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2018 budget is empty- AtoForson

Minority spokesperson on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson has described the 2018 budget statement and government policy as empty and must be withdrawn since it has nothing good for the Ghanaians populace.

“This budget is empty. It must be rejected and withdrawn” he said.

He said the budget is a charade and does not address the unemployment needs of the country.

According to him section 28(2d) of Public Financial Management (PMF) Law requires Parliamentary approval before a mid-year budget is reviewed but the Finance Minister failed to adhere to that provision before reviewing the 2017 budget hence the 2018 budget must be rejected and withdrawn.

The Finance Minister he noted in his presentation of a revised budget outlook for the unexpired term of the financial year as prescribed by the law.

He was at a lost why the administrative cost of the government would increase from GHC 4 billion to GHC 6.7 with same happening to the Office of Government machinery jumping from GHC 31 million to GHC 1.56 billion over a one-year period.

Mr Ato Forson who is a former Deputy Finance Minister observed on the contrary that monies for the Food and agriculture, tourism, fisheries, roads and Highways ministries, areas which are critical to job creation, were rather on the decline.

He accused government of depleting some statutory funds to fund unrelated areas and challenged it to find ways to fund it’s flagship programmes and take hands-off the funds which are targeted at specific sectors of the economy.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Politics is about ideas – Labour Minister

Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah has urged Ghanaian to eschew partisanship in their everyday endeavours to make the country a better place.

According to him, politics is about ideas not about fighting each other in the name of partisanship.

He made the call in an interaction with the Amangoase Parliament Youth Club from Nsoatre in the Brong Ahafo region when the latter paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament House to present a citation to him.

The citation was in recognition of the Minister’s numerous development initiatives especially a water project that has brought relief to Nsoatre and surrounding communities.

The group used the opportunity to appeal to the Minister to support them in the establishment of a modern gari processing factory in the area for jobs.

The Sunyani West MP thanked the group for the gesture and asked for their prayer support.

He urged the youth to brighten the corner in which they found themselves as they prepare themselves for greater responsibilities whiles urging them also to pray for a better Ghana.

“Pray for Ghana to succeed in all spheres for jobs to prevail so that we would all become comfortable’’ he said.

The Minister observed that the BrongAhafo region holds a lot for the nation in terms of food, timber, cocoa among others.

He challenged the Amangoase Parliament Youth Club to influence decision at the local level to help promote education delivery in the region.

DrKwabena Donkor, MP for Pru who witnessed the event praised the humility and unifying attributes of Igatius Baffour Awuah especially during the period he served as the Brong Ahafo regional Minister under former President Kufour.

According to him, it is God who ordains Kings hence it is time to put aside partisanship for development to thrive after elections.

Public Relations Officer of the group, Alexander Adomah said the Club is aimed at initiating development activities for self-growth of members and community development.
Membership of the group which is one year old is open to young persons who are 18 years and above.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Government halts excessive borrowing- Gyan Baffour

Minister for Planning and Member of Parliament for Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo region, Professor Gyan Baffour has stated that the NPP government has halted the rate of excessive borrowings by the previous NDC government.

He noted that the government has reduced borrowing to prudence levelsresulting in Ghana working again.

According to him, the NPP government has reversed all economic indicators which were negative and destructive to the economy under the erstwhile NDC government.

Contributing towards the debate on the 2018 budget statement, Professor Baffour said the new administration has also halted the negative growth of the economy which is now witnessing an accelerated positive growth.
The Finance Minister, he noted, could not have presented a more pragmatic budget to address the economic challenges of the country adding that the policy proposals will be matched with effective implementation.

He said the budget was anchored on creating opportunities for all, building a stable and resilient economy and aggressively protecting the natural environment to create jobs and that the 2017 fiscal policy has largely achieved its objectives.

Ghana he said has started working again under the new and better managers of the economy.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

NPP is better manager of the economy- Assibey Yeboah

Chairman of Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah has stated the NPP are better managers of the economy.

According to him the government has achieved improved macro-economic indicators and shifted economy from taxation to production with positive results.

He noted that any time the NPP was in power, the macro stability is of the country was restored. He debunked criticisms against huge volumes of monetary allocations to the office of the President.

According him, the volumes of monies to those offices had increased because some of the government’s flagship programmes including the free SHS, One District, One Factory, the National Identity programme which were to be supervised by those offices.

Drawing a contrast between the current government and the immediate outgone one, Mr. Assibey-Yeboah said the debt of the country has reduced from 73 to 68 per cent of GDP, inflation from 15 to 11 per cent, real estate industry and manufacturing all growing, nuisance taxes abolished culminating into a total projected growth of 7.9 from 3.7 of GDP.

He said by these statistics, confidence in the Ghanaian economy was booming in leaps and bounds, touting the capabilities of managers of the economy under the current administration than their colleagues in opposition.

Former Minister for Transport, Franklin FiifiFiavi Kwetey raised issues with what he called credibility crisis facing the present government because it failed to acknowledge that the current growth of the economy was due to investment made by previous administration.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Parliament rounds up debate on 2018 budget

Parliament is expected to round up debates on Government’s Financial Policy and economic budget statement for the 2018 financial year ending December, 2018 this week.

Both sides of the house are sharply divided over major issues raised by the budget statement presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

As the Majority, NPP maintained that Ghana is working again in their hands as better managers of the economy, the Minority NDC thinks otherwise saying they were the better managers.

The Minority raised red flags about claims in the 2018 budget and the 2017 budget describing it as full of misplaced priority in terms of resource allocation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Ranking Member of the Finance committee, Cassiel Ato Forson called for the rejection and immediate withdrawal of the 2018 budget.

He explained that instead of the Finance Minister to have moved a motion for the revised 2017 budget, he rather delivered a statement which contravenes the rules of engagement.

That move he said was illegal and denied Members of Parliament the opportunity to debate and approve or reject the said budget.

The former Deputy Finance Minister expressed grave concerns about the paltry allocation of resources to substantive state institutions to enhance infrastructure development.

According to him the economic sectors especially infrastructure such as the Roads and Highways Ministry witnessed reduced allocation of only Ghc 200 million.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

We will resist any attempt to take away our ferry – Krosby Mensah

Member of Parliament (MP) for Afram Plains North,   Betty Nana Efua Krosby Menah   has given a strong indication that youth and people of Afram Plains will resist any attempt by government to take away a ferry provided by the previous government to serve the people of her constituency.

She further lamented over moves by Government, to relocate the University of Environment and Sustainable Development an issue they have not finished dealing with only to be hit by news of relocation of ferry.

According to the Afram Plains North lawmaker, the youth have prevented the ferry from moving since they got wind of information from grapevine, that there were moves to relocate the ferry that ply Agordeke-Kpando and Torkko route from Afram Plains.

It is a wrong timing, the major occupation of my constituent is fishing and farming, this is the only means they are able to transport their farm produce and promote their economic activities within the district, she said.

“As the MP for the people I was not informed of the relocation of the ferry likewise the District Chief Executive(DCE), not even the opinion leaders for us to have dialogue on this issue”, she lamented.

“How do you expect people of Afram Plains to go about their everyday life, we needed a strong ferry and the previous government got one for us, government should buy one for the people of Buipeif they need one”.

Again I have been in touch with Minister of Transport and his respond has been favorable and has directed that, the relocation process be halted until he travels to Afram Plains to assess the situation, but the director of lake transport is bent on carrying out the relocation plan, she said.

“We just want to know who is in control here, the Minister of Transport or the director of lake transport.”

And indicated that she has been in touch with the leadership of the Minority and in the coming days they will come out on the issue.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

I do not see MPs bending rules to contain homosexuals—-Wa Central MP

Members of Parliament from both sides of the House have joined the debate on whether the Ghanaian law should be bend to contain homosexuals.

MP for Wa Central, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo have said he does not see any MP from both side of the House supporting change in the Ghanaian law to support homosexuals.

His comment comes in the wake of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s comments in an interview he granted on Aljazeera saying, “homosexual is bound to happen”.

According to the Wa Central legislator the President of Ghana represents the aspiration and drives the Nation’s foreign policy and it will be wrong to be seen moving towards a liberal direction which will favor homosexuals.

Dr. Pelpuo further pointed out that more than 90 percent of Ghanaians are against homosexuality, “the homosexuals are few and are not convincing enough to bring a pressure to bear to change our laws”, he said.

As to whether 20 years down the line pressure could be brought to bear for the Ghanaian laws to change and accommodate homosexuals and lesbians, he said: “we are talking of the present, more over I do not think they have any significant numbers to bring any pressure to bear”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

MPs need to patronize Parliament’s gym -Rawlings

Member of Parliament (MP) for Klottey Korle, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings has urged MPs to take the opportunity to use the gym in Parliament when it comes into operation.

She further noted that a work three times in a week and each session for an hour will bring down the risk of high blood pressure of members and weight gain associated with diabetes.

According to the Klottey Korle legislator, obesity is quite high in the Ghanaian society and across the globe, as a result of increased consumption of sweet beverages in children as well as adults which is contributing to over weight gain and risk of diabetes.

Again she noted that, as representatives of people they need to stay healthy by participating actively and play the role they are supposed to play.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

I will attend upon the House any day—Kofi Ada

Minister for Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Kofi Ada has apologized to Parliament for not being in the House to answer question in his name last week.

He told the House due to the closure of the Buipe-Yapei Bridge, whiles on his way to Accra, he had to retune to Tamale to pick a flight but was stranded at the airport and he did not deliberately refuse to attend to the House.

According to the Minister he was in Tamale to launch the campaign against open defecation on his way back he realizedthe bridge was closed.

And assured the House any time he is summoned to attend to business in the House he will avail himself to attend to business in the House.

By Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Transport Minister hauled to Parliament on Buipe-Yapei bridge saga

Member of Parliament (MP) for Kpandai, Mathew Nyindam has said in an interview that the Minister of Roads and Highways,Kwesi Amoako Atta will be in the House today Wednesday  to respond to questions on the inconvenience caused to passengers due to the closure of the Buipe-Yapei Bridge.

The Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu raised a public concern issue on the floor of the House about the closure of the Buipe-Yapei Bridge.

Mr. Iddrisu is unhappy with the inconvenience the closure has caused passengers and travelers along that stretch of road and said the closure is having a dreadful impact on businesses.

Many of those passengers have had to resort to the use of ferries through Nakpango, a situation that has increased the number of days spent on the journey and the cost involved.

The Buipe-Yapei bridges connect Ghana to neighboring countries including Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo.

The bridge which was constructed over 50 years ago had had little maintenance works. It was closed on November 20, 2017, to make way for major repair works to be done on the bridge that is said to be in a bad state.

Even though alternative routes were announced, it appears it was not publicized enough for motorists and commuters.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com