Parliament extends sitting due to unfinished business


Members of Parliament would have to spend a week more in the House to enable them pass some important bills.

The House was supposed to go on recess today, but the Business Committee has asked for five more days because there are urgent matters that Parliament may not be able to deal with by close of business today.

Things members need to consider include the Technical University Bills that will give legal backing to the conversion of polytechnics in the country into technical universities; Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill that seeks to create a legal and regulatory framework to respond to new developments in the petroleum industry; and the Bank of Ghana Amendment Act.

Already there has been an unresolved controversy over the Bank of Ghana Amendment Act. As part of Ghana’s three-year deal with the International Monetary Fund, the Central Bank is not allowed to lend any money to government, unless during circumstances such as period of war and natural disaster.

But Members of Parliament want changes effected because the zero borrowing would not augur well for the country. They want the Act to allow government to borrow from the Central Bank not more than 5% of the previous year’s revenues.

The House has to also consider the Public Financial Management Bill before going on recess.

The Business Committee noted that out of the 111 clauses in the Public Financial Management Bill, they were only able to read only 20 at close of the day yesterday.

The Public Financial Management Bill, when passed into law, will not only repeal several Acts such as the Financial Administration Act (FAA) and the Loans Act, but will also make budget implementation more rigorous with control and commitment.

Also the House ought to approve or reject the Early Power Limited deal. The 400 megawatt power agreement for $953 million before Parliament has also generated controversy.

The Minority described the deal as dubious which they said is not in the best interest of Ghana.

These many other reasons pushed the Business Committee to plead with the House to extend sitting and rise on Friday August 5.


By Isaac Essel | | Ghana