July 12, 2010

Parliament has for the third time failed to debate the controversial housing deal involving the Government of Ghana and the STX Group of Korea.

The deal has come under severe criticism from the Minority in Parliament as well as some local think tanks who think the deal is a bad one, and have persistently urged the government to back out. Under the deal, the group is expected to construct 200,000 housing units at the cost of $10 billion.

Even though a joint Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance and Works and Housing completed its work on the deal last week, the house was not able to debate it last week.

It was listed in Parliament’s Order Paper on Monday but was not considered for debate, prompting a reschedule for Tuesday, and yet the house failed to work on it.

Earlier in the day, Joy FM’s parliamentary correspondent Araba Koomson raised uncertainty about the possibility of it being debated despite that fact that it was captured in the Order Paper.

She however reported that the Minister of Water, Works and Housing and Deputy Minister of Finance Seth Tekper, who are directly representing the government were in the House, as well as B.K. Asamoah of STX Ghana and his Korean counterpart were spotted in the House.

The continuous rescheduling of the STX debate incurred the displeasure of some Members of Parliament who complained about the development.

Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has therefore pleaded with the house to start Wednesday’s sitting earlier than today, probably by 10 a.m., to enable them “do much work”.

“I know that both bills, the one relating to Cedar and STX are very important and many people are concerned that is why we are rescheduling them to tomorrow,” he told the august house.

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com