Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has called on the government to submit the nation’s Debt Restructuring Document to Parliament for scrutiny.
“Even the Debt Exchange, they must bring something and lay it here for the people of Ghana, the Minister of Finance, cannot just walk away as if everything in this country is determined by him,” Mr Haruna stated on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday.
“If you are doing haircuts and you are changing contents of agreements, whether domestic or external, they are Contract Al; and this Contract Al comes with obligations, he must come and lay a paper in this House on how he intends to work on the external debts, because when this House approve those agreements, we approved them consistent with Article 181 terms and conditions. You can’t vary the terms and conditions at your pleasure or as it pleases a certain Minister for Finance.”
He said those agreements must be brought to the House for Members of the House to scrutinise and be satisfied that the Finance Minister could go ahead with the Debt Exchange Programme.
“The information available to me, Mr Speaker, is worrying; even the Debt Exchange programme, it is almost being boycotted, let him (the Finance Minister) come and inform this House, how many people have signed unto it, to save this country and save the economy,” the Minority Leader added.
Touching on the Budget Estimates for the Fiscal year 2023, Mr Haruna urged the Majority Chief Whip in Parliament to make sure that the House had work to do, adding that, the exercise of oversight and parliamentary scrutiny of the budget remained the primary responsibility of the House.
“To come, every now and be told that reports are not ready, is not acceptable.
“So, get your committee chairs and the clerks. Clerks that have completed their works must bring their reports for us to consider and approve the estimates,” he said.
He appealed to Sector Ministers to appear before their sector Committees of the House to make cases for their Budget Estimates approvals.
“…I further warned that Ministers who want their Budgets approved must appear in person. If you delegate your Deputy, we will delegate your money for you some other day after appropriation.
“If they send emissaries to come for approval of budget estimates, we will send their approval to them the day they are available, so Whip, make sure you have your estimates ready.”
He said it was time the House began working towards appropriation of the Budget; adding that the attitude of stampeding them with several of it at a time, did not allow for proper scrutiny.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Majority Whip and New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Nsawam Adoagyiri, urged the House to do the needful by ensuring that good things were done in terms of their work.
He called on the ranking members of the various Committees to support their Committee Chairs to find ways to resolve work at the Committee level on time.
On his part, Mr Partick Yaw Boamah, MP for Okaikwei Central, assured the House that the document on the Debt Exchange Programme would be submitted to the Chamber for the needed scrutiny by members.
Mr Amoako Asiamah Andrew, the Second Deputy Speaker, who chaired Tuesday’s proceedings before adjourning, urged members to make sure to expedite their jobs to enable the House to arise on December 21.
He called on Committee leaders to work things out to present their reports for consideration and approval of the Appropriation Bill to enable them to rise for the festivities.
Sitting has been adjourned to Wednesday, December 14, at 1400 hours.
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