, a legislative drafting issuewhich should be re-arranged.
Very well. So, I further direct that thedraftspersons should look at thesequence and the order in which thesebodies should appear in the Bill so thatwe would not have any problems. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I am lookingat subclause 5 which says, with yourpermission, I beg to quote that: (5) A person dissatisfied with thedecision of the Adjudicative Panelmay appeal to the Court of Appeal. Mr Speaker, it raises the status of thatadministrative panel, whether it is aninferior or a lower body, whose decisionis appealable to the Court of Appeal or tothe High Court. I would want to know,concerning the panel, whether it is aninferior one or a lower tribunal?
Mr Speaker, I think it shouldnot be the Court of Appeal, it should bethe High Court. This is because this is anadministrative body being created by theBank of Ghana. Mr Speaker, using a High Court Judgeas chairperson, it remains an adminis-trative body and decisions of alladministrative bodies are appealable tothe High Court, and that should bepositioned. So, I would seek further amendment tosay that instead of Court of Appeal, itshould be to the High Court.
Well, we arelooking at it from the legal point of view.We would not want to oust the jurisdictionof the High Court as far as some of thesematters are concerned. So, Chairman of the Committee, wouldyou agree to that further amendment?
Mr Speaker, I think thepoint being raised is that, we change the“Court of Appeal” to read the “High Court”-- I agree with that. This is because it is alegal issue and we would have to do it.
Mr Speaker, Irealised that in the preceding provisionswhere a person is dissatisfied with adecision, and the person intends to go upon appeal, there is a time limitation withinwhich the person may appeal. But withrespect to subclause (5), there is no timelimitation within which the person mayappeal in this particular case to the HighCourt, and I do not think that is proper.There ought to be a time limitation withinwhich the person may appeal to that.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that? The time within which a persondissatisfied can now appeal to the HighCourt is missing in this particularrendition.
HonChairman of the Committee, address theChair.
Mr Speaker, 30 days is longenough for one to prepare his or herappeal and go to the High Court.
I think that the time limitshould be within 30 days. This is becausewhen a decision has been made, it is made.One has 30 days within which to appeal,and I think it is a reasonable period foranybody who wants to appeal against thedecision.
So, that inprinciple, we agreed to the fact that weneed to insert a time frame. The HonMember was suggesting 30 days. Yes, Hon Abdallah?
Mr Speaker, I think thatthe 30 days period must begin to run fromthe date when the decision iscommunicated to the applicant, but notwhen the decision is made. This is because, making the decisionis different from when same iscommunicated to the applicant. So, theapplicant must be put on notice aboutwhen the decision is made before he mayappeal.
HonMember, we are looking at how to effectfurther amendments to what is existing.We have already agreed that it should bethe High Court and not the Court ofAppeal.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 140, subclause (5), line 2, delete“Court of Appeal” and insert thefollowing: “High Court within thirty days uponreceipt of the decision.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 140 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker,a little matter concerning clause 139 (2).Clause 139 is about voluntary --
HonMinority Leader, you are sending us back.
Mr Speaker,that is why I am appealing to you. This isbecause it is a small matter, and yet it hassome consequences. Mr Speaker, clause 139 is aboutvoluntary winding-up. Clause 139 (2)says, and with your permission, I beg toquote: “(2) Where the Bank of Ghana, atany stage of the voluntarywinding-up, considers that thebank or specialised deposit-taking institution which is beingwound up…” Mr Speaker, the moment we have thatconstruction, it means that the windingup could be compelled from outside. So,it should rather read: “Where the Bank of Ghana, at anystage of the voluntary winding-upconsiders that the bank orspecialised deposit-takinginstitution which is winding up isunable…” Mr Speaker, it is better. Once we saythat, “…which is being wound up…”, itimplies an outside force is compelling itto wind-up, which is not what is intendedby the provision. Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Chairmanis not disagreeing either personally orusing the platform of the Committee.
HonChairman, do you agree with him?
Mr Speaker, I agree that inline 3, it should be “which is winding-up”and not “which is being wound up”. So, Iagree.
So, we goback to it. This is because we have alreadydealt with it. We would go back to it andthen I would announce it for the HonChairman of the Committee to propose thekind of amendment that would take careof the issue raised. So, Hon Members, we would go backto clause 139. Clause 139 -- Voluntary winding-up
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 139, subclause (2), line 3, delete“being wound” and insert “winding”.
“(2) Where the Bank of Ghana, atany stage of the voluntarywinding-up considers that thebank or specialised deposit- taking institution which iswinding up is unable to meet itsobligations…”
Well,actually, it is a question of semantics;strictly speaking.
Mr Speaker, Ithought we have already dealt with clause139.
Mr Speaker, I donot know whether you are granting himleave to do a further amendment. This is because my understanding ofour own rules which the Mr Speaker hasalways been encouraging us to follow, isthat, the opportunity would come againat the Second Consideration Stage.
If we aregoing strictly by our rules, what you aresaying is right. Hon Member, but we are the markersof our own rules.We have discovered thiserror, and we want to have it corrected. Whether it is “being wound up” or it is“winding-up” --
Mr Speaker, you grantedthe Hon Minority Leader leave. So, wehave passed that. I do not know why he is going back toit when you have given your instructions.
The HonMember is out of order.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, let us move on. I believe wegot to clause 141, Am I right? Clause 141 -- Review of the decisionof the Bank of Ghana on officialadministration, liquidation and re-ceivership
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 141, delete and insert the following: “(1) Where a person is aggrieved witha decision of the Bank of Ghana inrespect of (a) An official administration, areceivership or liquidation, (b) The revocation of the licence ofa bank or specialised deposit-taking institution on groundsrelated to the condition of thatbank or specialised depositinstitution, or (c) An action under sections 103 to106 and the Bank of Ghanadetermines that there is a seriousrisk to financial stability or of amaterial loss to that bank orspecialised deposit-takinginstitution, that person shallresort to arbitration for redressin accordance with theAlternative Dispute ResolutionAct, 2010 (Act 798). (2) For the purpose of subsection (1),the arbitration panel shall consistof experts in banking, finance,accounting, law, administration,liquidation and receivership. (3) Where arbitration proceedings areinitiated pursuant to subsection (1), (a) the action instituted shallcontinue without restrictionduring the period of the reviewand further appeal or otherjudicial proceedings, and (b) the arbitration panel may, inappropriate cases, awardmonetary damages to injuredparties but shall not order aninjunction against the Bank ofGhana, suspend or set aside theactions of the Bank of Ghana.” Mr Speaker, the proposed arrangementis to make the clause neater and clearerand to bring the intention of thatparticular clause referred to.
Mr Speaker,this is not really to do with the substanceof it. I am not too sure that the correctway to put this is to say: “(1) Where a person is aggrievedwith a decision…” Mr Speaker, are we aggrieved by adecision or aggrieved with a decision? I thought the better construction is“aggrieved by a decision” and not“aggrieved with a decision”.
Mr Speaker, I have a bit ofa problem with the issue of rewriting clause141. If we look at clause 142, which followsclause 141 immediately, that is the bodythat is being set up to do what clause 141is saying. So, again, we need to create thebody and then people can appeal to thatbody for whatever. Mr Speaker, if we look at thearrangement, we normally want toencourage arbitration even beforeadjudication. So, if there is anyopportunity that the Bank of Ghana wouldhave anybody who is aggrieved, shouldfirst go to the arbitration panel. If thematter cannot be resolved, theneventually the person may go to theadjudicative panel and end up in thecourts. If we look at what we are doing withclause 141 (1), immediately after that, wesee clause 141 (2) which is rightly the bodythat is being composed to deal with thematter. So, the order is important. I think that,while considering this, we should look athow clearly we can rearrange the wholething.
Mr Speaker, stillon clause 141, I realised the introductionof adjudicative panel in subclause (1). Then, in clause 142, the terminology,“Arbitration Panel” has been used. So, inrelation to the last Hon Member'scontribution, are we making a distinctionbetween arbitration panel andAdjudication Panel, or we are using theterms interchangeably?
Very well. Let us take them one after the other.First of all, the issue raised by the HonMember for Wa West. I believe he hasrepeatedly made that point. We haveindicated that, the draftspersons can takecare of it, even with regard to the order inwhich it should be represented. Unless that directive will not besufficient to take care of the issue raised,we probably have to stand it down so that we do not mess it up in any way. But withregard to arbitration and administration-- Hon Chairman of the Committee, howdo you respond to that?
Mr Speaker, I think weshould stand it down and then move toclause 143.
HonMembers, I therefore, direct that we deferthe consideration of clauses 141 and 142for the Committee to do some further workon these two clauses. So, we move on to clause 143. Clause 143 -- Unclaimed balances
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 143, subclause (3), line 2, after“service charge” insert “or is an interestbearing account” Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read; “Where an account which istransferable under subsection (2) issubject to a service charge, or is aninterest bearing account. Thecharge may continue to be leviedupon the date on which the accountwas transferred to the register ofdormant accounts” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 143 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 144 -- Prohibition of floatingcharge.
Mr Speaker, amendmentsproposed under clause 145 areabandoned.
Mr Speaker, there is noproposed amendment, but in lieu of thedecision we took in relation to depositprotection Act, we have on page 117 ofthe Bill, subclause (4), that I should drawMr Speaker's attention to that as well. Thatthe reference is made to the GhanaDeposit Protection Act.
I believe itwill be consequential. Will it not? Very well. I direct that it be consequential. Thenin that case, we might have to deal withclause 145 although there is no advertisedamendment, and then I give the directivethat it be consequential. Hon Chairman of the Committee, sincein a way, it is a form of an amendment, wewill put the Question. There is no advertised amendment, butyou are drawing our attention to the factthat we have previously dealt with asimilar situation and we have deleted thatparticular provision dealing with that Act. So, we want to go along the same pathor do you think that the directive I willgive will be enough to take care of it?
HonMembers, our attention has been drawnto this provision in clause 145 subclause(b) (ii) and I direct that, that provision dealing with the Tax Act be deleted asoccurred previously. Are we all right? Let us move on.
Mr Speaker,I was really not following the second onethat you were talking about. I wanted toknow exactly where. Mr Speaker, before then, I guess forreasons of consistency, if you look at theconstruction of clause 145 (1) and (2),subsection (1) begins with “each” and the(2) begins with “a”. Mr Speaker, I believe the betterconstruction is “a”. We resort to “a”. So,we rather begin with; “A director, officer or employee ofthe Bank of Ghana or any personappointed by the Bank of Ghanapursuant to the banking laws shall,before performing a function underthe banking laws...” Mr Speaker, it is better than the use ofthe word “each”. Otherwise, we mayperhaps use the same construction for (2); “Each director, officer or employeeof the Bank of Ghana or any otherperson appointed by the Bank ofGhana shall not,…” Mr Speaker, if we use the indefinitearticle “a' it is better in that case than theuse of the word “each”. So, I propose that we delete “each” in(1) and substitute “a” to read; “A director, officer or employee ofthe Bank of Ghana or any personappointed by the Bank of Ghanapursuant to the banking laws shall, before performing a function underthe banking laws, (a) in the case of Director….
I do notfollow you. Which word are yousubstituting for which?
Mr Speaker,I am proposing the deletion of the word“each” in clause 145 (1) and substituting“a” in (2). So, it will read; “A director, officer or employee ofthe Bank of Ghana…”
Mr Speaker,that will be consistent with subsection (2).
Mr Speaker, I have noobjection to the proposed amendmentthat we replace “each” with “a”.
Very well. Before we lose sight of what you drewour attention to, can you repeat the issuethat you raised? The Act that you wantus to delete.
Mr Speaker, the issue Iraised is clause 145, subclause (4),paragraph (e) -- where reference is madeto the Ghana Deposit Protection Act. Weagreed that your directive should haveconsequential effect.
So, I directthat, that portion of clause 145 be deletedand then with regard to the proposal bythe Hon Minority Leader, that in clause145, subclause (1), the first word on thefirst line -- instead of “each” replacewith “a”. So, that would amount to anamendment proposed. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 145 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 146 -- Secrecy of customerinformation.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 146, subclause (3), paragraph (b),delete and insert the following: “(d) to the Collateral Registry set-up under the Borrowers andLenders Act, 2008 (Act 773)” Mr Speaker, the proposed amendmentis that the Borrowers and Lenders Act of2008 (Act 773) is the Act which applies inthis instance and so we are proposing thisamendment. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 146, subclause (3), add thefollowing new paragraph: “(g) to the Securities and ExchangeCommission.” Mr Speaker, the Committee realised thatthis had been an omission, therefore weare adding it to the number of Acts andothers that are involved here. So, we areadding “Securities and ExchangeCommission” to the list. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I would wantto draw your attention to --
Hold yourbreath. Hon Members, with regard to thetime and the business we have to do, Idirect that we Sit beyond the stipulatedtime.
Mr Speaker, at the time theCommittee considered the Bill, the Househad not passed the Income Tax Act, andso the number of the Act was not quoted.If you look at clause 146 subclause (3),paragraph (b) (i), the Act number is notthere. Now, we have the Act number andso we would want to propose anamendment to insert the Act number orMr Speaker would direct that thedraftspersons do that.
I think itwould be better for me to give directionsthat now that we have the Act number,wherever the Act appears, the numbershould be provided by the draftspersonsto make it neater. Are we all right with that? Clause 146 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 147 -- Agreement for exchangeof information.
Mr Speaker, I beg to seekthe leave of the House to abandon thisamendment because you have given thedirective already. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] Clause 147 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clauses 148 to 150 ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, sufficient unto the day is evilthereof. I direct that we bring theConsideration Stage of the Banks andSpecialised Deposit-taking InstitutionsBill, 2015, to a close for today. Hon Majority Leader, we are in yourhands.
Thank youvery much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am reliably informed thatwe would be taking item number 10 foronly an hour -- the Ghana GeologicalSurvey Authority Bill, 2015. Mr Speaker,just for one hour.
Is the HonChairman of the Committee in the House? Hon Majority Leader, what page is iton?
Mr Speaker, it is on page18.
HonMembers, the Ghana Geological SurveyAuthority Bill, 2015, at the ConsiderationStage.
Yes, HonMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, with your kindpermission and the indulgence of my HonColleagues, if the Hon Vice Chairman ofthe Committee could take us through theConsideration Stage for and on behalf ofthe Hon Chairman of the Committee, whois committed to some constituency workand has not been able to make it to thefloor.
Very well. Ghana Geological Survey AuthorityBill, 2015
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, could youhelp us? How far did we go?
Mr Speaker,the last time we considered clause 3.We could continue from clause 4.
Very well. Clause 4 -- Responsibility of theAuthority to promote research.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, headnote, delete and insert“promotion of research”
“promotion of research” instead of“responsibility of the Authority topromote research.” This is to tidy up theheadnote.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?
Mr Speaker, I needyour guidance. Looking at our number, Iam wondering whether we have thenumbers to do Business. I only wouldwant your guidance on this matter.
HonMembers, we would proceed. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 4 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 5 -- Governing body of theAuthority
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (i), line 2, after “Resources”insert “not below the rank of a Director”
“The Minister responsible forLands and Natural Resources notbelow the rank of a Director” Mr Speaker, this is to be done in linewith the enactment of previous Parliament. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonChairman of the Committee, there is asecond amendment to clause 5, pleasehelp me.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (ii), delete and insert thefollowing: “(ii) the Ministry responsible forPower not below the rank of aDirector; (iii) the Ministry responsible forEnergy not below the rank of aDirector;
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (d),opening phrase, after “representative”insert “each”
“one representative each of andnominated by the following:” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I justwant the Committee to advert their mindsto why we should not delete the “GhanaChamber of Mines”. All right, the Hon Chairman says hewould want to introduce it, and so I wouldsit.
Is it orally?Yes?
Mr Speaker, during thedebate on the Bill, we came to therealisation that the Chamber of Mines is aprivate association, and it is also anindustry player so we need to place it. Inview of this, we would want to propose anew amendment. In that amendment, wewould replace “Chamber of Mines” with“Water Resources Commission”. This isbecause they deal in the construction ofhydro dams.
Very well. I would put the Question with regardto that amendment. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 5 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 6 ordered to stand part of theBill Clause 7 -- Meetings of the Board
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 7, subclause (3), line 1, delete “six”and insert “seven” and in lines 2 and 3delete “or a greater number determinedby the Board in respect of an importantmatter”
“The quorum at a meeting of theBoard shall be 7 members of theBoard”.
Mr Speaker,I just want to know the total number ofthe membership and what should be thenumber of such total number ofmembership to form a quorum.
Mr Speaker, the totalnumber is 11. This is because, the increasein the number of the membership of thegoverning Board is due to theCommittee's proposed amendment for the deletion of the end phrase. So, werealised that it relates to important matters,and we did not want to have discretionarypowers. So, we thought that it should befixed.
You stillhave not made yourself clear.
A quorum could be 11.Even five members could form a quorum.So, if he is not leaving it at five, and hewould want seven, he must explain whyhe is looking for the seven. This isbecause, originally, I believe the numbersix or the highest number they wanted wasfor some specific and very importantmatters. That was why they wanted morethan 50 per cent. So, he should explain to us why he islooking for seven to form a quorum forevery matter, so that in the event that theyget less than seven members, they cannotmeet. And, is the Chairperson part of thequorum?
Mr Speaker, I am amember of the Committee, so, I wouldwant to help my Vice Chairman. Mr Speaker, even when they were nine,the number was six. The reason is that theactivities of this Authority hinges on theexploitation of our natural resources. Wedo not want a situation where when thereis going to be a meeting, a much smallernumber meets and takes such criticaldecisions. This is because any action orinaction of the Authority could lead tohuge consequences. So, when they werenine, the original Bill was anticipating sixto be sure that they could get to ten.
Have youalso adverted your mind to the possibilitythat this proposed amendment is raisingthe bar very high?
Mr Speaker,the second leg of the justification providedby the Hon Majority Chief Whip whoindicates to us that he is providingillumination because he is a Member ofthe Committee rather confuses the issue.This is because it says to us that in respectof very important matters, the quorumcould even go up. But the Committee isproposing to us that we delete that leg,yet he is using this as a justification. He israther confusing the issue. Mr Speaker, I agree that usually wehave rather used odd numbers. So, it maybe one of the reasons for increasing it fromsix, which is an even number to an oddnumber. So, usually, there would not be
Mr Speaker, I accept thatexplanation by the Hon Minority Leaderbecause they should have more than half.But let us look at subclause (2). I do notsee a meeting being held when there is noquorum. This is because subclause (2)says that: “The Chairperson shall, at therequest in writing of not less thanone-third of the membership of theBoard, convene an extraordinarymeeting...” So, we have given the members -- fourpeople can write and the Chairperson hasto convene a meeting but that meetingmust not have less than seven members.Is that it? [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I just want thatunderstanding.
Mr Speaker, apart from that,we also realised that the last leg is givingdiscretion to the Chairman to determinewhich of the meetings is more importantand we agreed to raise it by one so thatthat number would be significant enough.Whether important or unimportant, they would be able to take a decision thatwould represent the majority.
Mr Speaker, I believeunderlining this decision is the fact thatthis House is attaching very seriousweight to the subject that we are dealingwith -- natural resources. Therefore, wedo not want to leave it in the hands of afew people when many more people couldbe involved in taking the decision - expertsin the area.That is more comforting thanleaving it to the rather low quorum thatwe have earlier decided on in other Bills. Ibelieve that must be the main reason. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 7 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 8 -- Disclosure of interest
Mr Speaker, there isno proposed amendment but I would wantto crave the indulgence of the House tomove an amendment with regard to clause8 (1). Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8,subclause (1), line 1, after “interest”, insert“whether personal, institutional ororganisational”. Mr Speaker, the reason for this is thatby the nature of what they do, interest ina matter for deliberation could be personal,institutional or organisational. So, the“interest” should be declared broadly.This is because a person could ask whetherthey are referring to his personal interestor not. Many of the people too arerepresenting organisations. Mr Speaker, the reason why I try to dothis is that I had some consultation withsome of the persons at the University ofGhana and they said that even before this Authority came into force, with the kindof multi-nationals that they deal with andthe lobbying groups, people could decideto be quiet and say that they were referringto interest as a person and they do nothave any business directly but theyrepresent an organisation. They want us to be able to tell whetherthere is some organisational interest. Thatwas one of the reasons that was used toget the Chamber of Mines out of theBoard. This is because they wouldconstantly have interests, because theyare representing private miningcompanies. So, we would be grateful if thisqualification is done to further make itbeyond doubt that the interest is not onlypersonal.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, if that wouldenrich the clause, we have no problem.
Mr Speaker,I am following the principle beingespoused by the Hon Majority ChiefWhip, but I am not too sure what he meansby organisational interest. Could he comewith further and better particulars on that?
Mr Speaker, most ofthe representatives are institutions. Forexample, one is representing the Ministryof Water Resources, Works and Housing.Remember there is a chairman and there isa woman to be nominated by the President.Let us say a person is a member of anassociation, say, an organisation ofminers, which is an organisation that theyprivately formed and they pursue aninterest, and he is a member there but he is also here representing anotherinstitution. When we are talking about the interest,we would want them to be able to declareit fully that there is no conflict of interestwith regard to what is being done and theirinstitution, and then also with theirmembership as members of a group, sothat people do not just say that “as Iwalked in here, nobody has spoken to meabout this issue”, when in actual sensethey are members of a group that ischampioning a cause that is now beforethe authority for determination. So, we believe that the interestshould be made explicit so that it clears alldoubts, instead of the person thinkingthat we are just talking about his personalinterest and not the group that he or shebelongs to -- all the institutions that heor she belongs to.
But let mefind out from you whether the list youhave given us is exhaustive enough. Ifwe should be specific, then we shouldhave an exhaustive list, otherwise, itwould be better to leave it at interest,because whatever kind of interest there iswhich is caught by this provision, I donot know. Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, if that isthe understanding, because like it is beingsaid, the debate and how we get alongwith Bills, in court they are also used ininterpretation. So, if this is what we aresaying, that the interest means broadinterests, all-inclusive, then I would dropthe amendment.
Mr Speaker, when we talkabout disclosure of interest, we are talkingabout disclosure of personal interest,because there is a trust that is on theperson, and therefore the person shouldnot allow his or her personal interest toconflict with that trust. We are not talking about institutionalinterest, we are talking about personalinterest. All the institutions have interestin this matter. In fact, that is why we arezoning in on them to choose represen-tatives, because they have interests. Butthat interest is our interest the institutionsare holding in trust, so, when the persongoes and is representing the institution,the person is representing all of us, buthe or she may have a personal interest ina subject matter that is coming before theBoard, and if that personal interest wouldconflict with the subject matter that theyare going to debate, then the person hasto disclose it. So, it is personal interest. It is just inline with the provisions in theConstitution. We are talking aboutpersonal interest, disclosure of personalinterest. Not institutional, not organisationalinterest, no. Then they would have no placeto sit there, because all the institutionswe are talking about have interest in thesubject matter.
Mr Speaker,I agree with you on the issue that youraised, and it is for that reason that I calledfor further and better particulars about thedescription of organisational interest orinstitutional interest. Mr Speaker, those people from thoseinstitutions are not delegates. If a personis a delegate, the person could representhimself or herself. If a person is a representative, the person represents theinstitution, so he or she does not go thereon their own accord. They represent theinterest of that institution and that is whythey are not delegates. So, the interest really boils down to theperson's own personal interest, whetherthey stand to benefit directly or indirectly.Those are things that we are supposed toindicate. Maybe it may not be the personpersonally. It could be a family member,and some benefit may inure to them. Theyhave to disclose it. It could be a goodfriend of theirs. They have to disclose it.It is personal, but beyond that, it wouldbe difficult to expand. Mr Speaker, otherwise, we may evenhave to include religious interest. I knowif we pursue that path the interest of theHon Majority Chief Whip may be manyand varied on the religious platform, andit may be indeterminate. Mr Speaker, I think that we should leaveit at just interest, and it would be properlyunderstood by those who interpret it, thata person would not have any pecuniaryinterest to themselves whether in thenuclear family, extended family, orfriendship which perhaps may compelthem to take certain decisions. Those arethe personal interests that are beingalluded to in the context.
Mr Speaker, let megive an example, because of what my Honleader said. For example, the representative of theMinistry of Power. They are going to dama water body. There is an organisationalor institutional interest, because theMinistry of Power may need the dam, butthere are consequences of that dam to theenvironment. Now a decision is going tobe made and may lead to voting, and theperson is sitting in. He is going to be clouded with theinterest of his or her ministry pursuingthe construction of the dam, and in thatdecision taking, that person would not belooking at the other issues that are beingraised and the effects that it may have.The person is going to be glued to theinterest of --
Hon Member,that argument could be made of any --As far as an individual member of theBoard is concerned, we would havesomething like that. The representationhas been made across board. They arerepresenting various interests.
Mr Speaker, lookingat the mood of the House, I drop theamendment -- [Laughter.]
Very well.Thank you very much. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Clause 9? Clause 9 -- Establishment of Committees
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 9, subclause (1), lines 1 and 2,delete “of the Board or non-members orboth to perform a function” and insert thefollowing: “only or members and non-members to perform a function ofthe Authority”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe; “the Board may establish committeesconsisting of members only, ormembers and non-members, to perform a function of theAuthority”. Mr Speaker, this is to provide for clarityas done in other enactments of this House. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,if I got the Hon Acting Chairman right, hesays to us that we should delete line 9(1),then we insert -- “The Board may establishcommittees consisting of membersonly or members and non-membersto perform the function of theAuthority”. Then we have subclause (2), whichprovides that; “the committee of the Board shallbe chaired by a member of theBoard”. Mr Speaker, my worry is that by thisConstruction, we could have a situationwhere the Board may form a committee ofnon-members, and maybe the insistenceis that, that committee may still have tobe chaired by a board member, butbecause of how we have captured it, itmay mean that it would definitely requiremore than one board member to serve onany committee, because we are sayingthat --
HonMinority Leader, the effect of what it issaying is that, a committee cannot beformed of non-members only.
Mr Speaker,I appreciate that, except that thisconstruction means that there should beone at any material time. There cannot beone board member, but at least two. Thatis the issue I am bringing up. If you agreewith that.
Is it becauseof the use of the plural there? [Pause.] Yes, Hon Acting Chairman of theCommittee, how do you respond to that? Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I thought thatthe Hon Minority Leader was drawing ourattention to the use of the words“…function of the Authority”. I thoughtthey were to perform functions of theBoard, but they used the term“Authority”. I think it should be “theBoard”. Mr Speaker, what the amended clause9(1) seeks to do, is to ensure that there isa member of the Board. When you readclause 9, subclauses (1) and (2) together,what they simply want to do is to makesure that clause 9(2) is captured in clause9(1). Clause 9(2) says that the committeemust be chaired by a board. If thecommittee is chaired by a board, then amember of the Board is there. It is notnecessary that they must be two, but it isnot being excluded to only the chairman.There may be circumstances where thecomposition would include a member ofthe Board and the Chairman also chairing.That is my understanding of what thecommittee seeks to do. It is not necessary that they must betwo members, but at least, there has to beone. But the proposal here is that theBoard may establish committeesconsisting of members of the Board or non-members. This means that they can forma committee of only non-members. Butsubclause 2 says that it must be chairedby a Board Member, and so a committeecannot be composed of only non-members. That is what it is saying. So, it is either one, which is the chair or morethan one. Experience has shown that, yes, thisis what is in practice. At least, I haveserved on so many boards and chairedsome, and that is what we do.
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question.
Mr Speaker,I appreciate the issue raised, except if youlook at the new construction forsubclauses (1) and (2) together, it wouldmean that where a committee of the Boardis chaired by a member of the Board, itshould have at least one more. But by theconstruction given by the ActingChairman in subclause (1), it says that,‘The Board may establish committeesconsisting of members only or a member.”
HonMinority Leader, let us not forget that weare talking about the Board beingauthorised to establish committeesconsisting of so and so. The plural shouldnot be lost sight of.
Mr Speaker,for reasons of clarity, if you have thisconstruction: “The Board may havecommittees consisting of members onlyor members and non-members to performa function of the Board.” We are particularising it, and by thisconstruction, you are required to have notless than two of the Board members onany committee, but that is not the intent.That was why I thought that we couldallow for the original to stand, but ratheradd at the end, ‘except that no committeemay be established without a Boardmember.' That would establish theintention better. Otherwise, what is written -- I knowthe principle is the same, but it will meanthat at least, two of the Board membersof any committee by the construction thathas been provided. That is my only worry.The principle is understood, but thisconstruction means that there should beat least, two members on any committeewhich would include non-members of theBoard.
Mr Speaker, the construc-tion proposed by the Hon Minority Leaderis what we usually refer to as an oxymoron.This is because it is sweet and bitter. If wesay; “The Board may establishcommittees consisting of membersof the Board.” That is one. Then, “The Board may establishcommittees consisting of non-members”is also another one, and that is what wewant to avoid. Now, that construction is accepted andthen we say, “Except”. Already, thecategorical statement has been made thatthe Board can establish a committee ofnon-members. From what is beingproposed now, there will be three typesof committees. One, only member; two, only non-members; and three, both. That is what isbeing proposed now -- [Interruption.] -- No! What is proposed in the Bill now-- [Interruption]-- that is the original. Now, the proposal is that, let us makeit two: Only members or members andnon-members. The only problem is withclause 9 (2), and he is using ‘members'and not ‘member'. That is the issue the Hon Minority Leader raised. Whichmeans that it should be more than just thechairman, because of the words ‘members'and ‘non-members'. Mr Speaker, what clause 9 (1) is doingis to make the general principle, and clause9 (2) is qualifying that general principle. When we talk about clause 9(1), thechairman and all other persons areinclusive. Clause 9 (2) is simply making itclear that there shall be no sub committeeor committee of the Board that is chairedby --
A non-member. That is notwhat clause 9 (2) is doing. It must alwaysbe chaired by a member and that is all. Ithink the proposal from the Committee isacceptable. There is a proposal here from ourtechnical people which says that we couldsay, “Despite subsection 1, a committeeof the Board shall be chaired by a memberof the Board.” [Laughter.] -- I do notknow.
It does notsit very well with me.
Mr Speaker, this is becauseeven the word “despite” does not comein. If we retain the original rendition, thenwe would use the word “despite.” Mr Speaker, for me, the clearer one iswhat the Committee has proposed. It is a better rendition.
Well, it isinteresting, but I would want to proposethat we take a second look at it as aCommittee with the concerns raised inmind. So, we would defer clause 9. Alhaji Muntaka -- rose --
Mr Speaker, Iexperienced more wonder on clause 11. For consistency, we talked aboutfunctions, and when we came to “additionto any other”, we said, “functions.” So, isit a matter of just adding the “s”?[Interruption] I am talking about clause 11 (3): “A regional or district office of theAuthority shall perform thefunctions of the Authority in theregion or district in addition to anyother function that the Board maydirect.” All right, Mr Speaker, it is: “in additionto any…” Mr Speaker, I am sorry. Clauses 10 to 12 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 13 -- Approval of Authority touse data produced by Authority
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 13, Headnote, delete “of authorityto use data produced by” and insert “touse data by the”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldnow be. “Approval to use data by theAuthority”.
Yes, Mr Speaker. The original rendition was: “Approval of Authority to use dataproduced by Authority”. So, the new rendition that theCommittee proposed is: “Approval to use data by theAuthority.” Mr Speaker, this is to make theheadnote a little tidy. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I would begthe Chairman of the Committee and theHon Minister to look at the amendmentwell. It is not tidy. We could just say: “datausage” or “use of data”. That is tidier than“approval of …” If we say use of data -- it is not onlyby the Authority. It needs external people.The Authority can use its data foranything it wants. It does not needapproval, but this talks about externalpeople coming to use data and maps thathas been generated by the Authority. So, we can say: “data usage” or “useof data” and it is neater; the approval is inthe clause.
Mr Speaker, I think a betterrendition would be “use of data producedby the Authority.” It is not all data, but data produced bythe Authority. Clause 13 talks about aperson who intends to use data producedby the Authority. So, it should be “use ofdata produced by the Authority”.
Chairmanof the Committee, do you agree with them?
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 13, line 1, delete “A” and insert“Subject to subsection (2) of section 25,a”
“Subject to section 2 of subsectionof section 25” A person who intendsto use data produced by theAuthority for a scientificpublication or modification of mapsfor sale or display shall be requiredto pay a prescribed fee.” Mr Speaker, this is cross referencingto provide approval prior to the chargingof the fee by the Authority.
If Iunderstand you, you are deleting thecapital “A” and replacing it with the small“a”.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
HonMember for Manhyia South?
Mr Speaker, section 25, Ido not know whether when we reach thereit would stay as such, so I would have toask permission for the draftspersons totake note. Mr Speaker, when you read sections25 and 13, they are same. In one of them, we say that writtenapproval should come from the HonMinister, but with this one, we are talkingabout the Authority. So, we could make it consistent.[Interruption.] -- We have now come tosubject clause 13 to clause 25. The clause25 talks about the Hon Minister, but herewe are talking about the approval residingwith the Authority. The two cannot sit together, so, weshould do something about it before Icome in with my amendment.
You havenot been specific enough -- I do notknow --
Mr Speaker, thesubjecting clause reads: “A person who intends to use dataproduced by the Authority for ascientific publication or modificationof maps for sale or display shallobtain the prior written approval ofthe Minister.” When we come to the clause 13, it says: “A person who intends to use dataproduced by the Authority for ascientific publication or modificationof maps for sale or display shall berequired to pay a prescribed fee.” Mr Speaker, all that is the same. Wecan delete the whole of clause 13 and stillhave clause 25 covering it. That is what Iam saying. In clause 13, we have left that power tothe Authority and in clause 25, one has togo to the Hon Minister for writtenapproval before he comes to the Authority.
HonMember, you would realise that clause 13talks about the payment of fees.
Yes, Mr Speaker.Clause 25 also talks about written pre-approval. So, we can delete the whole ofclause 13 and make clause 25 betterinstead of the two sitting together. 2. 45 p. m.
Mr Speaker, I disagree withmy Hon Colleague, the Hon Member forManhyia South. We must specifically indicate in clause13 the issue of payment of a prescribedfee. In fact, I thought he was going to raisethe issue about authority to approve --Why the Minister? When you talk about“prescribed”, it means laid down in lawand I am sure it would be the regulations.We have to look at the clause onregulations. If it is from the Authority and not theMinister, then I think the head of thatAuthority should be the one giving theapproval, not the political head. I thoughtthat was the issue he wanted to raise butsince we have not got to clause 25 yet,and we are dealing with clause 13, I thinkthe proposed amendment by the HonChairman of the Committee is in the rightdirection. We are subjecting it to thatapproval, that, one has to pay fees butone must obtain approval to use the databefore one pays the fees. So, there isnothing wrong with that.
Mr Speaker, if you go toRegulations, they do not talk about feescoming by Regulations. Do we intend bythis Act, to give them the power to dowillingly with fees or they have to comeby Regulations? That is the norm for fees
Mr Speaker, if you look atthe objective of the Act -- Let me go toclause 2. The issue of fees in one of theclauses, it is not the object of theAuthority. Well, in the Regulations, weplan to get the clause on fees --
Mr Speaker, that waswhat I said. If we get to Regulations --
But when you get toRegulations, we have the omnibus clausewhich says, “Any matter necessary for theeffective implementation of theprovisions of this Act”. That is the omnibus clause. We mustspecifically get a provision to deal withpayment of fees. I think it is clause 13 thatdeals with payment of fees. That is whythey have, “subject to the approval” inclause 25.
Mr Speaker, the HonMajority Leader is probably right. Unlesswe amend the Headnote, he is totallyright. The Headnote that we just agreedon, says, “Use of data”; but the Headnoteshould be payment of fees for data usage.This is because when you go to theRegulations, there is no clause. The onlypart that talks about fees payment is here.So, the object of this clause is aboutpayment, not about usage. Other clauses say how one can goabout data usage. So, the only part thattalks about fees is the clause 13.Therefore, either we put the Headnote as“payment of data usage by the Authority”or something -- We have to prescribe itin the Regulations so that they come by a Legislative Instrument (L.I.) likeeverybody. Leaving it like this does notconnote the explanation the Hon MajorityLeader gave.
HonMember, I am at a loss; the use of data incertain respects have been dealt with inother clauses. In this particular case, theperson would be using data belonging tothe Authority and therefore, they aresaying the person must pay somethingfor it.
Mr Speaker, you aretotally right. The Head note does not saythat, however, and that is why I said. it isnot just an ordinary usage of data, butyou one has to pay for it. So, the clausehere deals with payment for the use ofdata. That should be the Head note;it isnot here. If you go to the objects of the Bill, thefunctions of the Authority and even theRegulations, it tells you how you can usedata and how you can acquire data andthings like that. The only part that talksabout payment of fees for the use of datais this clause. So, this clause deals withgiving the enabling authority for theAuthority to get fees when a personcomes for their data. Nowhere else has it.
Yes, HonChairman of Committee, how do yourespond?
Mr Speaker, I am lookingat clause 25 (2)) which requires approvalfor usage. If it is cross-referencing, I donot think we need to request payment forthe use of the Authority's data. I believethe use of data produced by the Authority-- In clause 13 (1), we make cross-referencing to clause 25 (2). I think theway it is--
Yes, HonMajority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, to curethis, I think that we can just do a furtheramendment to the Head note and it wouldtake care of both the use of data andpayment of fees by simply changing theHead note to read, “fees for use of dataproduced by the Authority”. That wouldtake care of both. Then the actual rendition would besupported by the Head note where wewould say, “A person who intends to use dataproduced by the Authority for ascientific publication or modificationof maps for sale or display shall bybe required to pay a prescribed fee”.
Very well,Hon Member, I would like to hear fromyou,on your proposal by way ofamendment, if we should go back to it.We have already dealt with that but wecan get back to what you want to proposeso that it captures the payment of fees.
Mr Speaker, that isexactly what I have done.
Mr Speaker, if we can addpayment of fees --
Can you goover it?
Mr Speaker, he saidwe should add payment so that it would be-- So, I also propose “fees for the use ofdata produced by the Authority”.
HonMajority Chief Whip, before you come up,let us get the amended rendition that wehave dealt with. What did we say?
Mr Speaker, the amendedrendition was, “use of data produced bythe Authority”.
Now, pushyours through so that --
Mr Speaker, I did justthat so it would read, “fees for the use ofdata produced by the Authority” The rendition we had was, “use of dataproduced by the Authority”.
HonMembers, in order to save time -- Wehave spent so much time on this particularissue, can we defer it if it is necessary forus to look at it from both angles?Otherwise, we might spend all the time wehave on just this issue. We can look athow to propose an amendment, go to theHeadnote and then whatever we want todo so that we can make some progress.
Mr Speaker, I sought yourindulgence to do further amendment herebut I might turn it down since we aremoving on. Mr Speaker, for a long time, dataacquired by the Authority gets into thehands of external users before even theGovernment of Ghana is officially awareof it and that is very troubling. I do notknow what the Hon Minister would think,whether such data that is going out shouldnot be subjected -- I would have gone asfar as Cabinet approval. This is because the Geological SurveyDepartment in other jurisdictions is treatedpurely as an intelligence agency. They arethe first identification point of anyresource in the country. When you visitthem, you would see a multitude offoreigners who are applying to them fortheir data. I am not bothered about the fees oranything, but the people of Ghana, ourrepresentative, the Ghana Government,and for that matter, His Excellency, thePresident, should be made well aware ofthe potential resources available in thiscountry before they allow external peopleto apply for maps and things forrecognisance and exploration. I do not particularly think we shouldjust allow people to get into the geologicalsurvey --
HonMember, your point is well made. Myattention has been drawn to the fact thatI have already put the Question withregard to this particular amendment. Can we take note of it and look at it atthe next Consideration Stage so that wedo not lose sight of it?
Mr Speaker, I do agree toyour proposal. But just to caution that itcomes under a part of this Bill which wouldbe an Act. We would see that part in themain heading; “Approvals, Powers and Activitiesof the Authority”. I do not think any sub-heading shouldintroduce an issue as a major. If they makeit “payment of”, then it is a major sub-heading they are introducing;it is a majoritem of payments. The focus is on the dataproduced by the Authority. It is just thatbecause the Authority is going to incurcost in producing that data, people arecalled upon to pay fees. So, that shouldnot be elevated to be one of the very majoritems under that Act. It is a sub-part ofthe Act. That is the only caution.
HonMembers, let us move forward.[Interruption.] I have already put theQuestion.
Mr Speaker, the Questionhas not been put on the generality. TheQuestion was put on the amendment thatwas proffered and just before they came,I got up. The Question has not been put.
I can deferputting the Question on the generality. Asfor the specific amendment, I have alreadyput the Question and the ayes had it. Ican defer the putting of the Question withregard to clause 13 as amended to standpart of the Bill. [Interruption.] Very well. So, that is accordingly deferred. Clause 13-15 -- [Interruption.] Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I am sorry,but clauses 13, 14 and 15, as the HonMajority Leader said, deal with Approvals,Powers and Activities. So, if we canconcentrate on them before we go toclause 16. Mr Speaker, clause 14 talked about theright to request a land user or mineral rightowner to provide a geoscientificinformation. Is it for free or it is going tobe paid for? It has to be clearly stated;when they request for that, is it going tobe for free of paid for by the Authority? Mr Speaker, I would want the HonChairman to answer that question.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee? The HonMember has referred to clause 14specifically.
Mr Speaker, this issue didnot come up in the course of ourdeliberation. So, we would get in touchwith the technical people to advise us.
Very well. Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, while wedo that, clause 15, the last line which isline 3 --
HonMember, we are yet to get to clause 15.Can we just sort this one out?
Mr Speaker, from thetechnical men, it should be free.
Mr Speaker, does one goto a land owner to request for ageoscientific report or information on theiroperational areas or activities for propergeoscientific documentation and they sayit is for free? How did the land owneracquire it? We do not extinguish people'srights just like that. I do not think theConstitution even allows us to do that.
Mr Speaker, I do notagree with the Hon Member. The naturalresource is ours and they have been givena concession. This Authority has the rightto be able to monitor and keep data. Whenthey request for a copy of the data shouldthey pay? How? They would put a fee onit and it would be impossible for the Stateto have the data. This is because whenwe say they should be able to charge --[Interruption]-- It should be free.
Mr Speaker, the HonMajority Chief Whip should know thateven if Government constructs anordinary road which has public access, itpays compensation. If, one goes to a landowner to request for an access to a landto do ones own survey and one isrequesting the land owner to give him hisacquired geoscientific -- At least, itshould be at an agreed fair price. It is notjust to appropriate somebody's work justlike that. The land may be for the people of theRepublic of Ghana but the geoscientificinformation the person has acquired is notfor free.
HonMembers, let us look at the whole of thatclause: “The Authority may request a landuser of mineral right owner toprovide a geoscientific report orinformation on their operationalareas or activities for propergeoscientific documentation,correlation and assessment”. So, we cannot ask them to pay for it.
Mr Speaker, that wholeemphasis you have laid would apply to amineral right owner. Unless a land userconnotes somebody who has been amineral explorer a land user who is doingcocoa farming and it is his for generations,can you go to him and say he should giveyou geological -- That is why it has to befined. Mr Speaker, the second part is clear. Ifthe person has acquired the land formineral exploration and one asks for thatinformation I do not have any problem.Even with the Ghana National PetroleumCorporation (GNPC), when one getsconcession and acquires data, that data acquired belongs to the GNPC eventhough the one is a private investor. So, Ido not have a problem with the secondpart. But who is a “land user”? If they canplease, identify who a “land user” is.
HonMember, we are requesting them toprovide their Report. Government or theAuthority is requesting them to providetheir Report which would contain someinformation which would help us.
Mr Speaker, when theHon Member talked about the land owner,he used a farmer as an example. For example, on my cocoa farm, I gotIrrigation Authority to do a detailed workand they produced a Report. The SoilResearch Institute also tested all thesamples and gave me a Report. When theState needs a couple of those informationto gather the information around the areaI have my farm, should I say they wouldhave to pay for it? Please, this should not be. This isbecause I may be using the land but thenatural resources beneath would not bemine. It is vested in the State. The Reportis mine --
Mr Speaker, if the HonMajority Chief Whip could help me with,who a “land user” is? I agree that when itis a matter of mineral right -- I canunderstand collecting that information.But who is a “land user”? They have todistinguish between a land user and theminerals right owner. They shouldconvince me why an ordinary land userwho is not exploring mineral right shouldrequest that and if he has it, it should begiven for free. As for that free bit we haveto be careful.
HonMembers, I hold a contrary view, but I donot want to descend into the arena ofdebate. This is because I believe theReport they would give to the Authoritywould become the Authority's property.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Member for Asawase, the ChiefWhip for the Majority is talking to us aboutwhat study or analysis he has conductedon his own parcel of land on which he isnow farming. Mr Speaker, I wonder how manyfarmers in Ghana have done or would dowhat he has done. So in respect of theordinary land user, I thought that theymay be required to provide informationon their operational areas. That would bewhat would be required of those farmers.I have cocoa, teak and oil palm farms andI have never done this, until recently somepeople came and said that I am close tothe Offin River and they noticed they cando some galamsey there. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, it is not required of anyfarmer to do any geological analysis -- Itis not. What you are saying is that theauthority may request a land user ormineral right owner to provide ageoscientific Report; how many farmersin Ghana do have that and how many landusers have that? Even people convertingthem for residential purposes would notdo this. Mr Speaker, so I guess the informationrequired from those people is ratherinformation on their operational areas. Itdoes not lie with them to providegeoscientific Reports. So we should lookat it. Maybe, if it is the information on theoperational areas that those people arerequired to provide, let us have the properconstruction to capture that. What wehave here is an omnibus construction andthere is that confusion in the real meaningof the real import. [Interruption.] No! Mr Speaker, the Hon DeputyMinister should not be in a hurry to deleteit. I think the other land users, whether for farming purposes or residentialpurposes, would be required to provideinformation on their operational areas.
HonMinority Leader, let us look at thedefinition of geoscience. It is in the Bill.
Mr Speaker,I looked at land user. It is not defined.That is the most important --
But: “Geoscience”‘means the science ofthe earth and its origin and history,with investigation on the earth'senvironment and its constituentsoils, rocks, minerals, fossil fuels,solids and fluids and the study ofthe natural and introduced agents,forces and processes that causechanges in and on the earth”. [Laughter.] How many farmers would be able to dothat? Yes, Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, we would wantto propose an amendment so that wewould take off the “land user”. If we takeit off, it would still satisfy the intent.
Very well. What is the thinking of Hon Members? Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, if you look at“geological information”, even theordinary meaning of this sentence doesnot require any farmer to do this. There isno way this authority would require anyfarmer to provide this. So, I do not knowwhat the confusion is about, since there
HonNitiwul, you have the floor. Let us hearyou.
Mr Speaker, our fear isabout the ordinary farmer and all thosepeople. This is targeted mainly at people whoare into minerals and all those who wouldrequire that kind of information. I do notsee any farmer being asked to look forinformation on mineral rocks, fossils,waterfalls, cave, mountain ridges andplatforms -- I do not think so. Mr Speaker, the authority shouldauthorise them to ask any land user or themineral right owner to providegeographical information. But I am notsure that the meaning of the land user hererefers to the ordinary farmer who wouldtry to get some food to eat. I am not toosure. If you are going to build houses oreven skyscrapers, for example, it isimportant that you do this as that is forsafety. I am not too sure that they aretargeting the poor farmer who is in myvillage trying to get some food to eat anduse his hoe with his bow and arrow. But ifone is a commercial farmer, it is in one'sinterest to do this. He should not wait foranybody to tell him to do this -- Heshould do this himself. This is because itis in his interest to know what type of landhe would want to throw his money into. Mr Speaker, so, I do not see anythingwrong with this. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Well, I willcome to you, so, just hold your breath. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I think whatwe just need to do is to put “land user” atthe definition section and define it. Thisis because there is some clear intentionthat this particular clause is to do withmineral rights, but, the issue ofinfrastructural development is part of landuse. As Hon Nitiwul just mentionedhousing, building skyscrapers and the restare areas where one would need to do thiskind of geoscientific study and the rest.So, we need to define “land user” andthat would be covered.
But we have“land use planning”.
Yes, that is different. Thereare other clauses that deals with “land useplanning”. I read and saw that evenfunctions of the authority -- When youlook at clause 3 (h), it deals with “land useplanning for sustainable use of a spatialenvironment in Ghana”. So, that isdefined and that is different. But the landuser -- we would have to define it.
In fact, landuser is very broad.
Yes. Is it just ordinary useof the land for survival?
Mr Speaker, that was allmy fear. This is because, if you take a cue fromthe definition of the land use planning,the ordinary farmer is part of it. You didnot even look at that one. So, they shoulddefine it. I am sure they are very happy to delete”land user” from here and I wouldbe happy if the Minister insists wedelete”land user” and maintain that.
No! Ibelieve that we should define “land user,”before we decide on which portionsshould be part of it. Hon Members, I think we have done alot and I believe that we can stop at thisstage and defer this consideration of Hon Members, it is 11 minutes after3.00 p.m. and I think it would be appropriateto bring the consideration of the GhanaGeological Survey Authority Bill, 2015 toa close for today.