Mr. Speaker, I wish you could give me some three minutes more. If the hon. Member for Jomoro is saying 400 is nothing, I wish every morning when he leaves his house he should make sure that he leaps 400 metres before he continues -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Because the first 400 metres is not necessary.
Mr. Speaker, I move on to the Venture Capital Trust Fund. Already, ¢3.7 billion has been disbursed to a venture capital finance company that has qualified under the criteria of the Venture Capital Trust Fund. Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform this House and the general public that currently, about ¢41 billion is available to various venture capital companies that would qualify to access.
Mr. Speaker, the National Recon- struction Levy as proposed in the 2006 Budget, the reductions were all effected; and you can refer to the National Reconstruction Levy (Amendment) Act 2006, Act 698 which this Parliament did approve.
Mr. Speaker, if you go to corporate tax, from 28 to 25, that has also been done
1887 Government's Financial 29 Nov. 2006 1889 Government's Financial 29 Nov. 2006
under the Internal Revenue (Amendment) Regulations 2006, L.I. 1820. Again, Mr. Speaker, let us move on to lean cotton and other inputs for the cotton industry. The 5 per cent import duty has also been abolished and reference is also made to Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Taxes) (Amendment) Act 2006 (Act 697).
Again, let us move on to the personal income tax relief. This has also been done with the passage of the Income Tax Rate (Amendment) Regulations 2006, L.I. 1820. Mr. Speaker, taxation on overtime income, has also been done under L.I. 1819, that is, Internal Revenue (Amendment) Regulations 2006.
Mr. Speaker, there are several other things. Look at the West African Gas Pipeline, about 91 per cent of the laying of the pipe is completed. Let us talk about the Osagyefo power plant barge. Even though it has not found its final destination at Tema, it has been moved from the original position, that is, the Sekondi Naval Base to Effasu Mangye.
Mr. Speaker, on afforestation, about 81,000 hectares have been cultivated as at September 2006 and about 56,058 persons have been engaged fully. On resuscitation of strategic industries and establishments, we can make mention of the Pwalugu Tomato Factory. It has been resuscitated and test runs have already been carried out.
Again, if you go to the Ambassador Hotel, it is being renovated; people are working on it. The City Hotel in Kumasi is also being worked on. So this Budget is a budget of hope and whatever we have said, we are prepared to do.
Mr. Speaker, affordable housing -- I hear people say that we said we would build affordable houses but that we have done nothing. Mr. Speaker, this is an erroneous impression. Mr. Speaker,
already, work on 138 flats has started at Borteyman, in the Nungua area, and work on 1,400 flats have also started at Tema Kpone. Work has also started on another 1,192 flats at Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region. Recently, the hon. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing also launched another one at Ayigya which is being constructed. Mr. Speaker, all those people who say that this Government is not committed to implementing policy initiatives that it states in its Budgets are not speaking the truth.
Mr. Speaker, again, let us look at the Accra-Tema railway line. It is about 75 per cent completed. I am sorry that those people who are interested in the cocoa issues have just left. The housing scheme for cocoa farmers, if they do not know, Mr. Speaker, I am telling this House that it has been launched at Enchi and already work on ten houses has started, as a pilot phase, so that we learn the problems that we will encounter in implementing this policy.