Debates of 25 Aug 2009

PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.


Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, during the recess, we lost one of our own. The Leadership has intimated to me that a tribute be paid to the Hon Member but since we are meeting for the first time after the passing away of the Hon Member, I thought that we should observe a minute silence in her memory while a few statements paying tribute to her is taken tomorrow.

May her soul rest in perfect peace. Amen!
OATHS 10:30 a.m.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, the Clerk has received the Writ
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
I have the pleasure of inviting Dr. Kofi Asare to come and take the necessary oaths.
Hon Dr. Kofi Asare took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Member of Parliament.
Some Hon Members 10:30 a.m.
[Hear! Hear!]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, order!
Hon Minority Leader, do you have any comments to make, briefly?
Minority Leader (Mr. Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
You have just sworn in a new Member of Parliament to represent the good people of Akwatia. Since the inauguration of this Parliament, the good people of Akwatia have not been represented in this House.
We have an outstanding by-election slated for Chereponi; I believe that will be the acid test as regards whether or not we have learnt any useful lessons from what happened, the unfortunate events at Akwatia.
I would want to take this opportunity to welcome my Dear Colleague, Dr. Kofi Asare to this House. The people of Akwatia have tremendous confidence in him, which explains why they have elected him to represent them. We hope that he will pick himself up in spite of the happenings at Akwatia and learn the rules and procedures of this House as early as possible in order to build himself up to face the realities of the situation as regards this House. I have no doubt in my mind that given the intelligence and wisdom of Dr. Kofi Asare, he will be able to rise to the occasion and that the rest of us would also be on hand to help in whatever way we can to let him achieve the set target that he sets for himself and the people of Akwatia.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity.
Majority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. Let me also on behalf of the House, particularly those on the Majority side, welcome Hon Dr. Kofi Asare into this House. He is now a Member of an august, dignified House. The culture in this House is different from the culture that he witnessed in his constituency. We work together here as one body, brothers and sisters. We debate; we disagree; we may
Today, they are being represented and we believe that the person nominated by the majority of the people is qualified, suitable to represent them.
In the build up to the elections, that is, the re-run of the election in the six polling stations, a lot of unfortunate incidents arose, not least, the destruction of the vehicles of Members of this House who had gone there to show solidarity with their Colleague who was contesting the seat. The incidents, most appalling, must be condemned by everyone in this country. They were a throw back into the dark days of our politics. Some of us want to believe that this nation will learn useful lessons from what happened at Akwatia, never again to allow this nation to be dragged on that path.
There are about 23,000 polling stations in this country; elections have been conducted in all these 23,000 polling stations except the six and by and large, they have been peaceful. Ghana has earned a good reputation for the conduct of elections and your goodself bears testimony to what happens when your goodself, myself and the Majority Leader represented Ghana in Ethiopia in the most recent past and how the rest of Africa saw Ghana the beacon as far as democratic practice is concerned on the continent.
What happened at Akwatia was, indeed, a dent in our efforts, in our forward march; let us resolve as a collective not to allow those incidents to happen again in this country as far as elections go.
be heated in our deliberations but we abhor violence and completely outlaw insults and what we term “un-parliamentary language”.
He is most welcome. We will be expecting that he catches up and I hope my Hon Colleagues on the Minority side will take him through the rudiments of parliamentary procedures and practices. It is unfortunate that he could not be here earlier because some people took the law into their own hands during the elections. And that occasioned all the legal battle culminating in the re-run.
It is my view that as a decent developing democracy, we wholeheartedly condemn the mutual violence that took place in the re-run, and in fact, in the original election. I think that it was sad; I heard and listened to many people including some Members of the Minority and I want to call on the law enforcement agencies to really deal ruthlessly with those who committed those crimes. These are crimes.
This is not politics. We should not let people believe that politics is about violence; it is about assaulting your political opponent; it is about burning cars; it is about damaging vehicles, it is about throwing tear-gas -- That is not politics and I think we have to condemn that.
Politics is a decent profession where people ought to serve, to lead their people to develop and I hope he has come here
with that spirit and he will take some time off to fraternize with the vanquished in the elections so that together as a team, he can lead the people of Akwatia to develop.
I will also commend the other contestants and at least, urge them to accept defeat in humility. One day, if the Lord smiles on them, they will also be members of this august House.
So he is most welcome and should truly accept my congratulations and that of the Majority and be assured of our cooperation and brotherly, friendly relations in this House. Once again, he is welcome.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Thank you very much, Leaders of the House.
On behalf of the House and indeed, on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate the Hon Member and only say that you are the Member of Parliament for Akwatia irrespective of whether somebody voted for you or voted against you. You are the elected Member of the House and I advise you to work together with everybody.
Once again congratulations on your election to this Honourable House.
H o n M e m b e r s , t h e r e i s o n e communication from the Office of the President.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
The nominations are duly referred to the
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.

and 17th July, 2009 here. You may recall that on the 17th July, when this House was adjourned, we did not receive the Votes and Proceedings of the 16th July early enough to have it corrected. I have my copy here; if Hon Members have their copies then we can proceed to that of 16th July before we go to that of 17th July.
Mr. Bagbin 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, 17th.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Only 17th? So we should still defer 16th and take 17th, or we should defer and take both tomorrow? What do you suggest, Leaders?
Mr. Bagbin 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, once you have drawn our attention to the 16th, I wish to propose that we take both the 16th and the 17th and today's tomorrow.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Very well, so we now move to Business Statement.

Mr. Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 10:50 a.m.
We definitely recognised the fact that Mr. Speaker will be performing the function that you have just performed,

that is, by swearing-in the 230th Member of this august House which you gladly did this morning. The Business Committee scheduled the Member of Parliament- elect for the Akwatia Constituency to take and subscribe to the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of a Member of Parliament on Tuesday, 25th August, 2009.

Supplementary Estimates

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is expected to lay before this Honourable House, the Supplementary Estimates for the 2009 Financial Year in accordance with article 179 (8) and Standing Order149.


Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning will on Tuesday, 25th August, 2009 also move the motion to approve the Supplementary Estimates for the 2009 Financial Year.

Mr. Speaker, the Estimates shall in accordance with Standing Order 140 (4) stand committed to the committee(s) responsible for the subject matter to which the Head(s) of the Estimate relate.

The Business Committee proposes that debate on the motion to approve the Supplementary Estimates together with the report(s) of the committee(s) be taken on Thursday, 27th August 2009 after the Committee(s) have presented the report(s) to the House. To this end, Hon Members are kindly requested to attend Sittings of the House to actively participate in this important exercise. Conclusion

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Oaths - (which has just been completed.)


Laying of Papers --

Supplementary Estimates for the 2009 financial year

Motion --

That this Honourable House approves the Supplementary Estimates of Government for the 2009 financial year.

(Minister for Finance and Economic Planning)


Committee Sittings.


Laying of Papers --

Report(s) of committee(s) on the Supplementary Estimates for the 2009 financial year.

Motion -

That this Honourable House approves the Supplementary Estimates of Government for the 2009 financial year.

(Minister for Finance and

Economic Planning)

The various Standing Orders may have to be suspended to allow the House to debate and approve the motion.

Committee Sittings.


Committee Sittings.

If the business is not completed on Thursday, we will continue on Friday and then take a break.

We were aware that you were going to receive the communication from the President's Office, which you read, nominating a number of Court of Appeal Judges for prior approval to be appointed to the Supreme Court. But we know that we need to go through the rules and the Standing Orders of the House, and there has to be a notice to the public for various submissions, including memoranda, to enable the House do a good job of considering them for prior approval.

So the referral to the Committee is to enable the Committee, during the course of the recess, to go through the process and make sure that when we likely resume on 20th October, the House will have the opportunity to consider the nominations for the attention of His Excellency the President. That is why in the Business Statement, we had not detailed this consideration.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Minority Leader (Mr. Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if in the performance of its duties, Government deems it appropriate to introduce a supplementary budget, it cannot be opposed.
Mr. Bagbin 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the concerns of the Minority Leader, I am sure are well made and with good intentions. But clearly, this is the business of the Executive. They come to present the supplementary estimates and then we take over and also iron out the process of presentation. I think the best thing I did was when I got a clear indication that we had been called, straight from the meeting, I informed him. I think that was the best thing - not to wait and say that there should be some official communication.
Again, I did indicate that definitely, the recall would be on supplementary estimates, financial matters. I could not go beyond that because anything could happen before the official communication. So those that were firmed up, I told him. So I understand that.
Again, when we finally agreed, we gave the notice; it was published in the dailies for everybody's attention. And then the Secretariat of the Business Committee did all they could to get all Hon Members. In fact, at the meeting yesterday, I raised the issue whether they got all the Members and the Clerk admitted that he could not get through to some Members but he got
some Members, including my Deputy and my Chief Whip; they could not get in touch with them and the Minority Leader indicated to me that he did not also get the call.
But the Clerk gave all indications that he tried and therefore, they were not at the meeting but we had full quorum and we proceeded with the meeting. The Deputy Minority Leader was there, the Deputy Minority Whip and other Members were there and we duly considered it.
So I think that his concerns are well taken but we passed through the normal procedure, there was no error. I think that what we may need to do is to instruct the Secretariat to send text messages if the calls do not go through and then when a person switches on the phone, definitely he will get the text message. So we have taken them in good faith and then we will try to iron out in detail some of these processes in future.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, again, my intervention is not meant to disagree with the programme that has been put in place but I would have thought that the issue of supplementary estimates, 2009 is so important that we could have taken it in our regular session. I know the Government took over and there is a lot of things to do. But if you see the empty seats here, you will find that this analysis will not benefit most of our Hon Colleagues because most of them are out of this country. But that notwithstanding, I think it will go a long way - [Interruption.]
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
On a point of Order! Mr. Speaker, the “Gold Coaster” is totally out of order. [Laughter] What is
his definition of “regular session”?
On a more serious note, he is my in-law, the Member for New Juaben North. He is aware. But talking about regular session, he is totally out of order. What is his definition of “regular session”?
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member for Ningo/Prampram were you born when Ghana was Ghana or when Ghana was Gold Coast? [Laughter.]
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Nothing should be accompanied - [Interruptions.]
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,

Mr. Speaker, the point is very simple
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, order! There is too much background noise.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the point that I am making here is that next time round, it might be useful if the whole House was Sitting. But also importantly, my friend the Majority Leader did say that the press - The official notification that we had from the Clerk just said “come to Parliament on the 25th”and absolutely nothing said about it. So I called the Minority Leader and asked him what we were going to do and he was not aware of it. So I think that the official notification should spell out what we are supposed to do, not the press.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well, subject to those comments, the Business Statement is duly adopted for the week.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business Laying of Papers by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
PAPERS 10:50 a.m.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, Paper duly laid.
Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just need your guidance -- [Pause.] It is all right - [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, we now move to item 7 - Minister for Finance and Economic Planning?
MOTION 10:50 a.m.


Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
All right.
Dr. Duffuor 10:50 a.m.
Having been granted that permission, Mr. Speaker, I now beg to move - [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Minister, I thought you were going to give us the figure before you move the substantive motion on the agenda. So let us have the figures which correct the motion and then you go ahead to move the motion.
Dr. Duffuor 10:50 a.m.
The amendment is GH¢
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Kindly proceed.
Dr. Duffuor 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves sum of GH¢252,790,947 Supplementary Estimates of Government for the 2009 financial year.
Mr. Speaker, I so move - [Pause.] Mr. Speaker, having done that, I wish to thank you for receiving me in this august House at this time of the year. Mr. Speaker, I am here in fulfillment of my promise of 6th March, 2009 to this august House to submit a mid-year review of the 2009 Budget and report of the progress of its
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, when these motions are being moved, the practice is that we do not normally interrupt. So if you have some concerns -- [Interruptions] -- you raise them before the motion is moved but when they are moving the motion, normally, you do not stop it. When you have an issue cropping up immediately the Hon Minister gets in, you raise it so that we discuss it before the motion is moved. But you have the opportunity to raise any issue that you want to raise.
So for now I will allow the Hon Minister to proceed. You will have an opportunity at the appropriate time to raise whatever issue you want to raise.


Mr. Speaker, at the time His Excellency, President John Evans Atta Mills presented his sessional address and this august House approved the 2009 Budget, my Ministry had not been apprised of certain significant developments in the economy. These developments relate mainly to interest costs associated with domestic borrowings as well as additional resources required for the payment of some arrears and other outstanding commitments.

However, Mr. Speaker, you will recall that His Excellency had given a hint of
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
It has, therefore, become necessary for Government to re-adjust to ensure that these adverse developments do not undermine our macroeconomic consolidation agenda.
Mr. Speaker, the aim of this review and supplementary budget is therefore to seek Parliamentary approval to commit the required additional resources to address the inadequacy of the amount of monies approved under the 2009 Budget. In this regard, we are seeking the approval of this august House to appropriate additional resources to resolve the domestic interest costs and also to liquidate some arrears and other outstanding commitments in conformity with article 179(8) of the Constitution.
Mr. Speaker, the NDC Government inher i ted a rundown economy - [Interruptions] -- characterized by severe imbalances that resulted in a huge public debt and a ballooned overall budget deficit of 14.5 percent of GDP. The huge deficit did not include expenditure arrears and commitments which are currently estimated at about GH¢1.7 billion, equivalent to 9.7 per cent of GDP for 2008. The deficit was largely driven by lack of prudence in public spending and misplaced priorities.
Thus, the economy of Ghana at end December 2008 was not as robust and resilient as we were made to believe. The overall budget deficit including divestiture receipts would have been in the threshold of 24.2 percent of GDP if the arrears and commitments had been taken into account as referenced in paragraph 7.
Mr. Speaker, the effect of this excess expenditure was the rapid depreciation of the cedi against currencies of our major
trading partners during the first quarter of 2009. However, through the prudent management of the economy by the NDC Government - [Interruptions] -- the free fall of the cedi has been arrested. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr. Speaker, I now, therefore, humbly beg to move that this Honourable House considers this mid year review and also approve the supplementary estimates in conformity with article 179(8) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and Standing Order 143 of this House.
T h e a i m o f t h i s r e v i e w a n d supplementary budget is to:

revise our budget estimates based on current information;

inform the House about the challenges and outlook for the rest of the year; and

ask Members of this august House to consider and approve supple- mentary estimates for 2009.

Mr. Speaker, I, therefore, deem it a great honour to present to this House, the mid year review of the 2009 Budget on behalf of His Excellency, President John Evans Atta Mills and to seek your approval for supplementary appropriation of GH¢252.8 million, as I have already indicated.


Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, Order! Lets us listen to the Hon Member on the floor.
Dr. Duffour 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me talk a bit on the fiscal performance.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to now provide the highlights of the fiscal performance in the first half of the year. One of the main objectives of the 2009 Budget is to slow down the excessive spending witnessed in 2008 and bring the economy back on the path of fiscal consolidation. In this regard, the budget set an overall fiscal deficit target including divestiture receipts equivalent to 9.4 percent of GDP.
Provisional data for the first half of the year indicate that both revenue and expenditure were below their budget targets. Domestic VAT, excise and import duties were the main culprits for the negative deviation, whereas a lower external financing of debt and prudent fiscal stance of Government were used to contain the lower-than-expected inflows.
Consequently, the fiscal deficit including divestiture receipts was GH¢965.4 million, equivalent to 4.5 percent of GDP1. [Hear! Hear!] This compares with a targeted deficit of GH¢1,400.5 million, equivalent to 6.5 per cent of GDP.
Madam Speaker, the results of our budget performance for the first half of 2009 indicate that Government has been prudent in managing the country's financial resources and we are on course to achieving the fiscal objectives outlined in the 2009 budget.
RECEIPTS 11:10 a.m.

PAYMENTS 11:30 a.m.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, order! Let us listen to the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
We have also taken some initiatives which we had talked about in the budget and I will like to talk about them Mr. Speaker. These initiatives include the following.
On Education, we believe that education leads to good quality life and there, this Government believes that it is the right of every child and young person to have access to quality education for personal development and for building a prosperous country for all of us. Therefore, the Capitation
Grant as you know has increased from GH¢3.00 GH¢4.50. and we have released GH¢15.8 million for the 2008/2009 academic year.
Government has started discussions with the local textile industry towards the implementation of the free school uniform programme for basic schools in the deprived areas. As you know, this programme is expected to reduce the cost of education on parents and to increase primary school enrolment.
In fulfillment of this Government's desire, the Government has instructed that the sewing of the uniforms should be done by our own local tailors and seamstresses - [Hear! Hear!] The programme is expected to cost GH¢1.7million - [Hear! Hear!]
Mr. Speaker, an amount of GH¢13.0 million has been released for the Ghana School Feeding Programme to improve nutrition of children of school going age and to enhance enrolment.
Mr. Speaker, Government has accepted the proposal of the Anamuah-Mensah Committee Report, including the proposal that the duration of senior high school education be reduced from 4 to 3 years.
[Hear! Hear!] Government has therefore, tasked the Ministries of Education and Finance and Economic Planning to work out the technical and administrative modalities for a smooth implementation in 2010. [Hear! Hear!] The process for the reversal of the duration will begin this year with the review of the legislation on Education.

Mr. Speaker, on agriculture, the Government has provided GH¢10.7 million to support the youth who are into farming of crops, such as maize, rice, sorghum and soya beans. The regions that are to benefit from the programme include Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong- Ahafo, Ashanti, Central and Volta. The total hectares of land under cultivation is 14,000.

Mr. Speaker, Government is committed to the cause of farmers in expanding agricultural production. In this regard, an amount of GH¢10.0 million has been released to support the 50 per cent subsidy on fertilizer.

Forty-one dams are being rehabilitated in the three northern regions to support dry season farming. It is expected that farmers will take advantage of the investment that government is making, to increase food production.

In the area of fisheries, the Government is tackling the issue of premix fuel. The National Premix Committee has been reconstituted. We have established Landing Beach Committees to supervise premix fuel sales and management at the landing beaches. The supply of premix has increased and we assure our fisher-folks

that supply will be sustained.

Mr. Speaker, in line with Government's agenda to encourage commercial agriculture in mango production, the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) has approved GH¢1.1 million for eight farmer-based organizations and associations in the Northern and Upper West Regions. This will enable the associations cultivate 180 acres each of mango plantations, to be intercropped with annual crops like soyabeans, groundnuts and yams.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, under the Food Security and Emergency Preparedness Programme, is embarking on an extensive production of rice and maize in some strategic locations in the country.

To enable the Ministry implement this programme successfully, appropriate machinery and equipment for planting and harvesting will be required. An amount of GH¢3.6 million has been provisioned to support the procurement of these equipment.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report that COCOBOD has paid outstanding bonuses of GH¢21.2 million relating to the 2008/2009 cocoa season. We wish to assure our hardworking farmers that the bonus due them for the 2009/2010 cocoa season will also be paid. COCOBOD has also arranged for a US$1.2 billion syndicated loan facility which is scheduled to be signed in September 2009 with 25 banks, for cocoa purchases during the 2009/2010 cocoa season. This happens to be the largest syndicated loan ever contracted to support the cocoa industry in Ghana, since the NDC Government introduced syndicated loans for cocoa purchases in 1993. I was in London when I started it.

Madam Speaker, on the Savannah
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) preparatory work on the establishment of SADA has begun. We are doing a lot of work in this and in my main budget before the end of the year a fuller report will be given on SADA.
On the Public Financial Management (PFM) Reforms, in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, a lot of reforms have taken place. We have set what we call a treasury ceiling account as we explained in the budget. The architectural framework for the introduction this single account has been started with the Bank of Ghana and the Controller and Accountant General's Department, and it has resulted in the daily compilation of the overall cash position of Government.
Now, on daily basis, we know the cash position of Government.
The cash management system has also been set up and we as a Ministry are trying to avoid the wide fluctuations in government borrowing that can undermine the conduct of monetary policy.
On the Establishment of National Revenue Author i ty, the revenue administrator reforms have started and steering and project teams have been formed. The reforms will incorporate some aspects of E-Government/E-Ghana projects that are intended to computerize domestic tax administration procedures.
Labour Issues
Mr. Speaker, Government has successfully negotiated 2009 wage settlements with public sector workers. The roadmap for the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is being pursued to ensure that the new
salary structure is implemented in 2010.
Additionally, Government has paid the salary arrears of GH¢951,000 for June and July 2009 to Ghana Railway Corporation staff. Arrangements are far advanced to pay arrears to this corporation's retrenched staff amounting to GH¢566,204.
Public Safety
Mr. Speaker, in the 2009 budget, Government promised to improve the capacity of the security agencies to ensure personal safety and security of the citizenry. In fulfillment of this, Government has increased the supply of logistics to the security agencies and indeed this has led to a massive reduction in the crime rate.
The implementation of the 2009 Budget during the first half of the year has not been without challenges. Government is confronted with a number of issues which would have to be managed in order to meet the fiscal objectives. These challenges are in the energy, roads and transport sectors as well as the payment of huge judgment debts.
Mr. Speaker, MDAs have submitted outstanding arrears and commitments related to 2008 amounting to GH¢1.7 billion, which is far in excess of the provision of GH¢533.5 million made for the clearance of arrears and commitments in the 2009 Budget. This information was not made available by the MDAs at the time of the budget preparation. The arrears and commitments are currently being subjected to due diligence and audit to ascertain their authenticity or otherwise.
Mr. Speaker, there has been a growing concern for the number of court judgments against Government. This has resulted in
resources will be required to meet these additional payments.
Mr. Speaker, Government is determined to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 9.4 percent of GDP indicated in the 2009 Budget. In this regard, new fiscal measures on both the revenue and expenditure sides have been identified. The new measures are outlined below:
We have put up the removal of some exemptions, we expect to receive a bout 28.9 million into that. Government is of the view that more revenue can be made through the immediate elimination of these exemptions. We got you to approve the National Stabilisation Levy for us in July and we expect about GH11 million there.

Statutory Funds: As a result of the expected import Value Added Tax (VAT), it is estimated that transfers to the Ghana Education Trust Fund, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) which are directly linked to revenue performance will in total, increase by GH¢4.3 million, GH¢16.6 million and GH¢7.0 million respectively. This means more development projects in constituencies of Hon Members of Parliament.

An additional amount of about GH¢ 109.5 million has been provided under the outstanding commitments and reserve fund in the budget to cater for the liquidation of arrears and some outstanding commitments, and the creation of an escrow account for the uptake of compressed gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline.

In his first Sessional Address, His Excellency the President announced
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
that this year marks the 100th birthday anniversary of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, an illustrious founder of our nation. His Excellency the President mentioned that this anniversary would be commemorated as an African event in an appropriate and fitting manner. Arrangements are far advanced for this activity.
Expenditure Rationalisation
Non-development capital expenditure:
As a contingency measure to ensure that the budget deficit target of 9.4 percent of GDP is achieved, Government has instituted expenditure reduction measures in domestic-financed capital expenditure by GH¢45 million. This reduction will mainly affect non-developmental capital expenditures, including the purchase of official vehicles and office equipment such as furniture and air conditioners.

Mr. Speaker, you may recall that we received an amount of US$535 million from the World Bank for budget support (US$300 million), transport sector support (US$225 million), and Natural Resource and Environmental Governance Support (US$10 million). Out of the budget support which this House approved from the World Bank, we have US$300 million and we expect to have the other 150 million very soon.

As a result of the additional budget support from the World Bank, the net domestic financing of the budget has been reduced to GH¢1,032.8 million, while programme loans have increased to GH¢611.7 million.

Mr. Speaker, we successfully negotiated

a three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the tune of US$602 million for balance of payments support. This is expected to increase the foreign exchange reserves of the Bank of Ghana. The G-20 decision is to increase the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation by US$250 billion to member countries. It is expected that Ghana will receive US$ 425 million before the end of 2009 without any conditionalities. It is not a loan, it is a grant.


Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that the contagion effects of the global financial crisis pose a threat to Ghana's economy through a possible demand for our products. As a result, real economic growth may slow down a bit. We will therefore continue to maintain prudent and flexible macroeconomic policy management in order to adjust to the global crisis and achieve the growth target for the year.

It is projected that inflation will fall to 14.5 per cent by the end of the year given the ongoing fiscal consolidation, slow down in the pace of monetary expansion, increased stabilization in the value of the cedi and the expected good harvest season this year.

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Ghana has begun to accumulate significant stock of foreign exchange reserves, to provide a buffer for our balance of payments. Expected cocoa-related inflows and disbursements from our development partners will contribute to sustain the level of reserves for the rest of the year.

The liquidation of the stock of arrears and commitments that have been identified, could pose a challenge to the attainment of our fiscal objectives. We are however, determined to pursue policies

that will help to sustain aggregate demand in the economy without jeopardizing fiscal sustainability, the control of inflation, and external stability.


Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that the economic challenges that the NDC Government faced when we took over the administration of the country was to deal with the imbalances in the economy to restore macro-stability and fiscal sustainability. The 2009 Budget therefore sought to gradually adjust and conso-lidate public spending to reduce the pressures on inflation, and spending to reduce the exchange rate volatility and the balance of payments. This, we believe, was necessary to pave the way for a sustainable economic growth, job creation, and improvement in the livelihood of the citizens for a better Ghana.

Mr. Speaker, the record in the first half of the year points to significant successes in a number of areas:

we have managed to achieve the budget deficit at 4.5 per cent of the projected GDP;

the inflation pressures built up in late 2008 have reduced significantly and the rate has stabilised in recent months, and the inflation rate even started dropping in July;

the rate of depreciation of the cedi is down significantly, and there is imminent convergence of the interbank rate and forex bureau market exchange rates; We are achieving this stability.

there has been a sharp drop in the trade deficit causing the current

account to register a surplus in many years;

by end June this year, the gross which came down in March as a result of the pressure on the bonds floated in 2007, we have come up again and we have almost met the two month's imports.

we have also successfully managed to secure respective budgetary, project and balance of payments support from our development partners over the past 6 months or so and I am glad to say that -

confidence and stability in the economy is rapidly being restored due to the positive impact of the government's fiscal and macro policies being implemented.

Mr. Speaker, the continuation of the fiscal adjustment and consolidation in the second half of the year is imperative in propelling the economy onto a sustainable growth trajectory. We need to do this to ensure that we have a robust economy in place before the oil revenues are generated. With a solid macro-economic foundation, and a careful management of the expectations of the oil economy, we will succeed in laying a firm basis for accelerated and shared growth for a better Ghana.

Mr. Speaker, I hereby request the Honourable House to approve the supplementa ry es t imates o f GH¢252.790,947 in compliance with article 179 (8) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and Standing Order 143 of this House.

Mr. Speaker, the Appropriation Bill covering this Supplementary Estimates will be submitted to this august House in conformity with article 179 (9) of the
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, order! Hon Members, the Supplementary Estimate that was laid today, I order that it should be distributed
and the Estimates referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.
When the report is ready, it is laid, then the debate, taking into account all the information provided today by the Hon Minister, the debate then will be taken and therefore the Leadership, indeed, the Business Committee will tell us when that debate would take place after the completion of the report by the Finance Committee. And in so doing, I looked at

Dr. A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, earlier, I
was trying to draw our attention to matters of procedure and since you being Mr. Speaker, having talked about it, said that the motion should go on. The first one is related to Order 75(1), which I believe, in my opinion, was not adhered to. That notwithstanding, you have just said that we should wait till copies are made available to us which should have been done prior to the paper being laid. [Interruption.] Oh, wait. This is a matter of procedure. Mr. Speaker -- [Inter-ruptions.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Members, let us listen to the hon. Member on the floor.
Dr. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Hon Deputy
Majority Leader, I am happy he is doing his work. He should be happy.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Dr. A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, Standing
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon. Member, I am not asking that there should be a debate. If there should be a debate then it should be seconded before we commence a debate. If it is not seconded then there would not be. I will refer you to Standing Order 149.
“Supplementary Estimates shall be regulated by the same procedure as

is provided for in these Orders for the Budget.”

Therefore, when a motion is moved by the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning we do not take debate that day. But because this is typically for Estimates, I have looked at the matters to decide whether it should go to some other committees apart from the Finance Committee. I was privileged to have a copy of the document after it was laid.

They brought a copy to me, I have looked at it, I have looked at the Appendix and I think that this is a proper matter to refer to the Finance Committee. We are not taking the debate today, we are not seconding the motion today. When the report of the Finance Committee is laid and then the report is presented to the House, then the full debate then ensues. That is the procedure for the substantive Budget and our Standing Orders say that the same procedure shall regulate.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I believe that because you have referred us to Order 149, that sets the course for us to look at the technicalities, then what does 149 say? Mr. Speaker, 149 says, and with your permission I beg to quote:
“Supplementary Estimates shall be regulated by the same procedure as is provided for in these Orders for the Budget.”
So what are the procedures for the Budget? They are set out in Order 138 then. Mr. Speaker, with your kind indulgence I will read the 138.
“The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament at least one month before the end of the financial year, Estimates of the
Revenues and Expenditures of the Government of Ghana for the next following financial year.”
The point being canvassed, if you are
talking about technicalities, it ought to come to Parliament one month earlier. Certainly, because of the exigencies of the times it may not be possible for that to be done, which is what he reverted to, that in the circumstance, what must be done?
Mr. Speaker, you yourself alluded to
149 and that is why we are also going on that trajectory. [Interruptions.]Well, you are not the Speaker and so I can go on - [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Members, let us listen to the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Speaker, I am addressing you and certainly not him and in this matter, he does not matter, you rather matter.
Mr. Speaker, but I will go on. The
issue then relating to Papers, what is to be done then ensues. The Hon Minister laid the Paper, that is item 6, and proceeded immediately thereafter to move a motion. So we thought that we could, maybe, think through it, what it is that must be done? Do we need to stand down some relevant portions of our Standing Orders and make progress? That was the issue that my Hon Colleague, the Member for Tafo wanted to raise.
And so I thought that we should be looking at these things in greater detail and not be rushing through as he had no point at all to make.
But Mr. Speaker, Order 143, which is premised on article 179(8) of the
“Where, in respect of a financial year, it is found that the amount of moneys appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount of moneys had been appropriated by that Act, a supplementary estimate showing the sum of money required shall be laid before Parliament.”
Mr. Speaker, the motion did not even show it. Yes, the Hon Minister then came around to amend it and some people were asking how much it was. Clearly, that ought not have been done because we need to be very sure in our minds what we are doing.
Further to that, Mr. Speaker, Orders 74 and 75 provide and with your indulgence again, I will read: Order 74.
“A Paper may be presented to the House only by Mr. Speaker, the Chairman of a Committee, a Member or a Minister.”
In this case, the Hon Minister as has been done. Order 75(1).
“As soon as sufficient copies of a Paper for distribution to Members have been received in the Office of the Clerk notice of the presentation of that Paper may be placed on the Order Paper, and as soon as Mr. Speaker, announces “Papers for Presentation” the Paper shall be deemed to have been laid on the Table.”

Mr. Speaker, you just intimated that you just had a copy and to quote you “you were privileged to have been given a copy”. Mr. Speaker, this indeed is an
Alhaji A, B. Sorogho 12:45 p.m.
On a point of
order. Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my senior Colleague, I think when he was speaking and the Hon Member made comments, he said what he was discussing did not matter and that it was Mr. Speaker who mattered in that case. It is just now and I do not know how he was able to know that I was talking because those even here, nobody -- [Laughter] So Mr. Speaker, how did he know? Why did he mention my name?
Mr. Speaker, he must prove that it was Alhaji Sorogho who was speaking, and then what I did constituted something that he did not like. Mr. Speaker, he cannot just mention my name, he must withdraw and apologise because I do not understand what I have done that he must mention my name at this time, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Yes, Hon
Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, and then I would go back to Hon Minority Leader.
Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh 12:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker The Minority Leader when he was addressing the Chair, was shouting

and threatening the Chair [Interruptions] and I found that very strange. [Laughter] Because it sort of got me up immediately because I thought that it was unethical [Laughter] and against the Ghanaian tradition of reverence for all those who chair.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Speaker, you are indeed a Daniel who has come to judgement and I think a signal from is that I should ignore these interventions.
Mr. Speaker, I think these are very
germane matters that we should address and I would want to believe that copies - I do not have a copy of the presentation and I want to believe that -[Interruptions] The Hon
Majority Chief Whip is saying that it is in the process of being done. So on what basis was it laid?
Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:45 p.m.
On a point of
order Mr. Speaker, what I said was that the copies are ready, we have never distributekd these copies before they were presented, that is why after the presentation - by the time they get to their pigeonholes, they would find the copies there. When they were on this side of the House, it was the same procedure. So the copies are ready and they will get them today. It is not just the process.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Members, I think we should make some progress. I think that in making the referral, I had consulted previous practices of this House. I have taken on board the concerns of the House the last time Supplementary Estimates was moved on the floor. Indeed the last time it was moved by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, the figure and the amount were not -- and I ordered that they must make sure that the amount involved
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
That is
why it was amended before the motion. The last time, it was at the debating stage that it was amended. I have the records with me here, that was 20th July 2006. So Hon Members may consult the Hansard of 20th July, 2006.
So we tried to look at all these procedures to inform us to make sure that the proper thing is done and that was why when the Clerk's Office did not put the figure, I directed them this morning that they must get the figure to make sure that the motion is amended duly at the beginning of the procedure, so that we know the figure that is involved in the Supplementary Estimates. Hon Members I think that we are not debating this matter.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, precisely what I wanted to draw your attention to - Mr. Speaker you are the Speaker, you are the presiding officer and I believe you will resist the temptation to engage in the debate - [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader you know very well as a senior Member of this House that when the Speaker makes a ruling, he does not entertain anybody, it is out of order, it is out of respect -- [Uproar] -- it is out of respect - the greatest respect I have for you as the Hon Minority Leader of this House that I allowed to hear you so that we can improve upon our performance. Because I have respect for you, even in spite of my ruling, that is why I gave you the floor.
So I am not in anyway interfering with the debate.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was only saying that you resist the temptation but if you choose otherwise, that is your own business. However, the point must be made, that if a mistake was made earlier, you do not allow the same mistake to be repeated for it to be amended that - [Interruptions] Well the wild gestures dd not find expression in the Hansard, so I will ignore him. [Laughter]
Mr. Speaker, so that is all that I was making and of course, the issue being raised by the Majority Chief Whip that “last year, when you were on this side, you did the same thing,” it is neither here nor there. Mr. Speaker, the rules are very clear and if you offend them and we have to move on and further correct whatever I think that is the best way to move the business of this Parliament forward. But to say that these things were done last year or the year before so we have not done
anything wrong, to me, is rather absurd to say the least.
Mr. Bagbin 12:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, my friend, the Minority Leader is a very interesting partner. He is fully aware that Mr. Speaker, together with Leadership went through the whole Standing Orders, the practice, the experience of this House from 2001 when the first mid year budget review was presented to this House, the debates that ensued as to the processes and procedures up to even the 2006 and then we identified that, in 2006, we got this amendment included on the details and I think that was what was corrected when we realized on the Order Paper that the amount was not included.
That was corrected, we did that together with the Clerks-at-Table so what he is you are recounting, I think that we have gone through together and in fact this morning's meeting with the Speaker, we firmed this position up and that was what happened.
Again I just want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that the Standing Orders that were referred to, the one dealing with Papers, is Part 11 of our Standing Orders. Now, when you are dealing with the Supplementary Budget, it is not a Paper, the Supplementary Budget comes under Part 19, which deals with Financial Procedure, [Hear. Hear.] That is it, the Supplementary Budget is not a Paper - he raised the issue of laying of Papers. The laying of a Budget or supplementary budget is governed by Part 19 - Financial Procedure.
Mr. Speaker, the right thing has been done, this is not the first time a Budget has been presented, this is not the first time a Supplementary Budget has been presented, the proper thing is for it to be presented and copies distributed to Members. So immediately it was laid here, we instructed that copies be distributed
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, it is 1.00 o'clock.
Mr. Bagbin 12:45 p.m.
May I now at this time -- [Interruptions]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I am not in the mood to rule whether it is a Paper or not, so kindly move your motion.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 12:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am proceeding to move that in view - [Interruption]
Mr. Bagbin 12:45 p.m.
My uncle - [Inter- ruptions] I am proceeding to move that this House do now adjourn till tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. where we shall reconvene to continue with the business of the House.
I beg to move.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Speaker, in seconding the motion, I believe this House must purge itself of the affliction of the Majority Leader by this huhudious understanding of the Standing Orders. Mr. Speaker, you will be called to rule on it at the appropriate time, I second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:45 p.m.