Debates of 17 July 2015

MR SPEAKER

PRAYERS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, any application? Or we should do it after Correction of the Votes and Proceedings?

Speaker
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin

Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 53 (2), I would want to pray that, we vary the order of Business as stated on the Order Paper of Friday, 17th July, 2015, by taking item number 3 now.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, item number 3? I have to meet the Hon Majority and Minority Leaders after the Business State ment is presented, that is why we decided to vary the order of Business. Hon Members, Business Statement for the 11th Week? Chairman of the Business Committee?

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Speaker
Mr Bright Edward Kodzo Demordzi (Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro)

To ask the Minister for the Interior what plans the Ministry has to curb the rampant armed robbery in Ngleshie Amanfro and its environs. Statements Presentation of Papers -- Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Develop- ment Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to thirty-two million, seven hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR32,700,000 [equivalent to US$45 million]) to support the Public Financial Management Reform Project. Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2015 Financial Year. (b) Second Reading of Bills Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014. Immigration Service Bill, 2015. (c) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount of one hundred and six million, seven hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR106,700,000) (equivalent to US$150 million) to support the Macroeconomic Stability for Competitiveness and Growth Development Policy Financing. Consequential Resolution (d) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Indemnity Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for a Policy-Based Guarantee of four hundred million United States Dollars (US$400 million) in respect of the First Macroeconomic Stability for Competitiveness and Growth Development Policy Financing. Consequential Resolution (e) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Loan Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and the African Develop-ment Fund for an amount equivalent to forty million Units of Accounts (UA40,000,000 [equivalent to US$56.80 million] to support the Public Financial Management and Private Sector Competitiveness Support Programme -- Phase I (PFMPSCSP). Consequential Resolution (f) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Loan Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and Kreditanstalt fur Wiede- raufbau (KfW), Frankfurt am Main for an amount of seventeen million, three hundred and ten thousand euros (€17,310,000) to co-finance the Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) Pro- gramme. Consequential Resolution Consideration Stage of Bills -- Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014 Income Tax Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Committee sittings. Urgent Question --

Speaker
Mr Solomon Namliit Boar (Bunkpu- rugu)

To ask the Min ist er for Education whether feeding grants have been released to any of the public Senior High Schools in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions of the country from September 2014 to date. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Report of the Joint Committee on Defence and Interior and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). (b) Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Emergency Power Purchase Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and GPGC Limited for the Provision on a Fast-Track Basis, up to 107MW (ISO) Installed Capacity of Power Delivery Services. (c) Report of the Joint Committee on Mines and Energy and Finance on the Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Weldy/ Lamont Associates Inc. of Illinois, USA for the Extension of Credit Facility Availability and Letter of Credit (LC) under the Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and US EXIM Bank for the Financing of the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP IV) Turnkey Rural Electrification.

Speaker
Mr Solomon Namliit Boar (Bunkpu- rugu)

(d) Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for Ratification of Tax Exemption Provisions in the Framework Agreement and Framework Arrangement be- tween the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Korea concerning loans from the Economic Development Co- operation Fund for the years 2014 through 2016. Motions -- (a) Third Reading of Bills Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014. (b) That this Honourable House adopts the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana for the 2015 Financial Year. (Moved on Tuesday, 21st July 2015 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper). (c) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to sixteen million, two hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR16,200,000 [equivalent to US$25 million]) as additional financing for the Transport Sector Project. Consequential Resolution (d) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Convention between the Republic of Ghana and Barbados for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital gains. Consequential Resolution (e) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Reconciliation Report on the Petroleum Holding Fund for the year 2013. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Income Tax Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Committee sittings -- Committee of the Whole to be briefed by the National Development Planning Commission Urgent Question

Speaker
Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei (Akim Swedru)

To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing whether Akim Swedru Constituency will benefit from the ongoing water expansion project at Akim Oda. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Report of the Committee of Privileges on the alleged contemptuous remarks made by Mr Abubakar Ahmed, a.k.a. Blakk Rasta. (b) Report of the Committee of Privileges on the alleged con- temptuous remarks made by Prof. Alex Dodoo. (c) Report of the Finance Committee on the Supplementary Estimate of Government for the 2015 Financial Year. Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to thirty-two million, seven hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR32,700,000 [equivalent to US$45 million]) to support the Public Financial Management Reform Project. Consequential Resolution (c) Adoption of the Report of the Committee of Privileges on the alleged contemptuous remarks made by Mr Abubakar Ahmed, a.k.a. Blakk Rasta. (d) Adoption of the Report of the Committee of Privileges on the alleged contemptuous remarks made by Prof. Alex Dodoo. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014. Immigration Service Bill, 2015. Committee sittings Urgent Question

Speaker
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam- Adoagyiri)

To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what concrete steps the Ministry is taking to erect a foot bridge as soon as practicable between Lantei and Teshie (in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Constituency) to avoid the recurrence of vehicles knocking and killing school pupils. Statements Motions -- (a) Third Reading of Bills Income Tax Bill, 2015. (b) That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢0,000, 000,000.00 as Supplementary Estimate of Government for the 2015 Financial Year. (Moved on Tuesday, 21st July 2014 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper). (c) Adoption of the Report of the Joint Committee on Defence and Interior and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Consequential Resolution (d) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Emergency Power Pur- hase Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and GPGC Limited for the Provision on a Fast Track basis,

Speaker
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam- Adoagyiri)

Speaker
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam- Adoagyiri)

up to 107MW (ISO) installed capacity of power delivery services. Consequential Resolution (e) Adoption of the Report of the Joint Committee on Mines and Energy and Finance on the Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Weldy/Lamont Associates Inc. of Illinois, USA for the extension of credit facility availability and Letter of Credit (LC) under the Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and US EXIM Bank for the financing of the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP IV) Turnkey Rural Electrification. Consequential Resolution (f) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for ratification of tax exemption provisions in the Framework Agreement and Framework Arrangement be- tween the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Korea concerning loans from the Economic Development Co- operation Fund for the years 2014 through 2016. Consequential Resolution Committee sittings. The House expected to adjourn sine Die

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Any comment? Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, may I draw the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee's attention to page 4 of the Business Statement, whether what I am reading is correct. [Interruption.] -- On page 4, item number 4 (iii) (b), that this Honourable House approves the sum of “00000” as supplementary estimate. Is that true? 00000 supplementary estimate? What are we approving? There is no supplementary estimate. Why do we put the Motion to approve 000000? Mr Speaker, I think it is abnormal.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, I think the normal practice is, we should let the mid-year review come. If implicit in the mid-year review is supplementary estimate, then it would be laid, and then we would put it on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, supplementary is defined. It cannot be “00000”. Mr Speaker, secondly, I think two weeks ago -- It is not showing here, and that is why I am asking. You indicated that, on the matter of Sinopec International Petroleum Services Limited, you have received some documentation that you would discuss with Leadership.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, we are rising, and it is not being dealt with. The project is completed and we have not seen the contract. What is causing the trouble is that, they have laid the Paper here for a tax waiver of a contract, which we have not approved, and so there is a problem.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Member, that is a different matter. I agree with you that when they have laid the Paper for a tax waiver, all necessary information must be given to the Committee, for them to be in a good position to make recommendations to the House. That is separate from the issue whether the Sinopec Agreement is to be laid for the purpose of giving information or for approval. This is because, when I saw the documents, I had some challenges. It is on that basis that I said I would discuss it with Leadership to arrive at certain consensus. We have not been able to do that, but if you would need it for purposes of the tax exemption, why not. They have to make it available to you, and so that should not be a problem at all.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, the difficulty is that, I cannot be approving the tax waiver for a contract that I have never seen. It is a big difficulty.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

I am saying that, if you need any document, the document is with me. I made a point, and I have announced to the House about a week or two ago that it is with me. And I said I would want to have discussion with the Leaders on it, and I made the point that, the jurisdiction is conferred by law. On the face of the document, does that call for Parliament to do anything? If you look at the Sinopec Agreement, there is nowhere that they mentioned the Government of Ghana (GoG) as a party to the Agreement. So, I would want to have discussion with the Hon Leaders. If after due consultation, I take their opinion and I am clear in my mind, then I would know what to do with it.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, there is no problem.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

But if you say you would need a copy for the purposes of your tax exemptions, I would make it available to you. That is totally different from purposes of the House approving it. They are two separate things, and that distinction must be clearly drawn.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I am making the distinction. All I said was that, in my view, on the Committee, I am asked to give a tax waiver of a contract I have never seen. That is the difficulty.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Old Tafo, what is the difference between what you are saying and what I said?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

I would wait until you have done the consultation, because it is not on the Business Statement, that is why I enquired. Since you are going to consult them, we would wait until after your consultation.

Speaker
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah

Mr Speaker, if you have followed public discourse since yesterday, there seems to be a lot of confusion over who and what is in charge of fuel pricing in the country at the moment. I thought next week being our last week, it would be useful if we could have the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) meet the Committee of the Whole, to brief the House on how prices are being determined. There is a lot of confusion all over the market today so, if we could consider including a Committee of the Whole next week, to have the NPA come and brief us.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

That is a matter for the Business Committee. Hon Chairman of the Business Committee?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

If I may add the urgency, we know before the Subsidiary Legislation --

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Why? Have you caught my eye?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Sorry, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Old Tafo?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, it is urgent because, before your Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, there is a proposal to amend the law. As it is, if what we are hearing in the public domain is true, it is a violation of the law. That is where the confusion is, that they have changed it it but the law has not been amended. So, I think it is important that the NPA -- I have the Legislative Instrument (L. I.) but Hon O. B. Amoah's Committee has a proposal that we have not considered. It is being talked about as if they have changed the law and the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BODC) are saying that --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Old Tafo, you are asking whether they could find space next week to bring the NPA? That is why I called the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee to find out whether he could find space. When he comes, all these matters would be discussed at the Committee of the Whole, if they are able to find space to bring them. Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, the last comment on the Business Statement.

Speaker
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh

Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence to bring this matter --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, we are talking about the Business Statement.

Speaker
Mr Annoh-Dompreh

Mr Speaker, it is related to it.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, what page?

Speaker
Mr Annoh-Dompreh

Mr Speaker, there is a national matter --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

What page of the Business Statement? Hon Member, if on several occasions we are discussing something and you try to hijack the Business to do something else -- We are discussing the Business Statement so, take a cue from your seniors.

Speaker
Mr Annoh-Dompreh

Mr Speaker, I take a cue, I am grateful.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Tema East, last comment.

Speaker
Mr Daniel N. K. Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, respectfully I --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Business Statement?

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Yes, Mr Speaker. The way you handled my Hon Colleague made me scared.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Tema East, you have the floor.

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, I would want to raise an issue on this Business Statement, with regard to a national concern on the maintenance of Adomi Bridge. If possible, could the Business Committee schedule the Minister for Roads and Highways? This is because when you travel along that stretch to the Volta Region, and the inconveniences that travellers are going through -- Even though we know that there is a scheduled programme, I would want to respectfully suggest that, the Minister for Roads and Highways should be able to brief us before we adjourn sine die. That is why I want to bring your attention to it. If it could be programmed into the Business Statement for the Minister for Roads and Highways to come --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let me tell you the normal practice of this House. The Business Committee is composed of the very senior members of this House, to determine the Business of this House. If you feel strongly that certain issues should be discussed by the House, the first point of call is to -- the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee is the Hon Majority Leader. Then we have the Majority Chief Whip, the Deputy Majority Leader and all from the Majority side on the Committee. When you come to the Minority side, the Minority Leader is the Ranking Member. We have the Minority Chief Whip and other leaders on that Committee. The first point of call, if you feel strongly that a certain matter should be brought up, is to process your grievances through them. If you look at the Standing Orders and the practice, we put those leaders of the House on the Business Committee to plan. So, it is a committee of very senior Hon Members of this House. I would suggest that in future, you would try as much as possible to do so. The issue raised by the Hon Member for Suhum is something that cropped up suddenly. The Adomi Bridge is not something that cropped up suddenly. The issue of who fixes and determines fuel prices is something that cropped up suddenly and so, it is legitimate for the Hon Member for Suhum to raise it on the floor of the House. The Adomi Bridge is not one and cannot be one.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Member for Old Tafo. We did not put in any amount because we do not know how much. But we are making room for that Motion to be moved and therefore, the Ministry would finally come out with that. So, on the Order Paper, the exact amount would be put there. We are hearing some figures, but it is not confirmed to us and that is why we just put that figure there. On the issue of the NPA, the Committee would look at it and see. Next week is quite tight, but it is also an urgent matter of national importance and so we would try and see whether we could squeeze in space for them to come and brief Hon Members.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, yesterday, a decision was taken by which time the Business Committee had already met. This relates to the matter of the Avian Influenza. So, I am asking, because it is a matter of urgency; could we find room for the Finance Committee to bring a recom- mendation on the budget for dealing with the Avian Influenza? This is because when we rise -- The decision was taken yesterday. If we do not do anything and we --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Has the referral not been done by the person presiding?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Yes, Mr Speaker, but because it has not been programmed, I am bringing your attention to it. You could not have programmed it, because the decision was taken yesterday evening. So, I am just drawing your attention that it is a matter of urgency, that the Committee be advised to bring the recommendation before we rise, so that the decision could be taken.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the discussions and position of Parlia- ment is that, we have a contingency fund which could be used for these kinds of emergencies. We are looking at the Ministry, bringing forward a provision for us to look at in this House and so when that happens, we would make room for them.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

It happened yesterday. We debated the Report brought by the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs and the House agreed that it should be referred to the Finance Committee. Because it is not programmed for the Finance Committee to bring it back, and we are going to rise on Friday, I am just bringing your attention to that.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

It would come as the normal Paper or Report and we have made provisions for that one.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Business Statement for the eleventh week ending Friday, 24th July, 2015. Business Statement for the eleventh week accordingly adopted. Mr First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let us go back to Votes and Proceedings. Correction of Votes and Proceedings for Thursday, 16th July, 2015. Page 1 — 29......

Speaker
Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin

Mr Speaker, on page 24, I was in attendance for the Joint Committee on Defence and Interior and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs meeting. I was part of the meeting, but my name is conspicuously missing.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

As a Member or in attendance?

Speaker
Mr Afenyo-Markin

Mr Speaker, I withdraw my application. Mr Speaker, with respect, may I understand exactly the import of your question? I did not get you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Are you an Hon Member of the Committee or you attended as an Hon Member of Parliament?

Speaker
Mr Afenyo-Markin

Mr Speaker, I am a Member of the Committee on Defence and Interior.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. And your name is not there?

Speaker
Mr Afenyo-Markin

Mr Speaker, rightly so. It is not.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well, Table Office to take note. Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 16th July, 2015 as corrected, be adopted as the true record of proceedings. We have one Official Report for Tuesday, 14th July, 2015. 10:54 a.m.—

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, any corrections? [Pause.] In the absence of any corrections, the Official Report for Tuesday, 14th July, 2015 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings for that day.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I think we can move to item number 4; Questions.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Is the Hon Minister available.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways is still on official duty outside the country, but the Hon Deputy Minister is available to answer the Questions for and on behalf of the Minister for Roads and Highways. Mr Speaker, with your kind permission and the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, the Hon Deputy Minister could do that on behalf of the Minister.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, any objection from the front Bench of the Minority?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, no objection.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. In that case, the Hon Deputy Minister would answer the Questions. We will start with Question 306 which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Effiduase/ Asokore.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

MINISTRY OF ROADS AND

HIGHWAYS

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, any follow-up question?

Speaker
Mr Agyen

Mr Speaker, rightly so. Mr Speaker, I am comfortable with the Answer, except to say that , notwithstanding the fact that this Question has apparently been brought to the notice of the Ministry for quite some time now, it has taken too long to do something about the culvert. The concern is that, that culvert, if not repaired shuts 75 per cent of the District from the capital. I would want to ask the Hon Deputy Minister why it has taken so long to take action on the culvert, since the Question was asked long before the rains begun?

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, this culvert is a prioritised one and that is why we have accordingly instructed the regional engineer to take appropriate action. My understanding and information is that, by the end of the month, the culvert would have been desilted so that we would appreciate and know the strength of that bridge, and that would determine going forward, what action should be taken, whether to give it a double culvert or a single box culvert.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Any more follow-ups, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Agyen

Mr Speaker, that is all right for that Question.

Speaker
Mr Agyen

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, the second Question also stands in the name of the Hon Member for Effiduase/Asokore. Hon Member you have the Floor. Improvement of Roads in the Effiduase Asokore Constituency Q.307. Mr Frank Boakye Agyen asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Ministry would ensure that roads in the Effiduase Asokore Constituency are improved, particularly i) Effiduase - Buoya, ii) Effiduase - Asaman, iii)Asokore - Ahensan, iv) Senchi - Okaikrom, v) Senchi - Nkwankwaanuea, vi) Bimma - Akokoaso, vii) Senchi - Putuom and viii) Okaikrom - Atakrom.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, Background The roads are located in the Sekyere East District of the Ashanti Region. Current Programme All the roads, with the exception of the Senchi-Nkwankwaanea road, have been earmarked for routine maintenance as part of the 2015 programme. This forms part of works advertised on June 17, 2015. Evaluation of tenders is in progress and works will commence immediately after the rains. The Senchi-Nkwankwaanea road was awarded for upgrading as part of the Effiduase-Senchi-Juansa road project. The work was awarded in two lots. Works on the two lots are on-going and scheduled for completion in 2016. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member, any follow up question?

Speaker
Mr Agyen

Mr Speaker, indeed, I have seen that work was in progress on the Senchi - Nkwankwaanea road but for some time now, there has been no activity. May I ask whether that road would be given bituminised surface, since a linkage to Effiduase would help ease the pressure on the Konongo - Kumasi road, to save that road from further deterioration? So would the Nkwankwaanease- Senchi-Effiduase road be bituminised?

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, the roads are on contract and when they are completed, we would determine if a further bitumening should ensue.

Speaker
Mr Agyen

Mr Speaker, I am not satisfied with the answer though. I think I would make a follow up to his office later. But let me caution that armed robbers have taken undue advantage of the bad nature of the roads in the District and are therefore attacking people who use the road. I would pray your Ministry to expedite action on these roads before something more serious happens to commuters. Would the Hon Minister give an assurance to that effect?

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, these roads are very critical and they are indeed prioritised. So, as advertised in the newspapers of June 17, 2015 and immediately after the rains, we hope that the upgrading would commence and that means they are taken seriously. So, I am not in the position to give any further commitment other than to commit that these roads have been scheduled for maintenance by the end of the raining season.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, we move on to the next Question which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Tema East, Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover. Construction of some roads in the Tema Industrial Area (TOR -- DVLA -- Tema Steel Works -- T.T. Brothers traffic light and TOR traffic light -- STC -- Timber Market) Q. 308. Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus- Glover asked the Minister for Roads and Highways what effort the Ministry is making to construct the following roads in Tema Industrial Area: (i) From Tema Oil Refinery through D.V.L.A, Tema Steel Works to T.T. Brothers traffic light on the Tema - Ada road, (ii) Tema Oil Refinery traffic light through STC to Timber Market.

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, I would take the first one. (i) Tema Oil Refinery through DVLA, Tema Steel Works to T.T. Brothers traffic light on the Tema-Ada Road Background The Tema Steel Works Road is a 4.4km distributor/collector road that connects the Aflao dual carriage way to the Valco road in Tema. The road serves a cluster of industries, including the Steel Works, Flour Mills and other industries within the vicinity. The road is currently in poor condition. Current Programme A pilot project was awarded to use consolid system to rehabilitate 4km stretch of the road. The contract was awarded in June 2011, and was scheduled for completion in eight calendar months. The first 1.75 kilometres of the road base was completed using the consolid system chemicals which transforms ordinary material into strong pavement using stabilising agents. This part of the road was chosen, due to the traffic composition and volume to compare its effect on pavement. The pavement is now under investigation as to its suitability for use on roads in Ghana. The Department of Urban Roads has been carrying out routine maintenance work on the stretch, to ensure that the road is in motorable condition as the study progresses. The Ghana Highway Authority laboratory has been detailed to conduct series of studies on the project. Future Programme The Tema Steel Works road will be rehabilitated to an asphaltic surface, as part of the upgrading of the industrial area enclave. The works are programmed to start before the close of the year. (ii) Tema Oil Refinery traffic light through STC to Timber Market Background The Tema Oil Refinery traffic light through STC to timber market forms part of the main Tema Steel Works road described earlier. It is 1.1km surface dressed road, which is currently in poor condition.

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Current Programme The Department of Urban Roads carries out regular maintenance on this section of the Tema Steel Works road from its annual routine maintenance budget. Future Programme The Tema Steel Works road will be rehabilitated to an asphaltic surface as part of the upgrading of the industrial area enclave to be started by the close of the year.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, any follow up questions?

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, I am happy the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, has admitted that the road is currently in a very poor condition. But when you read line 4 under Current Programme, he is talking about consolid system chemicals which transforms ordinary materials into strong pavements and this is under investigation for four years. At the time when this contract was awarded, was in June 2011, and we are in July. Today is July 17, it is about four years and a little over one week. Can you brief the House on these four years of investigation, to really know the volume of traffic on the road? Should it really take that long? Because it is about 4.4 kilometres and they have done about 1.75 kilometres. Can you brief the House the extent of this investigation for four years? Thank you.

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, the road in question was scheduled for a pilot project which was to allow the results to be used in other areas, that is because of the volume of traffic and others. And because this system has not performed to expectation, that is the reason we continue to carry on with the maintenance programme, to ensure that the road is motorable. And hopefully, we have scheduled this road or packaged it under the asphalt programme that would commence by the end of the year. Mr Speaker, yes; it is unfortunate that this road has not been done for four years, but the commitment is there. It was for good intention, and I assure my Hon Colleague that, the asphaltic overlay programme would take care of the roads as appropriate.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member, your second follow up.

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, inasmuch as we are waiting for the roads to be asphalted, the issue about regular maintenance that has been captured here, is not so when you go to the ground. I use that road regularly, especially when I want to avoid the traffic on the Motorway through Kpone. With all due respect, could he assure this House that there would be regular maintenance of the road so that, people driving through that stretch can be comfortable, because I have never seen any maintenance works going on on that road?

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, indeed, there is a commitment that, before the asphaltic overlay programme starts, that road would be maintained to the level of motorability. The comfort of it is that, the commitment is there and so, my Hon Colleague is accordingly being made aware that, that road would surely be covered under the scheme to put it at the level of reasonable motorability, in this wise, asphalt overlay.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member, your last follow up, if any. Very well. Hon Members, we move on to the next Question, which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Hemang Lower Denkyira. Completion of Ampemkro-Asensuho Shed Road Q. 310. Mr Foster Joseph Andoh asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Ampenkro-Asensuho Shed road would be completed. Background

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, the Ampenkro-Asensuho Shed feeder road is an un-engineered road which is 6.50km long and is located in the Hemang Lower Denkyira District of the Central Region. Current Programme The road was awarded for Spot Improvement in 2012. The contractor has been asked to resume work following an initial break at the site.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member, any follow up question?

Speaker
Mr Andoh

Mr Speaker, I do not actually have a follow up question because I saw the contractor last three days and he confirmed what the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways has said. I would just want to add that, since the contractor has been asked to move to site, they should speed up the supervision work so that the work would be done on time. That is all I would want to say.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, point well taken. I do not think it is a question. So, Hon Members, we move on to the next Question which stands in the name of the Hon Member for South Tongu. Construction of Bridges to link Towns in South Tongu Constituency Q. 311. Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when bridges would be constructed on the roads linking the following towns (i) Dzetorkor to Adawtorkor (ii) Agbeve to Ada (iii) Agave Afedome to Godzekpota. Mr Speaker, I would want to be fair to say that, there has been some survey and assessment works already going on. Background

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Hon Speaker, the above-mentioned bridges are located in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region. The construction of the bridges has been programmed under the DFR Centunion Bridges Programme, to be funded by the Spanish Government. Works will commence as soon as the funds are approved.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, any follow up questions, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Woyome

No further questions.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, we move on to the next Question which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Manso-Adubia. Plans to Mark Highways in the Country Q. 312. Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo asked the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry had to mark all Highways in the country, to ensure safety on our roads especially at night.

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, Background Road line markings provide drivers with road way information and enables a safer drive on our roads at night. There are nearly 7,000km of paved trunk roads, but most of them have their markings degraded below minimum brightness level, making it difficult for drivers to navigate the roads safely at night. Current Programme The Ghana Highway Authority has programmed to systematically mark all roads in the country. Currently, tender documents for the procuring of road line marking works on the following roads are in progress: i) Accra-Cape Coast-Takoradi ii) Tema-Sogakope iii) Bunso-Kumasi-Sunyani iv) Ho-Denu v) Mamfe-Koforidua vi) Kintampo-Buipe vii) Tamale-Paga Future Programme The Ministry, through GHA is developing a pavement marking replacement programme system that will ensure that the replacement of markings will be done timely, in a cost-effective manner.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, any follow up question?

Speaker
Mr Addo

Yes, Mr Speaker. I would also want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, if he could tell us the percentage of roads which are marked in the country as of now. [Interruption.] No, Mr Speaker, he has mentioned that some of the roads are marked, but I would want to know the percentage of roads which are marked in the country -- if they have that records.

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, currently, the Ghana Highway Authority has 14,536 kilometre road network. Out of this, we have 8,139 kilometre paved road network. From this, 7,000 have been identified to have challenges and that is why a systematic plan has been put in place, to ensure that they are provided with the pavements accordingly. Some of the roads that are earmarked for current work was what I did mention. There are about seven of them. So, indeed, our road networks are in a situation where, some have to be provided with pavement to ensure safety, particularly in the night. That is exactly what the Ministry of Roads and Highways, through the Ghana Highway Authority is doing.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes Hon Member, any further follow up?

Speaker
Mr Addo

Mr Speaker, although I needed a simple answer, I would take it like that. I would also want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, if there has ever been any study establishing the relationship between absence of road markings and accidents on our roads, because this is done in other jurisdiction.

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, I do not have the information here. I would certainly have to go back to find out because, it never formed part of his initial Question. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, any further follow-up question would be your last; if any. Are you through? All right.

Speaker
Mr Annoh-Dompreh

Thank you Mr Speaker for your indulgence.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I beg to quote part of the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer

“There are nearly 7,000 kms of paved trunk roads, but most of them have their markings degraded below minimum brightness level, making it difficult for drivers to navigate the roads safely at night.” Mr Speaker, he mentioned some road markings that are in progress. What are the criteria for the choice of these roads? I ask this because it is a nationwide problem?

Speaker
Mr I. A. Mensah

Mr Speaker, indeed, there is a systematic plan to ensure that all these paved roads have the markings. We take into consideration other factors in terms of when and how these roads were constructed. So, if a road, for instance, was constructed in four years, with appro- priate safety markings and so on, and others took place several years back, one would want to take into consideration all these. That is why the systematic plan would come up with all these and we would resort to areas that demand immediate attention. The hope is that, at the end of it all, we would have all our roads given the appropriate markings.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, this brings us to the end of Question time. Hon Deputy Minster, thank you for attending upon this House. You are discharged. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, at the commencement of Public Business - there are some Papers to be laid as captured in item number 6 on the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, if we could lay those Papers.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, item 6 (i) by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.

PAPERS

Speaker
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I saw the Hon Ranking Member bow when you called for the Hon Chairman of the Committee. I can see the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee in the House. So, why did the Hon Ranking Member usurp the powers of the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, at the time you called the item to be moved, I had a discussion with the Hon Ranking Member that in the absence of the Hon Chairman, he should lay the Paper.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

At the time that the Paper was laid, I did not see the Hon Vice Chairman behind me; I did not see him. That is why I agreed with the Hon Ranking Member that he should lay it. But now that the Hon Vice Chairman is in the House, he would lay the next Papers.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, I would want to refer the House to Standing Order 74: “A Paper may be presented to the House only by Mr Speaker, the Chairman of a Committee, a Member or a Minister.” I am an Hon Member of the Finance Committee.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, that settles it. Item numbers 6 (ii) to 6 (vi) on the Order Paper. By the Vice Chairman of the Committee (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee)

--

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Item 6 (vii) on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, the next Paper, which is item number 6 (vii), is not ready.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, yesterday, the debate was concluded on item 7 on the Order Paper. We were left with Mr Speaker to put the Question. So, if we could take item number 7.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, if that is the case, then what is on the Order Paper is not a true reflection of what took place yesterday. But I am reliably informed the debate was concluded, and it was left for the Question to be put. Hon Members, I would put the Question --

Speaker
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes Hon Member?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I come under Standing Order 109, and with your permission, I read:

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Could we have some Order, please? Hon Member, let us hear you.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, Order 109 provides that: “No Question for decision in the House shall be proposed for determination unless there are present in the House not less than one-half of all the Members of the House, and, except otherwise provided by the Constitution, the Question proposed shall be determined in the majority of the votes of the Members present and voting.” Mr Speaker, I do not think that we have more than one-half of the Hon Members of the House here, and this is a decision being taken by the House.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, first of all, it is being stated that you are not properly dressed. I think that, you would have to respect the rules of this House. So, if you are not properly dressed -- [Uproar] -- Hon Members, upon advice, although he is naked, he has raised a point which we cannot gloss over. But my only advice is that, the Whips should try to whip Hon Members to fall in line. So, we would proceed.

MOTIONS

[Resumption of debate from 16th July 2015.]

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, we should take the Resolution as captured in item number 8 --

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Mr Speaker, I have just been briefed by the Hon Ranking Member of the Finance Committee and I thought that -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Can we have some quiet? Order! Order!

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

I thought in the interest of the nation, we should have done a lot of work on this, but we are committing the nation to a lot on this particular matter, and the information that we are discussing, I thought that we should not have put the Question but you have already put the Question.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Order! Order! Hon Members, we move on. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, the Resolu- tion captured in item number 8.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Item number 8.

RESOLUTIONS

Speaker
Minister for Power (Dr Kwabena Donkor)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 (5) of the Constitution, the terms and conditions of any international business or economic transaction, to which the Govern- ment of Ghana is a party shall not come into operation, unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by Parliament by a Resolution sup- ported by the votes of a majority of all Members of Parliament; PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181 (5) of the Constitution, and at the request of the Government of Ghana, acting through the Minister responsible for Power, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of an Emergency Power Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Aksa Enerji Üretim Aº (AKSA) for the provision on a Fast-Track Basis, up to 370 MW (ISO) Installed Capacity of Power Delivery Services.

THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE

Speaker
Mr Amadu B. Sorogho

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Old Tafo?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I am aware that you have put the Question. This matter we are discussing is a constitutional one, article 104 is what we are dealing with, so, I thought when you asked the Whips to whip people in, because we are not -- Please [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, we need a majority, they can whip them in. Article 104 is a constitutional issue and for us to be seen to be breaching the constitutional issue, I do not think it is the best. So, they can whip people in but let us not violate the Constitution. Article 104 (1) is very clear and it reads: “Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present.” We do not have half of the number of Hon Members here and article 104 (1) is very clear. So, let us call for a head count.

Speaker
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor

Mr Speaker, there is a decision point in these processes and we do not have on record that this House took a decision without the requisite numbers and that stage of the procedure has been passed. If he wants to raise the matter and go back to it in time, then there is a different procedure for dealing with it. We have gone through this before, one does not just sit down on a bird view without the Speaker ruling specifically that, that is the situation and decide that there is no quorum. Let us be very careful about that. So, we have actually crossed that decision point; [Interruption.] He has not asked for a review. When he challenged the numbers, the matter is put before the House, people made contributions, at that time nothing has happened yet and there is no established fact that there is no quorum. It is when the processes have been followed and the bell has been rung and the determination was made, then he can now come back and raise article 104. Otherwise, article 104 does not kick in now and there is no evidence to back it.

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Mr Speaker, there are even two matters pending here. The first matter is that, you agreed that the Hon Member for New Juaben South had raised a very pertinent matter and I thought that you would move forward with that particular matter. But all you just said was that, we should look at the dressing. But the pertinent matter, which you agreed that the Hon Member has raised, you did not look at it and I thought that we would have looked at it from there. But even if the Speaker did not look at it and we went to the other side of the House, an Hon Member got up and challenged that we did not have the numbers. According to our Standing Orders, once someone challenges us, there is a procedure of going about it. So, I do not know which point he says we have crossed. That is what he said. All right.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Please, can we have some order!

Speaker
Dr Kunbuor

All that I indicated was that, you have not taken a decision here that, there is no quorum, you have not done that. So, the article 104 that he quoted [Interruption]-- So, all that I indicated was that, article 104 cannot arise after a decision has been taken, unless you actually go to get the Speaker's ruling quashed. I said that, that point has been reached and we have gone beyond it, so if he has a challenge, the Standing Orders tells us how to challenge the Speaker's ruling.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, there have been two decisions. The first one related to the adoption of the Report when he raised the issue. We have crossed that and that is why I got up to raise it. Mr Speaker, has not called the Question on the Resolution, I know that but the first fact is applicable -- No, he has not ruled, he asked for the count, that is why I called for the head count. [Interruptions.]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Order! Order! Hon Members, I think the positon is very clear. A decision has been taken, therefore, if anybody is dissatisfied, he/ she has the right to file a Motion for rescission. I think it settles it.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, thank you for your wise ruling. Shall we, with your permission, go to item number 9?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, item numbered 9 on the Order Paper. Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that --

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Mr Speaker, they do not want us to work in this House, but we should be able to work together. Somebody asked for a head count and the Speaker made a ruling, but we did not hear what the Speaker said. So, we just want to find out about the ruling, so that we could all move on as a body but they are not telling us -- And then he says we should go to the next item. So, I just wanted the Speaker --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

What I said was this; that a decision has been taken, if anybody is dissatisfied with that decision, the procedure is that, one should file a Motion for rescission so, we move on.

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Mr Speaker, he is not going on that route, the route he is going on is that, once a decision has been taken and he has challenges with the numbers, he could ask for a head count immediately. That is what he did. He is not looking to challenge your decision so he should file a Motion. He is not challenging your decision. He said that, he believes the numbers are not enough, but for that, he could ask for a head count. If he were challenging your ruling, then he would move a Motion but he is not.

Speaker
Dr Kunbuor

Mr Speaker, I guess that, perhaps, it is the rest of the items that he talked about and not the decision that has been taken. This is because, there is no rule in the Standing Order that says where a decision has been taken, one can challenge and ask for a head count by way of a review by the Speaker of his own decision. We do not have that type of rule. As Mr Speaker rightly indicated, there is a procedure for dealing with those types of situations. But my advice has always been that that procedure, there is a reason people sparingly take advantage of it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Item number 9.

MOTIONS

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Convention between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of Denmark, for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction The Convention between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of Denmark for the avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains, was presented to Parliament on behalf of the Minister for Finance, by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance Mrs Mona K. Quartey on Wednesday, 3rd June, 2015. Mr Speaker referred the Convention to the Finance Committee for consideration and report, in accordance with article 75 (2) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana. The Committee was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and officials from the Ministry of Finance and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister, Deputy Ministers and officials from the Ministry of Finance, Attorney- General's Department and the GRA for assistance. Reference The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; and The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana. Background Ghana, as part of its diplomatic and international economic relations, has signed eight Double Taxation Conven- tions/Agreements (DTAs), which are in force. There are also a number of negotiations for DTAs which are at various stages. Double Taxation arises when the same taxpayer is taxed twice on the same income (called Juridical Double Taxation) or where more than one taxpayer is taxed on the same income (called Economic Double Taxation). DTAs are entered into in order to eliminate such situations where income from one of the treaty countries will be taxed twice. The threat of being taxed twice discourages investment, since an investor stands to be taxed both in the source country and in the resident country. This is because double taxation leads to an increase in the cost of investment.The negotiations with the Kingdom of Denmark have been concluded and signed and accordingly, the DTA need to be ratified by Parliament before it can come into effect. Purpose of the Bill The objectives of bilateral tax treaties therefore, include the protection of taxpayers against double taxation, with a view to improve the flow of international trade and investment and the transfer of technology. It also aims at preventing certain types of discrimination between foreign investors and local taxpayers and to provide a reasonable element of legal and fiscal certainty as a framework, within which international operations can confidently be carried on. Summary of the Convention The taxes which are the subject of the Convention are: a) In the case of Ghana: i) Income tax; ii) The capital gains tax; b) In case of the Denmark; i) Income tax to the State; and ii) Income tax to the municipalities. Some of the major features of the Convention include the following: a) A building site, construction, installation or assembly project will constitute a permanent establishment for purposes of taxation after nine (9) months. b) Taxes are to be withheld in the country of source at rate below, on the following income types payable to non-residents:

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

i) Dividends -- 5 per cent on the gross amount of dividends (if the non-resident is a company which holds directly at least 10 per cent of the capital of the company paying the dividends). 15 per cent on the gross amount dividends in all other cases. ii) Interest -- Not exceeding 8 per cent of the gross amount (if the interest is derived by a bank which is a resident of the other Contracting State). Interest arising in a Contracting State and paid to the Government of the other Contracting State shall be exempted. iii) Royalty and management fees -- not more than 8 per cent of the gross amount Observations Application of the Convention The Committee noted that the Convention will apply to persons who are residents of one or both of the contracting States. Further, the Conven-tion shall also apply to an identical or substantially similar taxes, which are imposed by either contracting State after the date of signature of the Convention. It was further noted that, the rates regarding dividends, interest and royalties and management fees will apply only where the beneficiary of these payments is a resident of the other contracting State and in all other cases, the taxes will be levied in accordance with the laws of the contracting State in which the income arises. Exchange of Information Exchange of Information provisions are now the recent tools States employ to mitigate tax risk and tax evasion across borders. The Committee therefore noted with delight that, ar ticle 29 of the Convention makes provision for contracting States to exchange information, as is necessary for carrying out taxation under the Convention or domestic laws. The provisions will facilitate international co-operation among the tax authorities, to improve their ability to tackle tax evasion and avoidance and ensure full implementation of their national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers. It provides for all possible forms of administrative co-operation between States in the assessment and collection of taxes. Justification for Government action The Hon Deputy Minister for Finance informed the Committee that, the Convention, like any other double taxation Agreements, are desirable and helpful and was certain that Ghana stands to benefit, if it ratifies the Agreement. The under-listed were mentioned by the Hon Deputy Minister as some of the reasons for which Ghana needs to ratify the Agreement: a) It will give investors a stable and predictable tax environment, thus encouraging investment in Ghana. b) It will prevent a situation where revenue is transferred from one treaty partner to another, for example, by the issuance of tax incentives. c) It will eliminate situations where income from one of the treaty countries will be taxed twice. d) It will facilitate cross-border trade and investment between Ghana and Denmark by eliminating tax impediments to these cross- border flows. e) It will increase Ghana's exchange of information network, which allows Ghana to exchange information with Denmark in order to mitigate tax evasion across borders and also for tax purposes. f) It will increase Ghana's tax treaty network thereby meeting one of the recommendations made by the Assessors during Ghana's Phase One Peer Review. Trade/Investment Relations with Denmark The Committee was informed that information from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, indicates that as at March, 2014, Denmark direct investments in the country amounted to over US$57,620, 000.00 million. Further, there has been a number of trading activities in the form of exports and imports between the two countries. It was indicated further that, Ghana exports raw materials such as cocoa beans and other agricultural products, and also imports from Denmark farm machinery and chocolates. The following were given as the trade values between the two countries for 2012 to 2014 financial years: GH¢ GH¢ GH¢ Imports from Denmark 133,068,947.10 195,697,609.88 144,955,959.39 Exports to Denmark 29,227,509.88 21,804,231.64 24,615,991.89 The Hon Deputy Minister was optimistic that the ratification of the DTA will further provide an incentive for additional investments and increased trading activities between the two countries. Development Assistance from Denmark The Committee was informed that the key areas of the Danish Development assistance to Ghana centred on sustainable human development, sustain- able economic growth, macroeconomics, institutional reforms and sustainable livelihood, as well as conflict prevention and the support to these key areas are carried through five sector programmes. The areas were given as water and sanitation, transport, private sector development, good governance and human rights. The following were cited as some of the specific Danish Govern- ment support to Ghana:

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Speaker
Mr Alex Adomako-Mensah (NDC -- Sekyere Afram Plains)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and by so doing, I would want to talk about the human capital -- How the Kingdom of Denmark has helped this country with the human capital. Mr Speaker, the foreign enterprise has increased the employment avenue thereby --

Speaker
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I would want to draw your attention to Standing Order 113.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Standing Order?

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Standing Order 113, particularly, 113 (2). That is the reason the Hon Member has not seconded it. Order 113 (1) and Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote: “When the Question has been put by Mr Speaker at the conclusion of the debate, the votes shall be taken by voices “Aye” and “No”, provided that Mr Speaker may in his discretion instead of declaring the result on the voice votes call for a headcount.” (2) “A Member may call for headcount or division if the opinion of Mr Speaker on the voice vote is challenged.” That is the reason he is not -- because he still thinks that we do not have the numbers to take the Resolution. And I thought that, we should have just done that, according to Standing Order 113 (2).

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, I think we have passed that stage. We are on another Business and so why would he cut in at this stage. I thought that we would have finished this matter and at the appropriate time he would raise his objection. Mr Speaker, I think we have passed that stage.

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Mr Speaker, I made the appeal that we are in this House and we have two sides. He is supposed to second the Motion but he still has that feeling that, we do not have the numbers. And I thought that the best thing they would have done is to whip their Hon Members to be here, because that is Government Business. It is not Mr Speaker who should do that; it is their job to do that. If we have the numbers, then somebody has called for a headcount and that is why I have drawn your attention, that we do not re-visit it in this particular instance.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

But Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I do not think that we have reached that stage yet. The Motion has been moved and I have asked for somebody to second it. Is it not in order that the Hon Vice Chairman seconds it? After it has been seconded -- When it is subjected to debate and we get to that stage, then you can raise this point that you are raising.

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

Mr Speaker, you want us to get to that stage before we raise it again?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Precisely.

Speaker
Mr Nitiwul

All right.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Adomako-Mensah

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

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, we would move to the Resolution captured in item 10 of the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, it is by the Hon Minister for Finance.

RESOLUTIONS

Speaker
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkper)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution any treaty, agreement, or convention executed by or under the Authority of the President in the name of Ghana is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a Resolution of Parliament sup- ported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament; IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Finance the Convention between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of Denmark for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains on 3rd June, 2015.

Speaker
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkper)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, it is consequential, I would put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I beg to move for a headcount on the Question that you have just put. I am coming under Order 113 (2).

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You are asking for a headcount in respect of what?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

In respect of the Question that you just put.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, if you read the Order 113 carefully, what it says is as follows; “When the Question has been put by Mr Speaker at the conclusion of the debate, the votes shall be taken by voices “Aye” and “No”, provided that Mr Speaker may in his discretion instead of declaring the result on the voice votes call for a headcount.” It is in the Hon Speaker's discretion.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I am coming under Order 113(2).

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague has raised the matter on Order 113 (2).

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I am challenging the voice vote. -- [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, he has heard it. He understands what I am saying.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, which Order? Which Order is he coming under?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

It is order 113(2). Please, he should read. [Pause.]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

All right, Hon Members, in the light of the issue raised, I would direct that the Leadership of the House confer. We would give ourselves ten minutes for the Leadership of the House to confer while we deal with other matters. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, guide us.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, while we wait, we could go on with item number 11.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, if the Leadership gets up to confer, there would be lack of leaders, so if we could suspend Sitting for five minutes, for them to confer -- [Interruption] -- No, we would move on to the same problem when we go to item number 12. So, in my opinion, a better option is for them to confer so that we would see our way forward. [Pause.]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, Sitting would be suspended for ten minutes for the Leadership to confer. 11.56 a.m. -- Sitting suspended. 12.35 p.m. -- Sitting resumed

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I am told that the debate on item 9 was concluded but the Resolution was not taken. That is item number 10. Could we now take the Resolution on item number 10 and then move to the next item.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 10, by the Hon Minister for Finance.

RESOLUTIONS

Speaker
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Terkper)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution, any treaty, agreement, or convention executed by or under the authority of the President in the name of Ghana is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a Resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Finance, the Convention between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of Denmark for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains on 3rd June 2015. NOW THEREFORE, this Honour- able House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of Denmark for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains.

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, may we take item number 11, on page 6 of the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Item number 11, Motion by the Chairman of the Committee.

MOTIONS

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that, no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed, between the date on which notice of the Motion is given, and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we may now take the Motion, which is item 12.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well; by the Chairman of the Committee. Loan Agreement between Government of Ghana and KfW, Frankfurt am Main

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Loan Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), Frankfurt am Main, for an amount of twenty-three million euros (€23.0 million) and a grant amount of one million euros (€1.0 million) to finance the Out-Grower and Value Chain Fund II. Mr Speaker, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction The request for approval of the loan Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KFW), Frankfurt am Main for an amount of twenty-three million euros (of €23.0 million) and a grant amount of one million euros (of €1.0 million) to finance the Out-Grower and Value Chain Fund II, was presented to the House on behalf of the Minister for Finance by the Hon Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson on Tuesday, 23rd June 2015, in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report, in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the House. Further to the referral, the Committee met and was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministers for Finance and Food and Agriculture, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan respectively, and officials from the Ministries of Finance and Food and Agriculture. The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Ministers and officials from the two Ministries for their assistance. Reference The Committee referred to the following documents during its delibera- tions: The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana; and The Loans Act 1970 ( Act 335) Background The agricultural sector is characterised by high transaction costs for those financial institutions which seek to provide credit and their clients, higher systematic risks, more volatile cash flows; as well as lower risk bearing ability and higher vulnerability due to high inci- dences and depth of poverty, among farmers especially. Thus, the demand for varied services from a variety of institutions has become essential. While a large majority of the poorest households in Ghana are directly linked to agriculture in many ways, rural finance and in particular agricultural lending remains mostly unevenly chartered territory for development finance. This could be attributed to poor, and sometimes lack of infrastructure, distant and dysfunctional markets, inadequate farming methods and inappropriate techniques and technologies, volatile prices and unpredictable weather. These are but a few of the challenges making it difficult for both lenders and farmers. To help address some of these challenges in agricultural financing, KfW (the German Development Bank) in 2010, provided funding for the Out-grower and Value Chain Fund (OVCF) in Ghana. The Phase II of the OVCF therefore, comes to reinforce the successes chalked in the on- going Phase 1. The OVCF II is aimed at deepening the gains of the first phase by improving the incomes of small scale farmers, thereby contributing to reducing rural poverty. The development of small-scale commercial farms requires linkages to profitable markets and production management that ensures that the products satisfy market expectations and legal requirement, such as quality standards and certifications. Project description The Second Out-grower and Value Chain Fund is a refinancing facility for providing medium to long-term invest- ments through the banking sector. The facility was designed to fill a gap in agriculture financing owing to the growing need for innovative financing in the agricultural sector. The overall goal is to improve the income of target groups, especially small-scale farmers, upgrade the competitiveness of small-scale commercial farmers and their agri-business partners (processors, et cetera) in their respective markets and thereby contribute towards rural growth and poverty reduction. The fund would provide loans to commercially viable value chains and especially out-grower schemes. The OVCF favours the concept of out-grower farming which is based on defined contractual relations between the out-growers, a technical operator (that is, processor, trader, et cetera) and a financial operator (that is participating bank) which provides access to services, inputs and funding. The investment realised through the OVCF shall directly contribute to the improvement of the quantity and/or the quality of production in selected value chains. Some value chains which stand to benefit under the fund include oil palm, rubber, mangoes, cocoa rehabilitation and maintenance, pineapple, rice, maize, butternut scotch for export, leasing of agricultural equipment (tractors, et cetera, citrus, livestock (for example, poultry), aquacul-ture/tilapia. The project will be administered by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, through a Fund Management Team (FMT) which would be responsible for the day to day management of the OVCF. Terms and Conditions of Credit Facility The facility has the following financing terms: Loan amount -- € 23.0 million

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi)

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion. Mr Speaker, this Out-Grower and Value Chain Fund II, is a second phase of a programme that has been ongoing. The Hon Deputy Minister reminded us that because of the success of the first programme, there are already discussions for the third phase, even though we are now approving the second phase. So, it is obvious that it is a very important programme and quite success- ful. So, I urge all Hon Members to support the Motion. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we may now take the consequential resolution, which is item 13.

RESOLUTIONS

Speaker
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Terkper)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), the terms and conditions of any loan raised by the Government of the Republic of Ghana, on behalf of itself or any public institution or authority, shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by a Resolution of Parliament; PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitu- tion and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), at the request of the Government of the Republic Ghana, acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of a Loan Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), Frankfurt am Main for an amount of twenty-three million euros (€23.0 million) and a grant amount of One million Euros (€1.0 million) to finance the Out- Grower and Value Chain Fund II.

THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we would go for the procedural Motion, which is item 14 on page 7.

MOTIONS

Speaker
Chairman of the Finance Committee (Mr Avedzi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed, between the date on which notice of the Motion is given, and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Buyer Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands for an amount of fourteen million, thirty-four thousand, two hundred and one Euros (€14,034,201.00) to finance the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project and the request for waiver of Import Duty, Import VAT, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EDAIF, and other applicable fees and charges amounting to two million, four hundred and ninety-six thousand, six hundred and seventy euros (€2,496,670.00) on materials and equip- ment to be used under the Buyer Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands in respect of the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project may be moved today.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Buyer Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands for an amount of fourteen million, thirty-four thousand, two hundred and one euros (€14,034,201.00) to finance the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project and the request for waiver of Import Duty, Import VAT, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EDAIF, and other applicable fees and charges amounting to two million, four hundred and ninety-six thousand, six hundred and seventy euros (€2,496,670.00) on materials and equipment to be used under the Buyer Credit Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands in respect of the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project. Mr Speaker, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction The two requests were respectively presented to the House on behalf of the Minister for Finance, by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson on Tuesday, 23rd June 2015 in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the House. Further to the referral, the Committee met and was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministers for Finance and Health, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and Dr Victor Bampoe respectively and officials from the Ministries of Finance and Health. The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister and officials from the two Ministries for their assistance. Reference The Committee referred to the following documents during its delibera- tions: The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana; and The Loans Act 1970 (Act 335) Background Tuberculosis (TB) is currently considered to be a national security threat if unattended to. TB is a contagious, highly infectious and an airborne disease which affects mostly young adults in their most economic and productive years. Tuberculosis (TB) has an enormous negative socio-economic impact in endemic countries, including Ghana. The damaging socio-economic impact is not limited to only the patients involved, but also their families and the country as well. Recently, HIV has been identified as a driving force behind the escalating TB epidemic. TB is also one of the main causes of death among HIV infected patients. Not only does HIV increase the risk of reactivating latent mycobacterium tuberculosis, but it also increases the risk of rapid TB progression soon after infection or re-infection and the spread of the disease in such community. Early detection of TB infection is therefore important in the fight against TB mortality and morbidity. In the WHO Global TB Control 2009 annual report, the new TB case detection rate in Ghana, according to the 2007 data was estimated at 26 per cent, and the estimate for sputum smear positive cases was 38 per cent. This means 74 per cent of all TB cases in Ghana were not detected, hence not treated. The detection of new cases is therefore far below the global target of 70 per cent required to significantly reduce the burden of the disease. To achieve WHO defined MDG target zone of 70 per cent TB case detection by 2015, Ghana needs to adopt robust systems that will increase the case detection rate. The most widespread forms of tuberculosis are simply contracted by breathing in the air of the person with active TB, who can then infect on average 10 - 15 people. Despite the tuberculosis finding and treatment programme referred to as the “functional DOTS programmes”, there is a gradual increase in the tuberculosis case notification rates. Similarly, Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) TB is also on the increase. There are a number of TB cases that are still undiagnosed, which represents a major threat not only to Ghana, but global health that needs urgent attention. It is estimated that, 95 per cent of TB deaths occur in the developing world. In 2007, it was estimated that death resulting from tuberculosis (TB mortality) in Ghana was over 12,000 people though TB treatment success rate has increased to 84.7 per cent for the 2007 cohort. If people infected with TB are detected early, the trend of TB in Ghana can be reversed. Indeed, Ghana has been cited as one of the few African countries that might attain the TB related target for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 6, Target 3) with accelerated efforts. It is in line with this that the facility is being secured for the implementation of the “accelerated Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection Project in the country. Project description The major components of the project include: a. Supply, installation, operation technical support and main- tenance of Diagnostic Digital X- Ray Systems, b. Supply, installation, operation, technical support and main- tenance of laboratory equipment for microscopy and molecular testing of tuberculosis, c. Supply, installation, operation, technical support and main- tenance of IT hardware and software of support the project, d. Supply, operation and main- tenance of vehicles and trans- port equipment for the project, e. Training on the use and main- tenance of diagnostic digital X- Ray systems, IT systems and laboratory equipment, f. Overall project management activities, g. Clinical training, h. Technology application training including chest X-Ray reading,

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

i. Advocacy programmes, j. Media campaign and awareness creation, k. Prevalence studies and opera- tional research, l. Quality assurance and control programmes, m. Project monitoring and evalua- tion, n. Pre-installation works and X-ray facility improvement where necessary, o. Supply of radiation protection devices and equipment. Project objective The key objectives of this project are the following: To enhance TB control by reaching the WHO/STOP TB 70 per cent case detection target in the Republic of Ghana, by 2015 and lower the burden of TB from then onwards. To boost the diagnostic capacity of the public health system by distributing digital radiographic systems, including teleradiology infrastructure. To replace labour intensive tech- nologies for detecting my- cobacterium tuberculosis, with less labour intensive technologies such as the LED Fluorescent microscopy and molecular test units. To boost diagnostic capacity to enhance the diagnosis of non-TB related cases like other lung diseases common among people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, trauma and other diseases. Terms and conditions of credit facility The total project cost of €21,591,078.00 (twenty-one million, five hundred and ninety-one thousand, seventy-eight euros) is financed by €14,034,201.00 loan from ABN AMRO Bank N. V. and €7,556,877.00 grant from the Netherlands Government through ORIO which has already been signed. The funding terms of the ABN AMRO Bank N. V. loan facility are summarised below: Project amount -- €21,591,078 Loan amount -- €14,034,201 ORIO grant amount -- €7,556,877 Grace Period -- 2 years Tenor -- 12 years Interest rate -- EURIBOR (0.20) + liquidity Premium (1.0%) + margin (0.75%) = 1.95 per cent p.a. Grant element -- 58.15 per cent Observations Terms and conditions of the facility The Committee noted that, the facility is a mixed credit, with relatively concessionary terms. It has a grace period of two years and a tenure of 12 years. The interest rate is 1.95 per cent and a grant element of 58.15 per cent. Debt Management Strategy compliance The Committee was informed that, the facility which seeks to implement the Accelerating Tuberculosis Case Detection Project is in compliance with the country's new Debt Management Strategy, since it seeks to deliver public goods, by among other things, helping Ghana to meet its commitment of achieving the MDG 6. Justification for the facility and the project Justifying the need for the facility and the project, the Hon Deputy Minister for Health, intimated that, the country currently faces a number of obstacles that hinders early detection of TB cases. The obstacles were mentioned as: a. Low sensitivity of the standard detection methodology of smear microscopy or sputum analysis; b. Limited or no access to quality chest radiographic systems for diagnosis; c. High cost of sputum culture; and d. Limited laboratory capacity. The Deputy Minister added that there is also a challenge in determining the actual prevalence of TB in the country. It was explained that, to be able to estimate the actual prevalence of TB in the country, a nationwide survey is required to scientifically determine the proportion of people living with the disease, which unfortunately, has not been done for some time. The Minister revealed that the last prevalence study in Ghana was conducted in 1957 and it is important to repeat this study, to determine the actual prevalence and develop the appropriate strategies to combat it. The Minister added that, despite the above challenges, TB can be controlled and diminished with proper and timely diagnosis and treatment, to interrupt the cycle of transmission. This, the Minister was certain, can be achieved by introducing technologies that will detect patients infected with TB early enough, to institute a curative therapy. Revenue generation capacity of the programme Both the Deputy Ministers for Finance and Health stated that, the project has a high potential of generating revenue towards the repayment of the loan component of the facility. They indicated that, the project will help boost the diagnostic capacity of the public health system by the provision of forty-six (46) digital radiographic systems, including teleradiology infrastructure, to selected hospitals. These x-ray machines, it was indicated further, have the capacity to detect non-TB cases, such as other lung diseases common among people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, trauma and other diseases, and does provide a platform for the hospitals to generate revenue from fees. According to the Deputy Ministers, the detailed feasibility study conducted revealed the high potential of the project to generate significant revenue to repay the loan component of the facility. The project is specifically estimated to generate an income of €18 million over the project financing period of 12 years. The detailed project cash flow is attached for the information of the House. Required waiver The Committee noted that, the Customs Division and the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, have respectively assessed

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

SPACE FOR TAX

Speaker
Dr A. A.Osei

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Mr Chairman is ahead of his time. He is anticipating the next Motion already. Slow down, it is the loan first before the tax waiver. Mr Speaker, this is a very important project, according to the medical doctor that came to talk to us. Apparently, we have a deficit in terms of detection of tuberculosis, and this equipment could not only help us improve on that, but it could be used for other matters. So, all the hospitals that are going to benefit from this would use this equipment to make money. What the Hon Chairman failed to mention, I believe is that, there is an on-lending Agreement which would pay for this loan. It is a very important piece of loan which is going to help us buy this equipment, and the terms are quite good. So, I would urge all Hon Members to support the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Item number 16, Hon Minister for Finance?

RESOLUTIONS

Speaker
Minister for Finance ( Mr Seth Terpker)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution, and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), the terms and conditions of any loan raised by the Government of the Republic of Ghana, on behalf of itself or any public institution or authority, shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by a Resolution of Parliament; PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), at the request of the Government of the Republic Ghana, acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of a Buyer Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands for an amount of fourteen million, thir ty-four thousand, two hundred and one Euros (€14,034,201.00), to finance the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project.

THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Avedzi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Request for Waiver of Import Duty, Import VAT, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EDAIF, et cetera.

Speaker
Mr Terkper

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, WHEREAS by the provisions of article 174 (2) of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to confer power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by an Act of Parliament; THE EXERCISE of any power conferred on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax in favour of any person or authority is by the said provisions made subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution; BY THE COMBINED operation of the provisions of section 26 (2) of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (PNDCL 330), the Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503), the Export Development and Investment Fund Act, 2000 (Act 582), the Value Added Tax Act, 1998 (Act 546), the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act 579) and other existing Laws and Regulations applicable to the collection of Customs duties and other taxes on the importation of goods into Ghana, the Minister for Finance may exempt any statutory corporation, institution or individual from the payment of duties and taxes otherwise payable under the said Laws and Regulations, or waive or vary the requirement of such statutory corporation, institution or individual to pay such duties and taxes; In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and at the request of the Government of Ghana, acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament a request by the Minister for Finance for the prior approval of Parliament the exercise by the Minister of the power conferred on the Minister under the Laws and Regulations relating to the waiver of Import Duty, Import VAT, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EDAIF, and other applicable fees and charges, amounting to two million, four hundred and ninety-six thousand, six hundred and seventy euros (€2,496,670.00), on materials and equipment to be used under the Buyer Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands, in respect of the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project. NOW THEREFORE, this Honourable House hereby approves the exercise by the Minister responsible for Finance of the power granted by Parliament by statute to waive such Import Duty, Import VAT, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EDAIF, and other applicable fees and charges amounting to two million, four hundred and ninety-six thousand, six hundred and seventy euros (€2,496,670.00) on materials and equipment to be used under the Buyer Credit Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and ABN AMRO N.V. of Netherlands in respect of the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” Project.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we will be taking two Motions from the Public Accounts Committee. We have a number of them, but we propose to take items number 20 and 21 today. After that, we can handle the Income Tax Bill, 2015. We look forward to extended Sitting so that we can make some progress with that. So, we will take these two Motions.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well -- Motion item numbered 20 on the Order Paper by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Auditor-General's Report on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana. (Half-Year ended 31st December, 2012)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor- General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the half-year ended 31st December, 2012. Mr Speaker -- Introduction The Report of the Auditor-General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the half-year ended 31st December, 2012, was presented to Parliament on Friday, 20th December 2013, in accordance with article 184 (3) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. Pursuant to Order 165 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Rt Hon Speaker referred the Report to the Public Accounts Committee for consi- deration and report. Procedure The Committee, in considering the Report, met with a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Millison Narh, a Deputy Controller and Accountant- General, Mr Andrews Kingsley Kufe and representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana and the Controller and Accountant-General's Department. On appearing before the Committee, the witnesses subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report and on issues of general public interest. The Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Agyei Sifah and a technical team from the Audit Service were also present at the Committee's sittings to assist in the consideration of the Report. Acknowledgement The Committee expresses its gratitude to the Deputy Governor, the Deputy Controller and Accountant-General and all witnesses who appeared before the Committee and assisted in its delibera- tions. The Committee is also grateful to the Deputy Auditor-General and his team for their immense assistance to the Committee throughout the deliberations on the Report. The Committee further extends its gratitude to STAR-Ghana, for their immense support to its activities. Finally, the Committee extends its appreciation to the media (print and electronic) for covering its proceedings. Reference Documents The Committee availed itself of the following documents during its deliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana. c. The Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612). d. The Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723). e. The Minerals and Mining Law, 1986 (PNDC Law 153). f. The Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703). Purpose and Scope of the Audit The purpose of the audit was for the Auditor-General to ascertain and obtain reasonable assurance that the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana was free from material misstatements. It was also to ascertain whether the Bank of Ghana had maintained a proper system of internal control, as well as accurate and reliable records, to safeguard the foreign exchange resources of the Central Bank. The audit covered a review of foreign exchange transactions relating to Bank of Ghana's Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments and the Memorandum Account of Dealer Banks for the half-year ended 31st December 2012. Overview of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments Foreign Exchange Receipts Foreign Exchange Receipts or inflows for the second-half of year 2012, were derived from cocoa, minerals, oil, capital receipts and foreign currency purchases. The total Foreign Exchange Receipts or inflows for the period totalled US$4,302,889,264 compared to US$3,924,103,657 for the corresponding period of 2011. This represents an increase of US$378,785,607 or 9.7 per cent. According to the Auditor-General, the increase was mainly due to a rise in revenue from capital receipts, invisible receipts and revenue from oil. The Committee noted that, only the portion of BoG's forex receipts exchanged for cedis were included in the compilation of foreign receipts. Foreign currencies which were deposited with BoG butwere not surrendered for cedis were excluded from the statement. Table 1 shows the composition of foreign exchange receipts for the second- half of year 2012, as compared to the figures for the corresponding period of year 2011.

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Understatement of Visible Payments Foreign currency of £3,003,900.00 and €3,003,900.00 were included in visible payments as US dollar in the Statement. The Committee noted these errors caused visible payments in the Statement to be understated by US$2,480,939.50. Understatement of Invisible Receipts The Committee noted that, BoG earned commission on forex purchases on Outstanding Bills for Collection (OBC) amounting to £16,387.46. This was however included in invisible receipts without converting the GBP into US Dollars. As a result, invisible receipts were understated by a total of US$70,902.48. Officials of BoG informed the Committee that, following the audit, the above stated errors were corrected. To forestall a recurrence of such errors, BoG has put measures in place to minimise the manual interventions in the compilation of its data, by migrating most of its processes onto the Information Tech- nology (IT) platform. Nonetheless, the Committee is of the view that, such errors could result in inaccurate information, thereby undermin- ing the credibility of the Forex Statement. The Committee therefore recommends that, the Bank should strengthen its supervision over the compilation of data and the preparation of the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments to forestall such occurrences. Movement in Foreign Reserve Assets As indicated earlier, the Foreign Reserve Assets of BoG decreased from US$5,833,697,751 at the end of the second- half of year 2011 to US$5,287,804,002 at the end of second-half of year 2012, representing, a decrease of US$545,893,749 or 9.4 per cent. The Deputy Governor of the Bank informed the Committee that, foreign reserve assets are used to meet economic activities such as petroleum imports, government debt servicing and sup- porting Ghana's currency in trying to provide liquidity to support the market. He indicated that, currently, the Bank is unable to adequately support the market due to low reserve levels, hence the recent fall of the value of the Cedi. The Deputy Governor assured the Committee that, the Bank has put in place interventions to ensure that the Bank would at all times have enough to meet the demands of Government and also support the market. Variance between Projections and Actuals of Capital Receipt The Committee noted that, BoG's projection for capital receipts for the half- year ended 31stDecember 2012 was US$119,560,000. However, actual capital receipts totalled US$724,035,281 repre- senting a variance of US$604,475,281 or 505.6 per cent. According to the Auditor-General, the rise in capital receipts was due to increases in IMF loans, European Union (EU) grants, French grants and additional loans contracted from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, African Development Bank (AfDB) and SWAP DEALS from the Standard Chartered and STANBIC Banks. The Deputy Governor explained that, BoG's projections were based on inputs that it received from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) through the Controller and Accountant- General. The Committee therefore, urges the Bank to enhance the credibility of its projections mechanism in order to avoid huge variances which may affect budget estimates of the Ministry of Finance. Dealer Commercial Banks The Committee observed that, twenty- five (25) dealer commercial banks were granted licenses by BoG to handle foreign exchange earnings on behalf of their customers. These commercial banks were to submit monthly returns on their foreign exchange earnings to BoG. Total foreign exchange earnings from the 25 authorised dealer banks, as at 31st De- cember, 2012 was US$7,013,277,916 compared to a total of US$6,699,140,014 for the corresponding period of 2011, thus, representing a growth of US$324,137,902. Table 4 shows the earnings from dealer commercial banks for the half years ended 31st December, 2012 and 2011. SPACE FOR TABLE 4 - PAGE 26 - 12.55P.M. The Committee noted that the growth was due to a rise in earnings from other exports, income receipts and service receipts. Again, all the twenty-five dealer banks submitted their monthly returns during the period. The Committee commends the dealer banks for submitting their returns on schedule. Conclusion For a Statement on Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of BoG to be used as a reliable source of information for decision-making by policy makers, and other stakeholders, the Committee is of the opinion that, it should be devoid of errors, omissions and wrongful treatment of transactions. The Committee therefore urges BoG to strengthen its internal and supervisory control systems to avert the recurrence of errors, omissions and wrongful treatment of transactions in its State- ments. Finally, the Committee recommends to the House to adopt its Report on the Report of the Auditor-General on the

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Thank you very much. Any seconder?

Speaker
Ms Rachel Florence Appoh (NDC -- Gomoa Central)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. By doing so, I would want to state that, when you look at the Observations of the Report on page 7, number 3, under “Statement of visible payment” and on the same page 7, number 4, under “Statement of invisible receipts”, you would realise that, there was understatement of payment of US$ 2 million. Mr Speaker, what I would want to find out is why always the people in charge or the workers would be there, siting down till the Auditors raise a query before they decide to correct these errors? I believe that this is not helping Ghana as a whole. When you look at this receipt and that of the understatement of the invisible receipt as well, you would realise that there was also a difference of US$ 70,000. So, my advice to those in charge is that, they should sit up and make sure they do reconciliation day in and day out. They should not wait till the Auditors raise queries and they should not wait till they appear before Public Accounts Committee for the Public Account Committee to do their work for them. Mr Speaker, with these few corrections, I want to advice, I second the Motion.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I would put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader? I believe that we are taking Motion 21. Is that right?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Yes, Mr Speaker, we are taking Motion 21.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Yes, Chairman of the Committee?

MOTIONS

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Introduction The Report of the Auditor-General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the Half-Year ended 30th June, 2013, was presented to Parliament on Tuesday, 24th June 2014 in accordance with article 184(3) and 187(5) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. In accordance with Order 165 of the Standing Orders of the House, the Rt Hon Speaker referred the Report to the Public Accounts Committee for consi-deration and report. Procedure To consider the Report, the Committee met with a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Millison K. Narh, a Deputy Controller and Accountant-General, Mr Andrews Kingsley Kufe and representa- tives of the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana and the Controller and Accountant- General's Department. On appearing before the Committee, the witnesses subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report and on issues of general public interest. The Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Agyei Sifah and a technical team from the Audit Service were also present at the Committee's sittings to assist in the consideration of the Report. Acknowledgement The Committee expresses its apprecia- tion to the Deputy Governor, the Deputy Controller and Accountant-General and all witnesses who appeared before the Committee for their cooperation. The Committee is also grateful to the Deputy Auditor-General and his team, for availing themselves to assist in its deliberations. The Committee further extends its appreciation to STAR-Ghana for its immense support to the activities of the Committee. Finally, the Committee extends its appreciation to the media (print and electronic) for covering its proceedings. Reference Documents The Committee availed itself of the following documents during its deliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana. c. The Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612). d. The Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723). e. The Minerals and Mining Law, 1986 (PNDC Law 153). f. The Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703). Purpose of the Audit The purpose of the audit was for the Auditor-General to ascertain and obtain reasonable assurance that the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) was free from material misstatements. It was also to ascertain whether BoG had maintained a proper system of internal controls as well as accurate and reliable records to safeguard the foreign exchange resources of the Central Bank. Overview of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments BoG's foreign exchange receipts for the half-year ended 30th June 2013 were de- rived from cocoa, gold, manganese, oil revenue, capital and invisible business transactions. Foreign exchange receipts for the first half of year 2013 totaled US$2,489,029,208 compared to US$2,168, 434,943 for the first half of year 2012. This represents an increase of US$320,594,265 (14.8 per cent). Table 1 shows the composition of foreign exchange receipts for the first-half of year 2013, compared to the figures for the corresponding period in year 2012.

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 6 - 1.05P.M. Total Foreign Exchange Payments for the half-year ended 30 th June 2013 consisted of payments in foreign currency by BoG, in exchange for their cedi equivalent. These payments are mainly to finance oil and non-oil imports, payments by order of the Controller and Accountant-General, International Mone- tary Fund (IMF) payments. Other foreign exchange payments include the sale of foreign exchange to dealer banks and Forex Bureaus. Total Foreign Exchange payments for the period amounted to US$3,209,368,473 compared to US$3,512,124,741 for the corresponding period of year 2012. This represents a decrease of US$302,756,268 (8.6 per cent). Table 2 shows a summary of the Bank of Ghana's foreign exchange payments for the first-half of year 2013 compared to the first-half of year 2012. SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE 7 - 1.05 P.M. Foreign Exchange Receipts Cocoa As at 30th June 2013, total foreign exchange receipts surrendered to BoG by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) amounted to US$264,215,798. This figure, compared to the figure of US$302,719,085 as at 30th June 2012 showed a decrease of US$38,503,287 (12.7 per cent). Total Tonnage Exported Total tonnage of cocoa beans and cocoa products exported for the period amounted to 552,398 tonnes. Table 3 shows the breakdown of tonnes of cocoa beans and cocoa products exported during the first-half of years 2013 and 2012. SPACE FOR TABLE 3 - PAGE 8 - 1.05 P.M. Gold Total gold earnings surrendered to BoG as at 30 th June, 2013 amounted to US$343,860,642. This figure was lower by US$52,958,470 over the total amount of US$396,819,112 received for the first- half of year 2012. These inflows represent portions of proceeds that were remitted to the country through BoG by licensed gold exporters. Percentages surrendered were between 20 per cent and 100 per cent of total gold exports and the total quantity of gold exported during the period was 1,769,312 ounces, as against 1,937,886 ounces for the corresponding period of year 2012. Manganese Total Foreign Exchange Receipts surrendered by the Ghana Ma n ga n e se Company to BoG amounted to US$11, 986,477. This represents 20 per cent of total export proceeds surrendered by the Ghana Manganese Company. The Company retained the remaining 80 per cent to meet its import needs. Oil and Gas Total receipts from oil represent the allocation made from the P e t r o l e u m Holding Fund for Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA). During the period, a total amount of US$136,598,783 was allocated to support the national budget as compared to US$131,392,190, for the half-year ended 30th June 2012. This represents an increase of US$5,206,593. Capital Receipts Total Capital Receipts in the form of loans and grants for the half year 2013 amounted to US$733,847,742. This figure represents a decrease of US$49,822,817 (6.4 per cent) as compared to the figure of

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Visible Import Payments Visible Import Payments for the first- half of year 2013 amounted to US$1,766, 234,919. Compared with the figure of US$2,765,513,167 for the corre-sponding period of 2012, it shows a decrease of US$999,278,248 (36 per cent). The Committee noted that, the decrease arose as a result of the fall in forex sales to commercial banks to finance the purchase of crude oil and to dealer commercial banks to finance the import needs of their customers. Table 4 shows Visible Import Payments for the first-half of years 2013 and 2012. SPACE FOR TABLE 4 - PAGE 10 - 1.05P.M. Visible Import Payment for the First-half of years 2013 and 2012 Capital Payments Capital payments, which included loan repayments to bilateral and multilateral institutions, totalled US$1,263,144,759 for the period under review. This figure represents an increase of US$803,742,517 (174.9 per cent) compared with US$459, 402,242 for the half-first of year 2012. The increase was attributed mainly to upsurge in interest payments on Bank for International Settlement (BIS) facility and on a three-year bond as well as the repayment of BIS US$300.00 million Bridging Facility and Swaps Deal (STANBIC/SCB). Table 5 shows the details of Capital Payments made for the first-half of years 2013 and 2012. SPACE FOR TABLE 5 - PAGE 11 - 1.0RP.M. Invisible Payments Total Invisible Payments for the first-half of year 2013 amounted to US$179,988,796, compared with US$287,209,332 for the corresponding period of year 2012. This represents a decrease of US$107,220,536 (37.3 per cent). The decrease resulted mainly from the fall in payments in respect of management and technical services payment to contractors and embassy transfers during the period under review. A breakdown of Invisible Payments for the first-half of years 2013 and 2012 is shown in Table 6. SPACE FOR TABLE 6 - PAGE 12 - 1.05 P.M.

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Thank you very much. Hon Members, any seconder?

Speaker
Ms Rachel F. Appoh (NDC -- Gomoa Central)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing so, I refer the House to page 11, paragraph 11.0 of the Report. Mr Speaker, “Interest on Delayed Payment”; when you look at the Report, Government paid through the Bank of Ghana (BoG) an amount of US$424,727 as interest. Mr Speaker, if there was no funds for the project, why do we have to award the contract? Eventually there would not be funds to pay the contractors and then the nation ends up paying all that amount of interests. When you read further, you would realise that, Government paid another US$3,531,717 to the same company. Mr Speaker, I believe we should consider our priorities first, and when we are awarding contracts, we should consider the funds available before we do that. This is because at the end of the day, all these would turn around and affect the people in this country. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I second the Motion. Question proposed.

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi)

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. Mr Speaker, I just had to look at the “Observations and Recommendations” of the Report. They have spoken about “Interest on Delayed Payments”. Mr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Minister for Finance would have something to say about this and even that of “retention of proceeds”. I am saying this because, I have had personal discussions with him on these matters and he has relayed certain information to me, which I find re- assuring. In fact, Mr Speaker, the retention for Newmont was a very special clause in their Agreement at the time, because Newmont insisted on it and it was felt that, if we could get a major gold producer to locate in Ghana, it will serve as an incentive for other multinational companies to consider Ghana as a good investment destination. But of course, whenever we feel that there is the opportunity or there is need to renegotiate, nothing stops us from so doing. But it is important that, even where companies have been given the facility to

Speaker
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi)

retain foreign exchange earning and Mr Speaker, it is not only in respect of gold mining companies, we have free zone companies, we have companies under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. It is important that we monitor the use of the retention. So, the fact that a company retains all its funds outside does not mean that it can use it for whatever purpose it likes. But it seems monitoring is completely lacking and it is in that respect that the Hon Minister for Finance gave me some assurances. I believe that, Mr Speaker, with your leave, if you give him the opportunity and he makes these statements on the floor of the House, then of course, we know that he is giving an assurance to this House which we can monitor as the days go forward. So, I will encourage the Hon Minister to tell us something even in respect of the contract. I know database and so on and so forth. They look very interesting when said, but as to how it is going to be implemented; he says they have a chart and in fact, it flows and so on and so forth. He has been saying these things so he should be given the opportunity to educate the whole nation through this House as to the steps that he has taken and intends taking to address the concerns expressed by the Committee in this matter.

Speaker
Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai- Osudoku)

Mr Speaker, I am also rising on the same direction, in the sense that, our natural resources are being depleted and so we need to take a holistic look at the retention, that is given to these multinational companies. I believe that, we as a nation, must review these percentages of amounts that are surrendered because these are non- renewable resources and when they are depleted and gone, we have no choice to develop the future of this nation. So, I want us as a nation, to look at the percentage of resources that are rendered for us to review to the benefit of the nation. Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity. Question put and Motion agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, the Income Tax Bill, 2015 at the Consideration Stage. We will take some few provisions of the Bill. So item 26.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, Hon Members, the Income Tax Bill, 2015 at the Consideration Stage. Hon Chairman of the Committee, can you brief me as to how far we have gone with this particular Bill? I realise that, what appears on the original Order Paper, some of them have been dealt with already. if my briefing is right. So, can you guide us, where do we start from?

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, on the original Order Paper, clauses 19, 20 and 22 had already been dealt with yesterday but they have been repeated, so we will not consider them. We will do clauses 11 and 17 on the Order Paper. But before that if we can go to the Addendum Order Paper and deal with clauses 7 and 9. Mr Speaker, yesterday, there was a new subclause proposed by the Committee but which was not captured on the Order Paper. So, Mr Speaker directed that it should be captured. So, that has been captured.

BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE

[Resumption of debate from 16/07/ 2015]

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, add the following new subclause: “(3) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no exemption shall be provided from tax imposed by this Act and no agreement shall be entered into that affects or purports to affect the application of this Act except as provided for by this Act or by an amendment to this Act.” Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 7 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Clause 9. Clause 9 -- Residual deduction rule

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Clause 9 subclause (3), line 1, after “expense” insert “that is”. So, the new rendition would read: “For purposes of this section, ‘expense that is of a capital nature' …” Mr Speaker, this proposed amendment is to fall in line with subclause 2, which made reference to “an expense that is of a capital nature” so that we do not have a different interpretation of what is being referred to under subclause 2. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 9 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, we can now go to the main Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Clause 11. Clause 11 -- Trading stock

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, we had a winnowing this morning on the issue at stake, which is the reference being made to “that person”, was explained that ‘that person' is referring to the one who is ascertaining the income of him or herself. “A person who is ascertaining the income of that person” is referring to the one who is ascertaining the income of him or herself. So, it was agreed that what we have in the Bill should be carried. Therefore, you are to put the Question on clause 11. The same applies to clause 17.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 11 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

We would look at the next amendment. Clause 17 -- Losses for business and investment

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, clause 17 is the same principle as clause 11. That the reference is also made to “that person” -- “the person who is ascertaining the income of that person”. So, it is the same reason that the Question was not put on clause 17. You can put the Question now. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 17 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 25 subclause (2), paragraph (b), before “to” insert “the person” So, the new rendition will read: “the determination of the person to whom the amount shall be allocated”. This is to fall in line with the clause to make it be clear in the Bill. That if you look at subclause (a), you would see that “the determination of the time at which an amount is to be included or deducted”. If you look at subclause (c), “the determination of the quantum of the amount”; if you look at subclause (d), “the determination of the character of the amount”, but if you look at subclause (b), “the person” is not shown there. What the clause needs to portray is that “the determination of the person to whom the amount shall be allocated” is now being corrected to make it clearer. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 25 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 26 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Clause 27. Clause 27 -- Indirect payment

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, subclause (2), line 1, delete “(b)” Mr Speaker, the reference being made is subsection (1), not subsection 1 (b). So, subsection 1 (b) is being deleted. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 27 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 28, 29 and 30 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Clause 31? Clause 31 -- Arm's length standard and arrangements between associates.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, in line 2, after “delete”, you insert “to prescribe”. So, what is being deleted now, is “to prescribe rules, including rules that aim at checking”. Mr Speaker, instead of deleting “rules including rules”, we are now deleting “to prescribe rules including rules”. And then, we are now inserting “on matters relating to” instead of “matters relating to”. So, the new rendition would be: “The Minister may, by legislative instrument make regulations on matters relating to transfer pricing”. And after pricing, we delete “in” and insert ‘and'. Transfer pricing and the application of the arm's length standard. Mr Speaker, let me take the new rendition again. “The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make regulations on matters relating to transfer pricing and the application of the arm's length standard”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 31 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 32 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 33 -- Thin capitalisation

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 33, subclause (1), line 4, delete “three-is-to-one” and insert “three-to- one” and in line 7, delete “three-is-to-one” and insert “three-to-one”. Mr Speaker, this is just a correction of the ratio that is being referred to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 33 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 34 -- General anti-avoidance rule.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 34, subclause (2), definition of “tax avoidance”, line 1, delete “arrangement” and insert “arrangement,”. Mr Speaker, the purpose is to put a comma after arrangement.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 34 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 35 -- Calculation of gains and losses.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 35, subclause (2), paragraph (b), line 1, delete “less” and insert “more. Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read, “the sum of the consideration offered for the liability is more than the amount outstanding at time of realisation. ‘ Mr Speaker, in calculating the gains and losses of capital under assets and liabilities, the position that is to be captured under (b) is that, the sum of money that is being offered for the liability should be more than the amount outstanding at the time of the realisation. Mr Speaker, if you put “less” there, it changes the whole position. Therefore, we are just correcting it, replacing the “less” with “more”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 35 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 36 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 37 -- Consideration received.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 37, subclause (1), paragraph (a), subparagraph (i), line 1, delete “or decreasing”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read, “an amount derived by that person for owning that asset, which includes an amount derived from altering the value of that asset”. Mr Speaker, if we say altering or decreasing, it is repetitive. This is because if we say altering, you either alter it by decreasing or increasing it. So, we cannot say, derived from altering or decreasing. It does not sound well. Therefore, we are correcting it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I would put the question with regard to clause 37 as amended. Clause 37 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 38 -- Realisation

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 38, subclause (2). line 4, delete twenty-five” and insert “fifty”. The new rendition is: “Subsection (1) does not apply to the realisation of an asset accruing to or derived by a company arising out of a merger, amalgamation or re- organisation of the company where there is a continuity underlying ownership of the asset of at least fifty per cent.” Mr Speaker, the purpose of the amendment is to increase the ownership holding of a company that is changing hands either through a merger, amal- gamation or re-organisation so that they do not try to avoid the tax by changing the ownership of the company by trying to maintain that if it is 25 per cent, then they would be avoiding payment of the tax on the gains that would be made by that merger or re-organisation. So, we are raising the percentage to 50 so that, at least, it would be difficult for them if they want to play any game by changing the ownership of the company through re-organisation, merger or amalgamation. It would be difficult to maintain 50 per cent of the ownership and for that matter they would be caught up by the tax law for them to pay the tax on the gains that they are making on that change. Question put and amendment carried. Clause 38 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 39 to 44 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, could you assist us. We have clause 45 in the original Order Paper and then in the Order Paper Addendum, how do we handle them?

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, we would take the two proposed amendments on the original Order Paper and after that, we would take the one on the Addendum.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Clause 45. Clause 45 -- Transfer of asset to an associate or for no consideration. Avedzi: Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 45, head note, delete “to an associate or for no” and insert “not for”. Mr Speaker, I would like to further amend the proposed amendment that we delete “to an associate or”. We are no more inserting anything. So, the proposed amendment now is that clause 45, Head note, delete “to an associate or”. The new rendition would read: “Transfer of assets for no consideration”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I would put the question. Question put amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 45, subclause (4), paragraph (b), line 3, delete “the” and insert “that”. The new rendition would read: “that the asset is a trading stock, depreciable asset or capital asset of a business of the associate immediately after transfer by that person”. Mr Speaker, this is one of the areas where we are talking about transfer of an asset for no consideration. The person being referred to here is “that person” to whom the asset is being transferred to for no consideration. But if you say “the person”, it does not clearly show what you mean by the person. But “that person” would tell you clearly that the one who is the recipient of that asset for no consideration is being referred to here.

Speaker
Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Mr Speaker, just to have a better understanding of the proposed amendment. Within the context that he word “the” is used, is it the case of the Hon Chairman that it changes the meaning in context or that he is proposing the “that” as an amendment for the superfluous of same. I am finding it difficult to appreciate the explanation that the just gave and I felt that I should raise it so that he comes back. This is because, you are reading it in a context and you have used “the” to describe something. What is the effect if you change it to “that”?

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, there are two persons involved here; the transferor and the transferee. The one we are referring to here is the one who receives the asset. So, if I am the one transferring the assets to you, the one who is receiving the assets is the “that” we are talking about here. If I use “the” for you, it is not clear whether it is you or me. But to lay the emphasis that the one receiving the asset is the one we are referring to, we are replacing the “the” here with “that person”. So, you have to read from subclause 3: “Where a person realises by way of transfer of ownership of an asset to an associate of the person...” An associate of the person here, me who is transferring, my associate. The associate of “the person” and not “that” because the one receiving is the “that”. So:

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, are you clear with it?

Speaker
Mr Afenyo-Markin

Mr Speaker, it is not clear enough because the existing rendition which has “the” does not make the whole clause ambiguous in anyway. But, if it is the pleasure of the Hon Chairman, that for the sake of emphasis, I would submit accordingly so that we would make progress.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, we will move to clause 45 on the Addendum Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 45, subclause (4). paragraph (d), line 1, delete “twenty-five” and insert “fifty”. Mr Speaker, there is at least, fifty per cent continuity of the underlying ownership of the asset. This is in line with what we did earlier, by increasing the ownership when there is a change through a merger, amalgamation or re- organisation of the company, so that we do not have “fifty” and here, “twenty- five”, so we would have a consequential effect. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 45 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 46 to 51 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 52—Principles of Taxation.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, with regard to the state of Business, I direct that we carry out Business beyond the stipulated time. Clause 52, Hon Chairman of the Committee.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, today is Friday, and the advertised Business of the House have almost been exhausted and the rest would be continued on Tuesday. The time is past 2.00 p.m. and we therefore, leave the House in your hands.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are you sure about the time? I think what I have here is 1.54 p.m.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, I am saying that today is Friday and a special day —

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, but the adjournment is not in my hands because we are not yet— All r ight, move a Motion for adjournment. Hon Members, this brings us to the end of Consideration Stage for today.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, I was saying that the time is past 2.00 o'clock and the Business for the day has been exhausted and we therefore, leave the House in your hands.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. I am being misled by what is before me. In any case, I will take your word for it.

ADJOURNMENT

The House was adjourned at 2.02 p.m. till Tuesday, 21st July, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.