Debates of 18 Nov 2010

PRAYERS 10:35 a.m.


Mr William O. Boafo 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
page 7, paragraph 9 (iii), on the presentation of Bills. I notice that there is missing the reference to the year, unlike the preceding Bills. We have the “Medical Training and Research Bill, 2010”, “Mental Health Bill, 2010” but the “Traditional and Alternative Medicine Bill”; there is no year indication.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:35 a.m.
You are
right. The Table Office should take note.
Page 8 … 13 --
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Page 14

Hon Members , the Votes and

Proceedings of Wednesday, 17 th November, 2010 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, we also have the

Official Report of Friday, 12th November,


Hon Members, in the absence of any

corrections, the Official Report of Friday, 12th November, 2010 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
ORAL ANSWERS TO 10:45 a.m.

QUESTIONS 10:45 a.m.



Minister for Employment and Social Welfare (Mr Enoch T. Mensah) 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715) was passed in 2006.
Section 6 calls for access to public
places -- that the owner or occupier of a place to which the public has access shall provide appropriate facilities that make the place accessible to and available for use by a person with disability.
Section 7 calls for access to public
services -- where a person who provides any service to the public shall put in place, the necessary facilities that make
the service available and accessible to a person with disability.
In addition to the above provisions, section 60 of the Act stipulates that the owner or occupier of an existing building to which the public has access shall within ten years of the commencement of the Act make the building accessible to and available for use by persons with disability.
Though the Act was passed in 2006, it was not until the NDC Government took office in 2009 that the structures of the National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD) (the statutory body mandated to ensure that the provisions of Act 715 are carried out) were formally put in place. Accessibility to public buildings and facilities by persons with disability is a high priority for the Council as stated below:
1. Monitoring and enforcing the relevant sections of the Act --
The following activities are planned for the year 2011:
a. sensitization activities to ensure that owners of public facilities take steps to comply with the provisions in the Disability Act on making their facilities accessible to persons with disability (PWDs);
b. hold meetings with Metropolitan, M u n i c i p a l a n d D i s t r i c t Assembl ies (MMDAs) to facilitate compliance; and
c. monitor compliance with the law
2. Initiate and develop a national minimum standard of accessibility
Within the next three years (2011 to
2013), the following activities will be undertaken to achieve this objective:
a. c o m m i s s i o n a s t u d y o n national minimum standard of
b. disseminate draft report to stakeholders for feedback;
c. launch the minimum standards of accessibility;
d. circulate the standards to all relevant stakeholders (MDAs, MMDAs, OPWDs, Institute of Engineers, Architects, et cetera);
e. ho ld med ia b r i e f ing to disseminate the standards;
f. do quarterly monitoring to ensure enforcement of the standards; and
g. initiate appropriate measures/ action to ensure compliance.
Mr Sarfo-Mensah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Minister's Answer, paragraph 5, the last part and with your permission, I read:
“Though the Act was passed in 2006, it was not until the NDC Government took office in 2009 that the structures of the National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPD) (the statutory body mandated to ensure that the provisions of Act 715 are carried out) were formally put in place. Accessibility to public buildings and facilities by persons with disability is a high priority for the Council...”
Is the Hon Minister aware that the Council was constituted, chaired by Prof. Gyimah- Boadi of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and that several meetings were held and that a work plan was even put in place and that the current Government only reconstituted the Council and that it is not factually correct that nothing was done at all? Is he aware that there were working papers and everything going on?
Mr Mensah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is true that there was a Council that was chaired by Prof Gyimah-Boadi but -- [Interruptions.] But what I said was that they did not roll out plans and programmes for the implementation of --[Interruptions.]
Mr Sarfo-Mensah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am happy that the Hon Minister has conceded that the Council was in place. The issue is not about existing structures but the new ones which have been coming out since the Act was passed in 2006, nothing is being done about those ones. I would like to ask him what pragmatic steps he is going to take immediately to ensure that new ones which are coming up from today will take into consideration this important requirement of the Act.
Mr Mensah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when you
have a Council and you roll out structures and programmes, they are enforced within a certain period. I have said that in the coming year 2011, we are going to engage the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). They have the basic responsibility of approving building plans and we are going to let them understand that it will be necessary for them to factor into their programmes, in addition to whatever development plans are given to them, provision for persons with disability. That is one of the steps that are going to be taken as part of the structures that have been rolled out now.
I thank you.
Mr Sarfo-Mensah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Parliament which passed this Act for persons with disability -- As we speak now, this structure is not very accessible to persons with disability. I would like to know from the Hon Minister what he is doing to ensure -- What interaction is
he having with the Parliamentary Service Board and Leadership to ensure that this structure is very friendly to persons with disability, come next year?
Mr Mensah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker. --
[Interruptions] -- Will the Hon Member who asked the question, please, lend me his ears.
Mr Speaker , three years on, we have not done anything about this thing but what I am trying to say is that, I am sure that he has seen the new building -- [Interruptions.] He has seen the new building; there is provision for persons with disability out there and this Parliament has always had something --
When we used to have a Member of Parliament who was physically challenged, there was a lift that he used all the time and he was always here. So, at least, Parliament, before the law was passed, had made some provision.
Thank you very much.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I
want to find out from the Hon Minister, is it not the case that a time frame was given in the law to make buildings compliant to this Act.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:45 a.m.
He has
indicated that in his Answer. I will allow you to -
Mrs Akosua F. Osei-Opare 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will like to know from the Hon Minister whether he will agree with me - [Interruptions] - that the Ministry, which he is the head shows an example of accessibility, an example that the Social Welfare Department and the Council could have used to accelerate implementation of this provision in the Act since 2009.
Mr Mensah 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is heart- warming that this question is coming from
Mr Mensah 10:55 a.m.

somebody who used to be at that Ministry. She is aware that implementation of programmes and plans goes beyond just wishes. Yes, the persons with disability brought pressure to bear on the Ministry and they provided something out there. But as an example, what we need is resources and we think that it does not even fall within our top mandate;our mandate is to sensitise.

So in my Answer, I said, “in the coming year, we are going to sensitise the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies -” That is why building plans are approved. They should not approve any plan based on the laws that we have within the next ten years, which does not make provision for persons with disability. So that is what we have to do and we will carry out part of the bargain by sensitizing these MMDAS.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I intend taking two more questions, one from each side.
Mr Alfred W. G. Abayateye 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon Minister, the law which was passed, it made provision for three years for public offices which are already in existence to be converted -- Five years are gone. If one gets to the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, one sees the disability ramp but in other Ministries because -- I want to find out from the Hon Minister whether the Ministries are waiting for the last year before they do it or what is being done.
Mr Mensah 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, again, the Hon Member's question is a clarion call to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies that they must take a cue from the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and make the provision before the ten years lapse.
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Minister's Answer, he said that in 2009 the Council was put in place. I want to find
out since the Council was in operation, what have they done - because he said there are plans till 2011 but from 2009 till now, what have they done?
Mr Mensah 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Council has put together the structures -- the structures that we are talking about were put together by the Council - [Interruptions] - The Council has also prepared a draft document with respect to persons with disability, which has gone through Cabinet and it has been approved in accordance with the ILO Convention. So they have been doing a lot of work since they were put in place.
New Public SectorPay Policy
Q. 662. Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu
(on behalf of Mr Richard A. Adiyia) asked the Minister for Employment and Social Welfare the status of preparation towards implementing of the new public sector pay policy, that is, the Single Spine Salary Structure.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Miniter, are you going to read the whole Answer?
Mr Enoch T. Mensah 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Answer to the Question that has been posed is not one that you answer with just a single page. The reason is, anytime we meet people, they ask questions; there are many people who have migrated onto the structure who do not understand it. So based on the questions and the concerns that we have heard over the years, we thought that using this platform, we have to deal with all the issues as far as the Single Spine Salary Policy is concerned.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Very well, go ahead.
Mr Mensah 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
Mr Mensah 11:05 a.m.

1.1 -- The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) is a Public Service institution established under the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission Act, 2007 (Act 737). The mandate of the Commission is:

to ensure fair, transparent and systematic implementation of Government public service pay policy;

to develop and advise Government on and ensure that decisions are implemented on matters related to:

i. salaries, wages, grading and classification;

ii. job analysis and job evaluation;

iii. performance management and indicators;

iv. allowances and benefits in the Public Service with the ultimate objective of consolidation of allowances and benefits; and

v. to undertake negotiations where compensation is financed from public funds.

1.2 The Government public service pay policy now in operation, effective January, 2010, is the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) with the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) being its major component.

1.3 The ultimate goal of this pay policy is to ensure equity, fairness and transparency in Public Service Salary Administration, as well as to enhance performance and productivity.

1.4 The objectives, concerns and challenges in public service pay administration are to be addressed


placing all Public Service employees on one vertical salary structure;

ensuring that jobs within the same job value range are paid within the same pay range (that is “equal pay for work of equal worth'');

making i t poss ib le fo r the Government to manage the wage bill more efficiently;

ensuring compliance and ease of monitoring the pay structures of self-accounting institutions;

ensuring fairness and transparency in pay administration to minimize industrial-relation tensions related to low pay and distortions across the Public Services;

linking pay to productivity; and

gradually bridging the salary gap between the private sector and the public sector.

2.1 Addressing Technical Issues and Challenges as required by the Government White Paper on the Single Spine Pay Policy

Government issued a White Paper on 26th November, 2009 adopting the Single Spine Pay Policy as the new pay policy. In response to the requirements of the White Paper, the first six months of the year 2010 was devoted to addressing technical issues and challenges relating to the implementation of the policy.

2.2 Establishment of Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC)

A Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) comprising representatives of Government and Organised Labour, associations and institutions had been established. The Committee had successfully concluded negotiations to determine the Base Pay and Pay Point Relativity on the Single Spine Salary Structure. The FWSC and the Committee successfully negotiated a 10 per cent across-the-board salary increase for all public sector employees effective January, 2010.

2.2.1 Based on the conclusions of the PSJSNC, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has developed a Single Spine Salary Structure. This structure has a base pay of GH¢1,108.08 per annum and a pay point relativity of 1.7 per cent for 2010.

The PSJSNC has, therefore, become an important tool for consensus building and transparency in pay administration.

2 . 3 D e v e l o p m e n t o f Conversion Criteria and Formula for Placement on the
SSPP 11:05 a.m.

SSSS 11:15 a.m.

Mr Agyeman-Manu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, this is Question time; you are out of order.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in that vein, I would also request that you allow my long supplementary questions to match the long Answer.
Mr Speaker, the first supplementary question. The Hon Minister has taken good time to educate us on all the processes and all the issues involved with the SSSS but what he has refused to do as background, is to tell us between the establishment of the Fair Wages Commission at the time the White Paper was actually signed -- Whatever happened there, he has refused to tell us that. Would he be very honest to this House to tell us what processes went on and what activities were undertaken prior to the issue of the White Paper?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, that is not strictly a supplementary question but I would let - Because of the nature of his Answer, I will ask him to respond.
Mr Mensah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that we took time and gave him this detailed Answer because there are certain technicalities. If I should put the question, you would read and see “premium”. What is the “premium”? That is why we tried to explain all these things.
But to come to his specific question, the law was passed in 2007 and the White
Paper - [Interruption] - by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government; yes. [Hear! Hear!]
But in 2007 -- It was initiated by the Government and passed by this Parliament but it took two years and the White Paper had not come out, so the new Government, determined to follow and continue good policies, decided to bring it on board and studied and passed the White Paper in November, 2009. As soon as the White Paper was passed, we set to work and that is where we are today. So that is what it is.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon Minister for his honesty, admitting that this process was started during the Kufuor Administration. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, my second supplementary question - In the Hon Minister's Answer, he has listed institutions that have been migrated to the SSPS. I want to find out from him what criterion was used in selecting those institutions such that teachers and health workers in our country have been left out in the initial implementation stages.
Mr Mensah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me set the record straight. The law was passed by the NPP but the process was not commenced until the White Paper was rolled out and then the process of migration started.
What criterion do we use? It has all been explained. The criterion is that, all the organizations are trained. So far, the Fair Wages Commission has trained 80 staff from the various organizations and they are to do their job evaluation; they are to do the mapping. The mapping is what I explained and it is in the Answer.

When you finish the mapping, then, you go to FWSC and then FWSC would discuss the details with you; if you are satisfied, then FWSC informs the Hon
Mr Mensah 11:25 a.m.

Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, then you migrate onto the Single Spine Pay Structure (SSPS). So far, they have trained 80 organizations and only 24 have migrated. The 24 were the ones finished with the work and in the challenges, which I skipped but which you have the Answer.

Some organizations think that they have some hidden allowances that they do not want to bring out; the reason for succeeding in hiding their allowances was that, they were paying their allowances from their internally generated fund (IGF) which was illegal and so they are afraid that these things would be exposed.

We have had meetings with them. Only yesterday, we met with all the organizations; we have decided that we are going to expose them. The workers who came did not know that all these months, their leadership have not submitted their mappings, even though they have gone through the training. So they are going to move a team to another level and we said we would meet all the workers and the leadership to let them know what is happening; so the criterion is simple and straightforward.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, your last supplementary question.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's Answer, he has showed some issues that have been addressed; he talked about the labour market survey that is being undertaken currently to determine the payment of market premium. He is talking about development of public service pay policy which is in progress; it is not completed. Mr Speaker, these are a few that I can mention immediately, given an indication that preparations towards implementation
of the SSPS is not complete and he has even also reiterated it in his last submission he made to my last question.
he said again that no worker would be made worse off when they have paid the Ghana Police Service
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, you have addressed the House enough, so pose your question.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, vis-a-vis I am asking my question. All I am asking is that, when you pay some workers and you have not paid others, does that mean that no worker will be worse off? Again, the Hon Minister should tell us when teachers and other workers are going to be migrated onto the SSPS.
Mr Mensah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when your mother cooks food and the food is ready and you are asked to go and clean your plate and come for your portion, if you do not bring your plate, you will not be served.
Mr Speaker, the Government of Ghana knows how much it is going to cost through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to meet the demands of the SSPS. That is why it committed itself and we are endeavouring to make sure that by December we have migrated everybody. I have told the Hon Member in my Answer that people are hiding certain things, that is why they are not bringing them. We have come to terms with that and we are going to deal with that issue.
So the issue of market premium, we are not the first country which is rolling out SSPS; we are learning from other people. So while we are migrating other people
onto the SSPS, there are other things which will come out after the migration market premium.
What do we mean by market premium? For instance, we have doctors who do not want to go outside the cities because of lack of incentives and other things. There are also those who sacrifice to go to the rural areas and we have to pay them something extra. We also want to look at doctor's pay, even in the cities vis-a- vis the income of doctor's in the private sector. In order to retain the doctors, you raise their income, that is the premium; you put premium on the pay, so you can retain them.
In the Civil Service, we have similar problems, where you have Chartered Accountants within the Civil Service structure who get better pay as compared with Accountants outside. If you want to maintain their services, you have to give them a little more. You put premium on their incomes. These are studies based on other people's experiences but that does not stop us from moving on. We are ready to migrate as and when -- If 50 people bring their mapping today, FWSC is ready to work and they will let them migrate unto the SSPS.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, it is just a very simple question.
Firstly, let me thank the Hon Minister for giving a very exhaustive and extensive Answer to the Question that was asked. On page 11, he talked about agreement on payment of arrears. Would the Hon Minister be kind enough to tell this august House the quantum of arrears involved here?
Mr Mensah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I need notice for this detail. [Laughter.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, I will take two more questions on this matter.
Mr C. S. Hodogbey 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister in his Answer, stated that
some of the public sectors have migrated onto the SSPS and others are waiting anxiously to be migrated. My simple question is, what is the cut-off date to migrate everybody onto the SSPS?
Mr Mensah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the FWSC is rather waiting anxiously for the 80 who have been trained to bring their mapping so that we will migrate them onto the SSPS. That is because we decided that we were going to finish by December but it did not work out. Yesterday, we met all the stakeholders and they were to come out with a new cut-off date.
Now, we have decided that - one of the problems, for example, is, those who have brought their mappings, the number of people who are to be paid are less than what they have brought. So we are saying that we will pay the people now. Earlier, we said they should go and reconcile but we have decided to pay them. We suspect that these might be ghost workers, so they will migrate the names that we have onto the Spine and the others; if they are not ghosts, they will come.
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my question is POTAG-related; if you go to page 11 of the Answer, bullet 12 states that:

Mr Speaker, time is not on our side, but if you read the rest, it says that

“. . . opening of negotiations on collective bargaining agreements and conditions of service”

would follow the process which has been lined up earlier.
Mr Mensah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I said, we
talked about a joint negotiation committee that was put in place, with the Secretary- General of the TUC as the leader. POTAG has been represented all through the meetings that we have had. There was a decision that all of them -- we have 202 unions with 302 bargaining certificates and if we want to engage all of them, there was no way we would ever roll out the SSPS.
So the framers of the law were quite clear that when we come across such a problem, we need to have a joint team to negotiate. So all of them have had the understanding that no other organizations will go and ask for negotiations alone or with their leaders.
In the past, these organizations were negotiating with their chief executives. Now, Government has, in the 2007 law, placed that under the purview of the FWSC . This is not yes or no answer. So POTAG decided that they would go their own way, and when we started with those who were part of the meetings, did not even support what was going on. We have come a long way; we have been having discussions with them and yesterday when we met, they were at the meeting and they understand that - we were warned by the other unions -

One out of 302 unions, if you engage them in any negotiations, they would all coil into their shells and come and negotiate with Government individually and you can see the chaos that would arise. But there was understanding --

Part of them are also part of the allowances that they approved through internally generated funds (IGFs) which are being disbursed without approval. We know that when you collect money in the name of Government, it goes first into the Consolidated Fund, and accessing it is through the Financial Administration Regulations. If you do anything other than that, it is not right. So that is the true situation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time.

Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business - Item number 5 on the Order Paper - Presentation of Papers by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, following the official function that the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is having this morning in this august House, I will humbly crave your indulgence and my Hon Colleagues to permit the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing to lay the Paper on his behalf. The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning would soon be in the Chamber.
Mr Ambrose P. Dery 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that we are minded to get this job done with, especially as it relates to cocoa and we do not want to delay it. But I thought that this was also official business; that is why I do not get the differentiation
the Hon Leader has made. But having said that, I think we agree that he should go on and lay it.
PAPERS 11:35 a.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Item 5(b), Hon Majority Leader, what is the status now?
Mr Avoka 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am informed by the Chairman of the Committee that the Paper can be laid now and the document distributed to Hon Members subsequently.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Did the Committee meet to consider the petition which I referred to them yesterday? The Committee met? Very well. By the Chairman of the Committee.
Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy on the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, 2010.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Item number 6 - Motion? [Pause.]
Mr Dery 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you called Motion number 5 and there has been
indefinite silence. We thought they were going to tell us that Motion number 6, the Minister is coming or something -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
I agree with you; he should have informed the House before - Item number 6 on the Order Paper - Motion -- Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Avoka 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is my singular honour and pleasure to inform you and Hon Members of this august House that the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor is in the Chamber now to present the Budget Statement of the Government, 2011 for and on behalf of His Excellency the President, Prof. J. E. A. Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect to the Hon Majority Leader, this House is governed by rules, our Standing Orders. What he has got up to do now is very alien to this House. [Uproar!]
Mr Avoka 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what I have just said or done is consistent with the practice of this House. I refer you, Mr Speaker, to the Official Hansard of last year when the Budget was read. My very good Friend and predecessor, Hon Alban Bagbin announced the presence of the then Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning who happens to be the same person, to this august House.
Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, let us not belabour -
Mr Avoka 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, let us not - nobody is doubting what you are saying but we should not belabour this point. What I can say, speaking for myself is that, on Budget days, we witness all kinds of strange things on the floor - [Hear! Hear!] At times, it is the wiping of the Hon Finance Minister's face by the Ladies of this House - [Laughter.]
So Hon Members, let us move straight to Business and call on the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to move the Motion standing in his name.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, while we await the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, may I intimate that the Official Report of this House is the Hansard; we recognize that. There is nothing called “Official Hansard” -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members - Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, kindly move the Motion standing in your name.
MOTIONS 11:45 a.m.

Minister for Finance and Economic Planning (Dr Kwabena Duffuor) 11:45 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this august House approves the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the
Government for the year ending 31st December 2001 - [Interruptions] - 2011.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, there is a Motion standing in your name on the Order Paper, item number 6 on the Order Paper.
Hon Minister, that is the Motion that is on the Order Paper but nothing prevents you if you want to amend that Motion; nothing prevents you. But if you want to do so, you must inform the House.
Dr Duffuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2011 -- [Interruption] - Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this august House approves the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December 2011. [Interruptions.]
Dr Duffuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in accordance with article 179 -
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 11:45 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, we heard the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning move a Motion and our expectation was that he was going to support that Motion with the Statement. But then he continued to move a second Motion - [Interruptions] - which was different from the original Motion that he moved.
The Hon Minister should be very clear to this House which Motion he intends to move and move that single Motion. Because on the Order Paper today, he has space only to move one single Motion, so he should not confuse this House by moving these two different Motions.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning -
Dr Duffuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution, I have the singular honour and privilege to stand before this august House and the people of Ghana to present the 2011 Budget Statement and Economic Policy on behalf of the President, His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills - [Hear! Hear!]
3. Mr Speaker, this presentation is an abridged version of the Budget Statement. I would like to request the Hansard Department therefore, to capture the entire Budget Statement and Economic Policy tabled and circulated for your information and action.
4. Mr Speaker, on 18th November 2009, I presented to this House, the second Budget Statement of the NDC Government. The Budget was based on Government's vision of a “Better Ghana” in which growth - economic, prosperity are anchored on creating opportunities for improved standard of living for all Ghanaians.
Our “Better Ghana” agenda is to be achieved through the implementation of sound and prudent economic policies intended to ensure continuous stability and to stimulate growth within an environment of good governance.
6. Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report that two years on, despite the challenges, we have made significant progress. [Hear! Hear!] The economy has shown strong resilience and stability, as indicated by all the key macroeconomic indicators as follows:
Mr Speaker, GDP growth of 4.1
per cent in 2009 compared to the sub-Saharan Africa growth of 2.0 per cent.
The f i s ca l de f i c i t r educed significantly from 14.5 per cent of GDP on cash basis at the end of 2008 to 9.7 per cent of GDP in 2009.
Inflation has trended downwards in sixteen (16) consecutive months from 20.74 per cent at the end June 2009 to reach 9.38 per cent in October, 2010, the lowest in the last two decades.
Gross international reserves of US$3,973.0 million at the end of October, 2010 has exceeded three months of import cover compared with reserves of US$2,036.2 million at the end of December, 2008 which could barely cover 2 months of import.
The cedi has strengthened and appreciated by 0.1 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 5.4 per cent against the US dollar, the pound sterling and the euro respectively.
Mr Speaker, the interim growth figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service clearly show that we have been able to return the economy to a path of sustainable growth.
8. The oil and gas production which will be on stream very soon will further consolidate this effort and ensure accelerated growth. The careful and rigorous rebasing of our national income has revealed that the size of the economy has become bigger.
9. Mr Speaker, with the progress
made so far, I can confidently state that we are ready to make the transition from stability to accelerated growth.
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10. We should all note with satisfaction that, as a result of our collective effort towards good governance since the inception of the Fourth Republic, our dear nation Ghana has now joined the league of middle income countries. Indeed, when we met our development partners in Accra in September this year, they reaffirmed their faith in Ghana and in its policies and prospects. With their support and more importantly, through our own efforts, we will forge ahead with the challenge to ensure an accelerated growth and development as well as fair and equitable income distribution.

11. Mr Speaker, our medium-term development framework, the “Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda” (GSGDA) 2010-2013, has been completed and will be presented to this august House before the end of this year.

12. Mr Speaker, we believe that it is the duty of Government to ensure equity and fairness in salary administration and reward Ghanaian workers for their commitment to our economic growth and development. This Budget demonstrates our commitment to do just that. And in order to fully meet the challenge of a comprehensive administration of the Single Spine Salary Structure, we have focused on improved efficiency in revenue management.

13. Mr Speaker, the year 2011 marks the beginning of Ghana's oil and gas production in commercial quantities. A major challenge will be how the oil revenues will be used to transform the economy and accelerate growth without sacrificing macroeconomic stability and accentuating income inequalities.

14. Mr Speaker, based on experiences

from other oil and gas producing countries, Government is taking steps to manage the oil and gas revenues in a manner. Our goal is to ensure that the building blocks for accelerated growth and development, namely, social, economic and physical infrastructure are appropriately improved. It is in this context that we recently presented to Parliament, the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill.

15.The theme for the 2011 Budget: “Stimulating Growth for Development and Job Creation”, has been chosen to focus attention on the need to propel the economy onto a higher growth and development trajectory.

16. Mr Speaker, the 2011 Budget will focus on major growth-oriented programmes and projects that would improve and sustain Ghana's middle income status. To this end, there will be significant investments in the areas of energy, road and rail transport to facilitate private sector expansion for employment generation. These growth-driven investments will be complemented by social intervention programmes in line with the core values of the NDC in providing equality of opportunities and improvements in the social development of our people. All the social intervention programmes in the health and education sectors will continue to be funded.

17. Mr Speaker, Government will harness and use effectively available resources from both domestic and foreign sources all to deliver on our pledge of a “Better Ghana”. Government will continue with its prudent fiscal and monetary policies to sustain the macroeconomic stability for improved private sector growth, which we believe, will stimulate employment and improve the quality of life for Ghanaians.

18. Mr Speaker, in this presentation of
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inflation has declined from an average of 15.8 per cent in 2009 to 5.6 per cent in October this year. Over the same period, non-food inflation dropped from an average of 21.8 per cent to 11.8 per cent. The appreciation of the cedi has also contributed significantly in lowering inflation in the country.
45. Mr Speaker, the steady decline in the inflation rate provides concrete evidence of an economy that is recovering from the deep crisis it found itself at the end of 2008.
46. Mr Speaker, the general downward trend in interest rates which began in June 2009 is continuing. The Central Bank policy rate has fallen steadily over the period, reaching 13.5 per cent in July, 2010. Al short -term interest rates on the money markets have also fallen in the last 10 months of the year. Commercial banks, however, have been less responsive to the general fall in interest rates and the inflation rate, citing high risks associated with lending to small and medium -size businesses as the major cause of their inability to reduce their lending rates.
47. Mr Speaker, the performance of the external sector of the economy in fiscal year 2010 has been very remarkable. For the first time in many years, the balance of payments registered a surplus of over US$100 million in the first nine months of this year, and the projected surplus for the fiscal year is US$315 million.
48. Mr Speaker, the stock of gross foreign reserves of the country increased to US$3, 973 million in October, 2010 from US$3, 165 at the end of December, 2009. This shows that the NDC Government has increased the country's cover of imports of goods and services from 1.8 months in 2008 to 2.4 months in 2009, and to 3.2
months in 2010.
Major achievements in fisal year 2010
49. Mr Speaker, in the 2010


175 classroom blocks were completed across the country to replace schools under trees, and contracts for 165 new schools were awarded. Work is in progress to construct additional 214 six-unit classroom blocks for senior high schools.

The three northern regions benefitted from 67 classroom blocks with sanitary facilities for kindergarten, primary and junior high schools under the Northern Floods Programme.

GH¢4.9 million was spent to subsidize the cost of conducting Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

GH¢23.8 million was paid as capitation grant to pupils in all public basic schools.

GH¢50 million was spent by government to support the School Feeding Programme under which 670,000 pupils benefitted.


51. Mr Speaker, in pursuit of the NDC Government's commitment to equitable healthcare for all the foll owing key projects were completed in the health sector in the fiscal year 2010:-

45 Based Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) zones were created -- [Some Hon Members Where?];

600,000 Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits for the confirmation of malaria cases were supplied;

The 100-bed hospital with Malaria Research Centre at Teshie, Accra was completed; 5 polyclinics in the Northern Region (one each at Kpandai, Tatale, Kanga, Chereponi and Karaga); and 21 health centres were completed;

140 trainers of trainers were exposed to the use of the new World Health Organization Growth Chart.

5 new midwifery training colleges were established to run courses in


52. Mr Speaker, food security and good nutritional health forms part of the NDC Government s agricultural policy. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture scaled up its efforts to enhance food security and reduce income variability of farmers during the review period. The following interventions were made during the year.

The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) was established during the year and the company purchased and stored 6,949 metric tonnes of rice and 416 metric tons of maize.

2,584 livestock of various improved species were supplied to farmers in 6 regions. In addition, 35,000 cockerels were supplied to 1,750 farmers in 25 districts.

The construction of cold stores in 6 fishing communities (Nyanyanor, Koromantse, Apam, Half-Assini, Shama and Sekondi) commenced during the year. This was in addition to about 11.1 hectares of ponds and 192 fishing cages that were constructed.

53. The fol lowing agr icul ture interventions were undertaken under the agricultural commercialization project, as part of the Mil- lennium Development Authority programmes:

47,000 farmers in 940 farmer
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National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy
126. Mr Speaker, the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (NFSL) was introduced in the second half of 2009 to last for 18 months. In lieu of bringing in additional Profit Tax, Government proposes to extend the NFSL for an additional year.
Institutions with tax-free status
127. Mr Speaker, some institutions enjoy tax-free status because of the original non-profit motive that established them. However, in recent times, some of these institutions have expanded their scope of operation to include commercial activities, thereby making substantive profits but not paying taxes on them. Mr Speaker, Government will amend the law to allow the Commissioner-General to tax all commercial activities undertaken by the affected institutions.
Personal Income Tax
128. Mr Speaker, personal income taxation will continue to be used as a major tool for equitable distribution of income and for the protection of low income earners. To this end, Government will revise the income tax threshold and bracket in fiscal year 2011. The revision will also take into account the inflationary impact on wages and salaries. The following tax bands and rates are proposed:
for the first GH¢1,140 of income, the tax is free;
for the next GH¢360, the tax rate is 5 per cent;
for the next GH¢840, the tax rate is 10 per cent;

for the next GH¢17,976, the tax rate is 17.5 per cent; and

for income exceeding GH¢20,280, the tax rate is 25 per cent.

129. Mr Speaker, while the changes in the exempt income tax band and brackets are beneficial to all income earners, they do not address adequately the social burden of families with children, dependent spouses and dependent relatives. Since 2007, the rates of personal reliefs have remained the same. This discourages taxpayers to file their returns and benefit from the reliefs:

Mr Speaker, significant improvements have been made in the reliefs for the 2011 year of assessment:

for marriage/dependant respon- sibility, the new rate is 100 currency points;

for old age, the new rate is 100 currency points;

for child education, the new rate is 100 currency points up to 3 children;

for aged dependant relative, the new rate is 50 currency points; and

for training cost, the new relief is 200 currency points; and

personal relief for the disabled remains at 25 per cent of the taxable income.

I encourage and urge taxpayers to file their returns and get the requisite credit.

Energy Saving Lamps

130. Under the present tariff code, energy saving compact fluorescent lamps are exempt from all taxes. In furtherance of

promoting energy savings and reduction of power consumption, light emitting diode (LED) lamps are being added to the exemption list. Local companies producing energy saving bulbs will have the same treatment for their primary raw materials.

Airport Tax

131. Mr Speaker, the Government proposes to increase Airport Tax from US$75 to US$100, US$150 and US$200 for economy, business and first class passengers respectively for international travel; US$50 to US$60 for regional travel and GH¢1 to GH¢5 for domestic travel.

TOR Debt Recovery Levy

132. Mr Speaker, in 2003, a Debt Recovery Fund was established to finance Tema Oil Refinery's (TOR's) accumulated debt resulting from under- recoveries. A debt recovery levy was imposed on specified petroleum products. The debt burden on TOR, however, remains high and threatens the financial viability of the country's banking system. The Government is, therefore, proposing an upward adjustment of the current debt recovery levy to retire the TOR debt and reduce its negative effect on the banking system. Consequently, we propose to increase the TOR debt recovery levy on premium and gas oil in the petroleum price build-up formula from GH¢0.02 to GH¢0.08 per litre.

Exemptions and Permits

133. Mr Speaker, to address revenue leakages through exemptions, government is developing clear criteria for evaluating parliamentary permits, waivers and granting exemptions with clear sunset clauses. These include exclusion of personal exemptions beyond what the law permits and all import duty exemptions.

134. Mr Speaker, in tabling the Budget, I announced that all NGOs and charitable organizations must re-apply for tax exempt status on periodic basis with their audited financial statements and a certified record of their activities by the appropriate sector Ministry. We want to reiterate Government's intent to enforce this policy.

135. Mr Speaker, in the 2010 Budget Statement, I alluded to the fact that granting special permits to personnel of health and teaching services on the vehicle imports was for a temporary period. To ensure fairness and equity to all taxpayers, both in the public and private sectors, this special permit is abolished across board in fiscal year 2011.

Bonded Warehousing

136. Mr Speaker, another area of revenue leakages is the bonded warehousing arrangement. Our warehousing and transit regimes allow importers of finished products, including consumables, to warehouse them for up to two years before payment of assessed taxes. This practice is not consistent with bonded warehousing as temporary customs regime, and imposes cost on the treasury. The system amounts to Government providing interest-free loans to this group of importers. Beginning in fiscal year 2011, the bonded warehousing facility will be restricted to only raw materials for manufacturing as originally intended.

Property Rates

137. Mr Speaker, in many economies, property taxes contribute substantially to revenue mobilization. In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, property taxes average 3 per cent of the GDP 0.7 per cent for developing and transition countries. However, in Ghana, property taxes make up only 0.03 per cent
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151. Mr Speaker, the 2011 Budget will ensure significant investment in the areas of agriculture, rail transport, roads and highways, energy and housing in pursuit of government's growth strategy. This will be complemented by investment in the social sector to improve on the living standards of Ghanaians in general and the poor in particular. Specifically, there will be major interventions in the education, health and water sectors. These Ministries will be provided with adequate domestic and foreign resources to implement the growth oriented programmes for job creation as

indicated in Table 1:

Table 1: Allocation for Growth Oriented Programmes

152. Mr Speaker, as a commitment to these priory areas, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has been allocated GH ¢221.6 million for major interventions in food security, agriculture modernization and productivity. The energy, water resources, works and housing will receive GH¢ 405.5 million and GH¢558.6 million respectively for electrification, housing, potable water and other critical areas to accelerate growth. The roads, highway

and transport have been allocated GH¢354.1 million for road construction in various parts of the country. Under the social sector infrastructure, education and health have both been allocated an amount of GH¢ 2.9 billion.

153. In addition, Mr Speaker, the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) projects in the areas of agriculture, transportation and rural development programmes under an integrated agricultural development approach in 2011 will amount to GH ¢354.8 million.

Disbursement of Project Loans and Grants

154. Mr Speaker, our development

partners have significantly improved on the predictability of their direct budget support to the government. Unfortunately, a large part of the financial resources provided by development partners remain unutilized.

155. The slow disbursements of funds are as a result of the following:

inadequate matching funds for projects;

11.45 a.m TABLE 1 -- PAGE

difficulty in project design;

non-adherence to disbursement procedures;

poor management and supervision of projects; and

ineffective reporting systems.

156. Mr Speaker, to address the slow disbursement of project loans and grants, steps have been taken to ensure a high disbursement rate of donor funds especial y in the 2011 priority areas. These include the provision of adequate counterpart funds for the project loans and grants. In addition, project management and procurement guidelines and training will be provided for all staff managing projects with support from our development partners.

157. Efforts will be made to improve on effective monitoring of projects through the development of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan and schedule to guide project implementation. This will be complemented with quarterly projects meetings of sector Ministries, development partners and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

158. Mr Speaker, the US$547 million Millennium Challenge Account Ghana programme, will be nearing completion by the end of 2011. Grant disbursement under the scheme to support agriculture, transportation and rural development programmes in 2011 will amount to GH354.8 million.


159. Mr Speaker, the agricultural sector is the second largest contributor to the country GDP, yet it is characterized by low productivity and limited

competitiveness. This is because the sector is dominated by subsistence and small holder production units applying mostly basic and low level technology.

160. Mr Speaker, in the 2011 fiscal year, Government will address the challenges by accelerating the modernization and development of agriculture. To raise productivity and increase production, agricultural mechanization will be accelerated through the establishment of Agricultural Mechanization and Service Centres (AMSEC). Government will also support the private sector to build capacity in the local production and/or assemble of appropriate and affordable agricultural machinery, tools, and other equipment.

The machinery hire purchase and lease schemes with back-up spare parts for all machinery and equipment would be facilitated to improve farmers access to appropriate farming equipment and machinery. Support will also be given to the private sector to produce and use small -scale multi-purpose machinery and equipment, including farm level storage facilities, appropriate agro-processing machinery/equipment. The intermediate means of transport (IMT) will also be fully implemented.

161. Other key projects and programmes to be implemented in the sector, Mr Speaker, include the following: the inland valley rice development project, Afram Plains District Agricultural Development Project, Export Marketing and Quality Awareness Project, Northern rural growth programme, promotion of perennial crops (rubber and oil palm), Rice Sector Support Project, Out- Grower Value Chain Fund Project Phase 1. In addition, the Block Farming Project, Youth in Agriculture, and the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme will all continue.

Cocoa Sub-Sector

162. Mr Speaker, Government will continue to implement policy measures to
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enable the cocoa sub-sector contribute significantly to the growth of agricultural GDP. The following interventions will take place in the cocoa sub-sector in the 2011 fiscal year:

An amount of GH¢104.4 million will be spent on the Cocoa Diseases and Pest Control Programme (CODAPEC) to mitigate the risks associated with the incidence of diseases and pest that attack cocoa. COCOBOD will spend GH¢10.2 million to intensify the treatment and control of cocoa swollen shoot virus diseases.

The fertilizer subsidy policy will be harmonized between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and COCOBOD during the year. An amount of GH¢140.5 million has been set aside for the Cocoa Hitech Programme which will ensure that appropriate cocoa fertilizers are available at the right time for use by farmers.

The Special Housing Scheme for cocoa farmers will be supported with an amount of GH¢868,000.

The rehabilitation and tarring of selected roads in the major cocoa growing areas will continue in 2011. For the 2009/2010 cocoa crop year, an amount of GH¢20 million has been set aside to complete roads under the Cocoa Roads Improvement Project (CRIP).

The Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme will commence in 2011 with an initial capital of GH¢9.3 million.

163. Mr Speaker, the following interventions will be undertaken by the

Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) as part of the Agricultural Commercialization Project:

Disbursement of GH¢4 million under the Agriculture Credit to train farmer-based organisations;

Completion of 14 agribusiness/ buying centres;

Completion of 3 communal pack houses in Mariakrom (Akwapim South), Otwekrom (Gomoa West) and Akorley (Yilo Krobo);

Complete the construction of perishable cargo centre at the Kotoka International Airport;

Construct 3,000 hectares irrigation schemes in Botanga, Golinga, Dadeso, Amate, Kpong Left Bank; and

Extend the pilot land titling activity in Northern and Afram Basin zones (including land title offices).

Roads and Highway Infrastructure

164. Mr Speaker, Government will continue to improve access and mobility in the road network to reduce travelling and vehicle operating cost associated with bad roads, prioritize the maintenance of the existing road infrastructure to reduce vehicle operating costs and future rehabilitation costs will be prioritized; improve accessibility by determining key centres of population, production and tourism; reintroduce labour-based methods of road construction and maintenance to improve rural roads and maximize employment opportunities.

165. Mr Speaker, the implementation of the following key projects will continue: Nsawam-Apedwa road project (Nsawam by-pass including bridges), Awoshie-Pokuase road, Tema-Aflao road

development project (Lot1--Akatsi- Abgozome, Lot 2 -- Abgozume-Aflao section and Akatsi bypass, Akatsi-Akanu road rehabilitation project (Lot1-- Akatsi-Dzodze), Lot 2 -- Dzodze-Akanu and overlay for Akatsi-Dzodze, Techiman- Kintampo (Techiman-Apaso, Lot 2 -- Apaaso-Kintampo), Ghana Urban Transport Project and Transit Facilitation and Transport Sector Development Programme.

166. Mr Speaker, Government will

also consider entering into pre-financing arrangements with financial institution and contractors to raise funds to complete such key projects like the Achimota- Ofankor, Tetteh Quashie-Madina, Nsawam-Apedwa by-pass. Efforts will also be made to build the capacity of local road contractors, ensure their proper classification and use, and develop the institutional and regulatory arrangements to support effective and efficient movement of freight and passengers.

167. Mr Speaker, the following road construction projects will also be completed in fiscal year 2011:

346 kilometres of feeder roads in the Northern, Central, Eastern and Volta Regions to link food growing areas to the marketing centres;

75 kilometres Agogo to Dome trunk road in the Ashanti Region;

14 kilometres of the N1 Highway -- Tetteh Quarshie to Mallam Junction --into a three-lane dual carriage way, including two interchanges at Dimples Inn and Mallam Junction.

Ministry of Energy

168. Mr Speaker, in the 2011 fiscal year, efforts will be geared at increasing access of households

and industry to reliable and adequate energy supply and the diversification of the national energy mix to include the use of indigenous sources of energy. This will be achieved through the rehabilitation and expansion of energy infrastructure. Specific interventions will also be undertaken to increase access to modern forms of energy to the poor and vulnerable through the extension of the national grid to poor communities.

169. Mr Speaker, specific projects and programmes to be implemented in the year include the fol owing: Bui Hydroelectric Power Project, Ghana Energy Development and Access Project, GhanaTogo Benin 330 kV Power Interconnection Project, Power Systems Reinforcement Project, West African Power Pool (Phases 1 and 2), 30kV Aboadzi-Volta Transmission Line Project and major activities in oil and gas.


170. Mr Speaker, Ghana's existing rail network is confined mostly to the southern part of the country which is economically more advanced and has a higher population density. Nonetheless, the current rail network is characterized by old tracks and rotten coaches, and inadequate railway terminals, stations and platforms.

171. Mr Speaker, Government will source funds to rehabilitate and/or totally re-build and modernize the rail sector.

172. Mr Speaker, the recently inaugurated Accra-Tema railway line will be extended from the Tema Harbour area to Tema Community 1 to improve the suburban railway system. The rehabilitation of the western line, which commenced in 2009, will be continued to facilitate freight movement in the region.

173. Mr Speaker, funds will also be made available to the Ministry of Transport to support the supply
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177. Mr Speaker, Government will continue to improve enrolment, retention and quality of education at all levels of education through continued provision of free uniforms for children in basic schools in deprived communities. In addition, Government will continue with its social interventions programme of providing capitation grant, free exercise books and school subsidies as well as the school feeding scheme.
178. Mr Speaker, to further expand and improve educational infrastructure, Government will join hands with the District Assemblies and other non- State actors to provide infrastructural facilities for pre-school education, primary, junior and senior high schools. Furthermore, Government will continue with the programme of upgrading basic school infrastructure, especially schools under trees throughout the country. Government will also abolish all extra school fees and the shift system in junior high schools.
179. Mr Speaker, to achieve MDG Gender Parity Index of 1:1, Government will provide support to needy girls as well as engaging in enrolment drive activities in collaboration with District Assemblies.

181. Mr Speaker, to promote the use of ICT in basic and senior high schools, the Ministry of Education has entered into partnership with the China Communication Services Corporation Limited to provide ICT equipment and related software for basic and senior high schools nationwide


182. Mr Speaker, Government will continue to concentrate on improving health outcomes by directing resources towards the health of women, neonates, infants and children, as well the prevention and control of communicable and non- communicable disease.

183. Mr Speaker, in fiscal year 2011, the following interventions will be made in the health sector:

National Child Health Policy and strategy to increase access to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Services;

Implement the adolescent health policy;

Develop measures to ensure safe blood product transfusion;

Strengthen surveillance, reporting and emergency response systems for the prevention and control o f communicab le and non- communicable disease;

Improve case detection and management at health facility level; and

Scale up the vector control strategy.

184. Mr Speaker , about 100 uncompleted and abandoned Community Health (Based) Planning Services (CHPS) compounds will be completed, while an additional 30 will be constructed and equipped --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, having regard to the state of Business of the House, I direct that Sitting
be held outside the prescribed period in line with Standing Order 40 (5).
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185. Mr Speaker, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will continue to provide financial risk protection against the cost of basic/ standard quality healthcare for all residents in Ghana.
186. Mr Speaker, the following key projects will be undertaken in the 2011 fiscal year:
Rehabilitation of Winneba District Hospital;
Nutrition and malaria control for child survival;
Guinea worm eradication through water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the Northern Region
Construction works on district hospitals at Tarkwa and Bekwai;
Refurbishment of the Tamale Teaching Hospital; Expansion of radiotherapy and nuclear medicine centre at Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital;
Construction of three regional hospitals with staff housing at Wa and Kumasi;
Construction of seven district hospitals at Adenta/Madina, Twifo-Praso, Konongo-Odumase, Nkawkaw, Atibie, Tepa and Salaga;
Construction of Blood Transfusion Centres at the teaching hospitals in Kumasi and Accra;
Continuation of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital rehabilitation project, phase III: and
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modern science and technology;
Promoting the development of appropriate irrigation schemes; and
Providing agriculture financing through the establishment of Agricultural Development Fund.
205. Mr Speaker, the private sector will also be assisted to become globally competitive in support of Government s growth and development agenda. In this respect, Government will ensure the creation of a diversified, innovative and fully integrated industrial sector with the active participation of the private sector. Government expects the oil and gas sector to impact significantly on economic activities over the medium- term to achieve the right synergies for job creation.
In this connection, the Public- Private Partnership (PPP) option in the implementa- tion of mega projects in the construction, transport, manufacturing and service provision sectors will be explored.
206. The issue of high economic and non-economic cost of doing business will be tackled in consultation with other stakeholders and Government will continue to promote public-private partnership to accelerate the development and implementation of policies.
Automation and Modernization Programme of the National Lottery Authority
207. Mr Speaker, as part of its au tomat ion and modern iza t ion programme, the National Lottery Authority will deploy ten thousand (10,000) points of sales terminals during the year. This will create at least, 10,000 jobs for new lotto marketing companies, and facilitate the participation of the remaining banker to banker and former

private lotto operators in the lotto marketing business as defined under the Lottery Act 722. New products will be introduced and commissions restructured to increase NLA's contribution to the treasury.

Private Sector Competitiveness

208. The Government of Ghana

(GoG) has developed a new Medium- Term Development Plan to replace the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II covering 2006-2009), which like the previous strategies, is expected to prioritize growth as the way of reducing poverty. The design and development of Ghana's Medium Term Private Sector Development Strategy Phase II, has been designed with the theme: “A thriving private sector - Job creation and enhanced livelihood for all.” This initiative has three main strategic objectives:

to improve the investment climate;

to transform the economy from a factor-driven economy with a competitive, efficiency-driven economy; and to provide greater incentives for creating formal jobs and improving livelihoods.

209. To achieve these three objectives, the Government is committed to creating an environment which broadens investment and encourage greater enterprise development and innovation. Government also will create a more supportive basis for transforming the economy by increasing productivity, especially in the small and medium enterprise sector and will provide greater incentives for creating formal jobs. Finally, the Government will work towards increasing economic opportunities for the poor, especially in underdeveloped regions.

210. To achieve these two objectives, Government is committed to creating an environment that is conducive for the private sector to expand and create jobs.

211. Mr Speaker, challenges still remain but Government is committed to making improvements in the areas of:

starting a business;

dealing with licences;

increasing job creation;

registering property;

access to credit;

payment of taxes; and

contract enforcement.

212. Mr Speaker, Ghana's regulatory system has been characterized by unclear divisions of regulatory responsibilities between agencies, duplication in functions, and lack of clarity in the roles and powers of the agencies among others.

213. To address these challenges, Government will undertake the following specific actions:

design a transparent, simplified and client-friendly business application process that covers divergent and cross-cutting issues for small, medium and large enterprises;

provide support to develop and strengthen public-private dialogue; and

ensure the continual implementation of an outreach and capacity building programme to raise awareness among potential private sector players.

214. Mr Speaker, as part of Government's continuous commitment to support the private sector, a well co-ordinated reform initiative within the framework of Public, Private Partnership (PPP) has begun. The PPP policy document has been finalized and will be submitted to Cabinet for approval. In this regard, projects such as the Alstom Power Plant in the energy sector, the Takoradi and Tema Port expansion and the Accra- Kumasi toll road will be undertaken within the PPP framework.

215. Mr Speaker, we wish to assure Ghanaians and the international community that we will not be complacent but rather maintain the pace of reforms that have brought us this far.

Affordable housing using local raw material

216. Mr Speaker, housing is recognized as one of the important infrastructural development necessary for the economic growth of this nation. Ghana faces an acute housing deficit of one million units, especially in the urban centres. The cost of housing and other infrastructural development is excessively high as most of the materials used are imported. However, there exists abundant raw materials which can be used in the construction industry to reduce import content in the construction industry.

217. Mr Speaker, Government is seeking to ensure that by the year 2015, at least, 60 per cent of materials used in the building and construction industry will be indigenous raw materials. A housing policy programme on the utilization of local building materials such as clay brick and tiles, pozzolana cement, bamboo, et cetera in the construction industry has already been prepared on the initiative of Government.

218. It is anticipated that the increased
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use of these durable local materials will considerably reduce the import bill on building materials in addition to the following:
conserving capital;
providing employment for the youth especially within the localities;
providing affordable housing;
improving engineering qualities;
generating revenues to the State; and
i m p r o v i n g i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l development especially in districts where indigenous building material plants will be located.
Monetization of Government interests in mining
219. Currently, Ghana has shares and carried interests in a number of mining companies that enable Government to receive significant cash flows from royalties and dividends. The current increases in gold prices, increased demand for gold exposure by investors, and the appreciation in the equity interests in the gold mining companies present a unique opportunity for the Government to consider the monetization of all or portion of its gold interests to deliver a significant capital sum to support the nation's growth and development.
220. Beginning in fiscal year 2011 therefore, Government will commence discussions on the establishment of a national vehicle, the “Ghana Gold Company (GGC)” , which will hold the country's gold royalties and equity interest. The GGC will be a newly incorporated company that will be 100 per cent owned by the Government and into which the Government will transfer its gold and equity interests.

221. The benefits to government of having such a company are several, including the following:

delivery of significant capital sum to the Government, raised from private markets;

innovative way to capitalize on the market premium for royalties;

provides Government wi th continued exposure to capital appreciation of a national company, together with ongoing dividends;

availability of capital raising options to Government, including trade sale, stock market listing, gold-linked bond issue, et cetera;

existence of a national vehicle that can raise further capital from future royalties and/or other assets.

Mr Speaker, I have a Christmas present for Members of Parliament from the Pesident.

Mr Speaker, the President would make sure next year that all Members of Parliament have constituency offices. [Uproar!] The Constituency Development Fund would also be set up. It was a promise he gave and he will deliver it next year. [Interruption.]

Mr Speake r, t he r e wou ld be constituency fund for all Members of Parliament next year.

Pension Scheme for the informal sector

222. Mr Speaker, H.E. the President, Prof. J.E. Atta Mills launched the new pension scheme on 16th September, 2009. Following the passage of the National Pension Act, 2008 (Act 766), the

National Pensions Regulatory Authority has been established to oversee the administration and management of the new three-tier pension scheme.

223. Implementation of the new scheme started in January, 2010 with the mandatory first and second tier schemes, followed by the voluntary third tier which commenced on 1st May, 2010. The Pensions Regulatory Authority has issued provisional registration to a number of employer sponsored provident fund schemes and group pension scheme for the informal sector.

224. Mr Speaker, it is important to note that provision has been made in the third-tier voluntary personal pension scheme to cater for the peculiar needs of workers in the informal sector who are about 85 per cent of the working population.

225. Informal sector contributors will have two accounts, a retirement account (to provide benefits on retirement) and a personal savings account with rules for withdrawals before retirement. What this means is that workers in the informal sector can now participate in a pension scheme which will take care of them in their old age and just like counterparts in the formal sector, will also receive monthly pensions as well as a lump sum.

Social safety nets

226. The most vulnerable groups are supported through a number of programmes, including the capitation grant (financial support for school fees), school feeding, fertilizer subsidies for small-scale farmers, NHIS and reduced electricity tariffs for lifeline consumers. In updating the government's poverty reduction strategy for the medium- term, the Government reviewed the complemen- tarity and effectiveness of

the various social safety nets.

At the same time, the Government has worked with key stakeholders to review the current classification of poverty-reducing expenditure, and will ensure that the support focuses on the key programmes.

Public safety and security

227. Mr Speaker, the safety and security of all Ghanaians is a major pre-occupation of the NDC Government. Despite the emerging challenges in sophisticated crimes, our security agencies are ready to maintain peace and order for all Ghanaians.

228. In this regard, Government is committed to provide the necessary support and logistics for our security agencies. For the 2011 Budget, major housing projects and other interventions will be pursued with the objective of ensuring a reduction in crime levels and the maintenance of stability in all parts of the country.

Programme of persons with disability 229. The share of the Common Fund

for person with disability is to be increased from the current 2 per cent to 3 per cent in line with the social democratic tenets of the NDC of supporting the disadvantaged. District Assemblies are to ensure speedy releases of the funds to support the programme of persons with disability.

Electricity sector

230. Following finalization of a study of the operations of the electricity sector, Government adopted a comprehensive financial restructuring and recovery plan for the sector. The key elements of this plan are:

(i) an upward adjustment in electricity tariffs;

(ii) implementation of actions to strengthen revenue collection by the electricity sector public utilities; and
Dr Duffuor 11:45 a.m.
(ii) adoption of a plan to restruc- ture the balance sheets of the utilities by the end of 2011.
Going forward, tariffs will be subject to quarterly reviews to ensure continued cost recovery. However, Government will continue to make provision in the Budget to provide subsidies to support life-line consumers of electricity.
Supporting Poultry Farming
231. Mr Speaker, last year, Government promised to assist poultry farmers to acquire equipment, chicken feed, chemicals and other inputs to enable them undertake large scale production of poultry in the country. Government also promised to levy duties to cut down on imports of poultry and fish into the country and to support local production.
232. During the year, Government engaged the Poultry Farmers Association on how to increase local production to the level where domestic demand can be met in fiscal year 2010. Government found that the major constraints to large- scale poultry production in the country are lack of credit, equipment, and poultry feed.
233. To support poultry farmers to increase local production of chicken and eggs, a significant portion of the Japanese grant and other grants will be made available to poultry farmers to be used to acquire the necessary equipment and chemicals for the industry. Government also believes that the huge production of maize in recent times should support local production of poultry feed in the country.
Discussions are also underway with some foreign investors on the production of poultry feed in the country. Once the discussions are concluded and production commences, the problem of lack of poultry feed will become a thing of the past.

Public debt management

234. Mr Speaker, while grant financing and concessional loan financing will constitute the core component of external support in the near future, non- concessional financing will be used for projects contracted or guaranteed by the Government where there is no scope for concessional or grant financing, the impact on debt sustainability is manageable, and project evaluations show a high rate of social or economic return.

235. A number of reforms are being introduced to further strengthen debt management. These include:

The adoption of an explici t deb t management s t r a t egy, establishing clear objectives for debt management in terms of the cost and risk of the debt portfolio, and identifying potential funding sources and consideration for probable changes in the relevant legislation in the face of the possible use of new financial instruments; Close monitoring of all public sector external debt contractsby t h e Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning's Debt Mana- gement Division; and

The adoption of clearly defined framework for appraising public investment projects being considered for non-concess iona l external loan financing, their benefits and prioritization across projects, to ensure consistency with the Government's developmental priorities. Guidelines laying out this process will be developed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and submitted to Cabinet for approval.

Public-Private Partnership

236. Mr Speaker, the Government

is committed to improving public investment management through a framework that facilitates public and private investment in the delivery of infrastructure and public service projects. In this regard, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has established a Public Investment Division (PID) which will be the central organ within Government to provide strategic guidance to:

(1) national investment and project development;

(2) project appraisal;

(3) project screening, selection and budgeting;

(4) project implementation;

(5) project adjustment; and

(6) project evaluation and monitoring.

237. Mr Speaker, the establishment of the PID reflects an assurance of efficiency in public investment decisions to boost investment in public infrastructure and services that contribute to improvements in human capital.

238. Mr Speaker, in line with Government's policy in accelerating infrastructure modernization, a PID arrangement has been concluded for the construction of a fly-over and vehicular interchange over the Accra-Tema Motorway at Teshie Link. This aims at reducing congestion, reducing travel time and facilitating the movement of goods and people within the Accra-east corridor.

SME Development

239. Mr Speaker, growth and employment in Ghana, are directly linked to the growth of SME s. Most businesses in Ghana fall within the category of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with an employment capacity of close to 70 per cent of the Ghanaian

labour force.

240. SMEs thus have significant contribution to make to Ghana s socio- economic development and growth, and the attainment of its middle income status.

241. Despite these benefit, the tremendous potential of Small and Medium Enterprises are yet to be realized, due to the challenges confronting the sector - which have led to the shifting of focus from entrepreneurship to a proliferation of petty trading nationwide.

242. Mr Speaker, Government has put in measures to remove bottlenecks constraining MSME' s development.

243. These measures include:

The Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the (Private Sector Development Strategy Stage II) will strengthen SME Support institutions such as NBSSI, GEPC, EMPRETEC and NGOs working in the area of entrepreneurship and enterprise development; C o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h a n d strengthening of SMEs business associations, through consultations and dialogue;

Provision of vital information to SMEs to facilitate effective linkages and networking among SMEs and between SMEs and Large Scale Enterprises;

Entrepreneurial Skills Development through harmonization and co- ordination of entrepreneurial programmes and activities of various training agencies, so as to enhance the managerial, technical and other competencies of SME operations.
Dr Duffuor 11:45 a.m.
244. Mr Speaker, Government intends to boost commercial agriculture by engaging the private sector through the Public-Private Partnership framework in agro-processing. The Public Investment Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has been tasked to work with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to consider proposals from private sector organisations in developing large-scale commercial farms in rice, maize and soya bean cultivation and processing among others with the expertise from South Africa using state of -the-art technology.
With the help of the South African expertise, large feed processing mills will be established as part of the agro- processing to feed the poultry industry. This agricultural development programme will help in:
Sustaining the country's food security and also meet needs of the School Feeding Programme;
Stimulation of domestic economic activity particularly in the agro- processing sector; and
Contributing to the Millennium Development Goal of required healthy levels of animal protein consumption by the year 2015.
China Framework Agreements
2 4 5 . I n p u r s u i t o f t h e N D C Government's Manifesto commitment to invest in the nation s infrastructure as an anchor for accelerated economic transformation, His Excellency the President in September, this year, led a high-powered team to the People s Republic of China and signed agreements totalling some US$13 billion.

246. The two agreements signed with the China Development Bank and the China Exim Bank respectively, will, when crystalized, see a massive investment that will bring about an unprecedented transformation of the nation's infrastructure in the areas of road, rail, energy, water, education, et cetera.

247. In the course of 2011, as the financing terms of the projects covered by these two framework agreements reach their final stages, specific loan agreements will be brought before Parliament to seek approval to pave way for the accessing of these pivotal resources to accelerate the pace of the nation's infrastructural transformation.


248. Mr Speaker, the Budget I have tabled before this august House, gives further impetus to the Government's commitment to create a “Better Ghana” for all.

249. Mr Speaker, the NDC Government has done a lot in the two years that it has been in office to restore macroeconomic stability and put the economy on a path of rapid and sustainable growth. Inflation has been reduced to a single digit; interest rates are on a declining trend; the twin deficits of fiscal and current account have been reduced to acceptable levels; foreign reserves have increased significantly, which together have stabilized the value of the cedi. These are by no means a small feat in a period of two years.

250. Mr Speaker, the theme for this year s Budget, “Stimulating Growth and Development for Job Creation”, is, indeed, appropriate. The 2011 Budget puts Ghana on the right path to achieving accelerated economic growth and prosperity in an environment of stability. Indeed, the economy will grow

rapidly in the coming years, supported by the scaling up of the disbursement of project loans and grants and utilizing the new opportunities for higher growth that may accompany the downstream activities of the oil and gas industry.

251. Mr Speaker, significant resources have been deployed to modernize agriculture, boost manufacturing, provide critical infrastructure, improve the delivery of water, sanitation and electricity services, support the private sector to grow and become more competitive, and develop our human resource capability. Government is also ensuring that the appropriate structural and institutional reforms take place so that the mixture of agriculture, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas provide a modern, dynamic and diversified economy.

252. Mr Speaker, Government has also kept its commitment to implementing the Single Spine Salary Structure which was introduced by the previous government. The Government is implementing the policy despite the obvious risks and challenges it poses to fiscal management in the country because of the positive impact it has on welfare and living conditions of employees in the public sector. This is a demonstration to the people of Ghana that even in the face of serious resource constraints, the welfare of the people cannot be compromised by the Government.

253. Mr Speaker, the proposals I have tabled before the House today seek to grow the Ghanaian economy on a sustainable basis, create jobs to reduce unemployment, improve household and business incomes to broaden the base of wealth creation, and improve the delivery of social services, including healthcare and access to quality education, to
Dr Duffuor 11:45 a.m.

improve the quality of life of the people of Ghana.

254. Mr Speaker, the year 2011 must see Ghana perpetuate hope in her people. I will like to assure my fellow Ghanaians that the Government of the NDC has placed the economy of this country on the path of sustainable growth and development, prosperity, stability and peace for the benefit of all.

255. Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Hon Members, in accordance with Order 140 (3) and within such time as the Business Committee may determine, debate on the Motion shall stand adjourned for not less than 3 days. I also direct that that part of the Budget relating to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies shall stand committed respectively to the committee responsible for the subject matter to which the Heads of estimates relate for consideration and report in accordance with Standing Order 140 (4).
Furthermore, any part of the Budget relating to Revenue and Expenditure shall stand committed to the Finance Committee, in accordance with Standing Order 140 (5).
Hon Members, we have an Addendum to the Order Paper. I do not know whether Hon Members -
Mr Opare-Ansah 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I
wish to seek your guidance on a matter. I remember after the presentation of the Budget Statement last year by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning moving the Motion subsequently, the then Majority Leader rose and seconded the Motion. We are actually confused what was beginning to happen in terms of
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Hon Members, in fact, if anybody was on his feet to do the secondment, I would have called the person -- Hon Members - Standing Order 140 (3) is very clear on the matter. Order 140 (3) states that whenever a Motion that this House approves the Financial and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending has been moved by the Minister responsible for Finance, the debate on it shall stand adjourned for not less than 3 days. That is the provision of Standing Order 140 (3).
If there is a secondment, does not negative the Motion -- a secondment does not in any way negative the Motion moved by the Hon Minister responsible for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr Avoka 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that
in support of what the Hon Minority Chief Whip has said that once it is a Motion moved by the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, a Motion that has been moved by him, at the end of the Statement, it should be seconded; it is not yet out of place. What you did is also in order - I mean you merely went under Standing Order 140 -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Majority Leader, I am aware that Standing Order 81 of the rule, says that “Unless otherwise provided in these Orders, every motion unless made at the Second Reading or Consideration Stage of a Bill, must be seconded and if not seconded shall not be debated or entered in the Votes and Proceedings”. I am very much aware of this provision of the Standing Orders.
I am also aware of what happened last year on the floor of the House. My
understanding of the ruling of Madam Speaker last year is that the secondment of the then Hon Majority Leader did not negative the Motion.
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I
beg to, with your kind permission, second the Motion moved by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr Speaker, I want to add that I am particularly happy and impressed with the conduct, the decorum of Hon Members of this august House throughout the two hours plus Statement that the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning read to us. I think the Leadership on both sides of the House is highly indebted to Hon Members for their comportment and decorum. It is my prayer, that this constructive engagement will be demonstrated throughout the Budget debate and throughout the proceedings of this august House.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Budget Statement is not seconded. That is not the practice. A Budget Statement - a Statement that is presented and the Standing Orders specifically say that when it is moved, it shall stand adjourned. Last year's experience was out of the ordinary. It was an aberration, really and it should not be considered to be the practice of the House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Members, I have adjourned the debate on the matter - in line with the Standing Order 140 (3) - I am not going to take any submission on this matter.
Hon Members, we have an Addendum to the Order Paper. Do you have copies of the Order Paper?
Some Hon Members 2:05 p.m.
No, No.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business - Presentation and First Reading of Bills by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, item 1 (a).
Mr Kyei-Mensah Bonsu 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you just called the Commencement of
Public Business but I thought that we entered Public Business before the Hon Minister read the Budget Statement to us.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
It is the continuation of Public Business.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:05 p.m.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Those who prepared the Addendum should have stated that it is continuation of Public Business.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
Item 1 (b)?
Mr Dery 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I absolutely agree with you that the debate stands adjourned. Now, I do not know the positioning of the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. He has finished delivering the Budget. I thought he would then relocate for this one to continue. [Interruptions.] I am asking for guidance. I do not want another aberration to hunt us next year. So, he should go back to where he was seated and from there he can --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, where the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is, is properly in order. He can

be there and lay the Papers.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when we were reading or presenting Budget Statements to Parliament, concurrent with the rollout of the fiscal year, the particular fiscal year to which it related, then Parliament after the reading of the Budget Statement, would be called upon to attend to relevant taxes immediately. But the application of these laws, it takes effect January next year. So, I cannot really understand why we have to do this today. [Interruptions.]
Mr Avoka 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the intervention by the Hon Minority Leader, I want to indicate that this is only laying of the Report. Now, when the Committee on Finance looks at it, they will then determine the urgency of the matter. The urgency is not determined on the Order Paper; it is determined when the Committee on Finance reports as such. So, it is not out of place to lay the Paper and then the Committee will advise that having regard to the content, it should go through a certificate of urgency -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
Hon Members, Papers are being laid, they are being referred to the Committee. I am not too sure whether in any of these, the Committee might come back to say that any of these Bills is of urgent nature. It is for the Committee to determine, to come and tell this House that some of the Bills are urgent and ought to be taken now or all will take effect later and none of them is urgent. Then all of us will be guided accordingly by what the Committee
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not intend to do anything that will derogate from the intent of the Hon Minister. I am just looking at the appropriateness of what we are doing. Because let nobody deceive this House; if you look at the addendum, we have stated Motions. Intentions have been put here, so what is the Hon Majority Leader talking about when he says that it should go to the Committee for determination?
Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is that, as I said, yes, if we were into next year and the Budget was read, then clearly, the urgency of it will be known to everybody. It is germane; these Bills are germane to the Budget, which has been read. I do appreciate that. But the effect is next year and that is the issue at stake.
So, let not the Hon Majority Leader pretend and make any submissions which are really untenable.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
Hon Member, you have a point though. If all these Bills will take effect next year, there is a point there. But since they are part of the Budget Statement, I do not see anything wrong in laying these Papers today at all. This is because at the conclusion of the Budget Statement, some of these Bills must be passed for the Budget to take effect on 1st January, 2011. So, it is part of the package. Let us have the laying and give the matter to the Committee, in line with Standing Order119.
Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes)(Amendment) Bill, 2010
An Act to amend the Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) Act, 1996 Act 512 to impose an environmental excise tax on plastic packaging materials, reduce the rate of ad valorem excise duty on selected goods and zero rate light emitting deet lamps for domestic and public lighting.
Presented by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Finance.
Internal Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2010
An Act to amend the Internal Revenue Act, 2005, (Act 592) passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.
Presented by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Finance.
National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2010
An Act to amend the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy Act, 2009, (Act 785).
Presented by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Finance.
Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2010
An Act to amend the Value Added Tax Act, 1998 Act 546, to revise and expand the coverage of the threshold for registration and re-classify locally produced pharmaceuticals, locally produced tex tbooks and loca l ly manufactured agricultural machinery and tools as exempt supplies.
Presented by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Finance.
Airport Tax (Amendment) Bill,
An Act to amend the Airport Tax Act, 1963, Act 209.
Presented by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Finance.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, presentation of Papers?
Mr Dery 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want your guidance on item 2 (a) on the Order Paper, which is a Legislative Instrument-- it is 21 days. If we lay it today, the days start running and I think that we should be careful about that because we do not even have it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, what is your objection to the laying?
Mr Dery 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not raising an objection. I am asking your guidance on that matter because the understanding was that these things were supposed to take effect next year and we should be careful that we do not allow our processes to be abused. And I am asking for your guidance in this matter. Maybe, Mr Speaker, you would tell me what you think should happen.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Members, I have not studied the Legislative Instrument but he has a point there because according to him after the expiration of
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.

Hon Members, what is our problem? There should not be any problem here at all.
Dr A. A. Osei 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just need your guidance. I am not sure I heard you very well. Are you suggesting that we want to let it pass the 21 days and then we do not implement it? Is that what you said? I am not sure I heard you well. Because as lawmakers, if we let it go through, after 21 days, it is our responsibility to make sure it is implemented. So I am not sure I heard you very well; I just need some clarification.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Members, you all know, as I do here, that there is a difficulty. If we want this law to start on 1st January, 2011, when do we lay it so that it takes effect in 2011? You know that after 21st we are rising. Do we come back in January - Hon Members, do we come back in January to have it laid?
Mr Joe Ghartey 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect, when we look at article 11 (7) (c) of the Constitution, it says that:
“Any Order, Rule or Regulation made by a person or authority under a power conferred by this Constitution or any other law shall
-- 2:25 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Joe Ghartey, the second leg of your submission cannot stand; it cannot stand at all. It has to be laid before it is distributed to Hon Members. You do not see the document before it is laid. It must be laid, then I make the order that it is made - I have a copy of the L.I. here with me.
The Table Office has informed me that there are sufficient copies to be made available to Hon Members. The submission being made by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is totally different from your concern but we have copies of the
L.I. here.
Mr Dery 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what we need to do is work backwards to see the time frame within which we can have it such that when we are rising, it will then be effective from the 1st. That is the kind of situation I am talking about, that we need to work the days.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you know that you are supposed to assist the Chair. I thought that you had done those calculations because my information is that there would not be any problem when it is laid today. That is the information I have received from the Table Office, that there would not be any problem. I do not know whether some Hon Member have done the calculation.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, technically, we have a problem. Assuming we are rising on the 21st and we lay - Let say that we have exactly 21 Sitting days. If at the day we are rising, we have 21 Sitting days, what happens? It means beginning from 22nd, technically, it will come into operation but that is not the intendment of it. It is really to start operation come 1st January, 2011; technically, that is how it is.
That being the case, if we want to be very technical then we will have to work the Sitting days up to 20 days and then we have a Sitting just before the expiry of the year. Technically, that is how it is supposed to be.
But given the circumstances of the time, what do we do? Perhaps, like we did to Madam Speaker, when we swore her in and sealed her mouth and tied her legs and hands, I do not know whether there is a way of doing this. I believe that technically, it will be impossible to do it and quarantine the law to await till 1st January; that is the predicament.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Yes, so there is a practical difficulty here.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker,
thank you very much.
May I with your indulgence, refer you to Order 77 (c) of our Standing Orders and to state that even if there is compelling exigencies, nothing prevents this House from annulling that particular Paper and Order 77 (c) provides that -- Maybe, I should just start with Order 77 so that Hon Members would follow, and Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“77. Any Orders or Regulations made by any person or authority pursuant to a power conferred in that behalf by the Constitution or any other law:
(a) shall be laid before Parliament;
That is what has been done.
“(b) shall be published in the Gazette. . .”
becomes the next step and it goes further to say that
“(c)shall come into force at the expiration of a period of twenty- one sitting days of being so laid unless Parliament . . .”
So if within the 21 days, it is the position of this House that we think that Bill should be annulled, we accordingly will exercise the authority clothed in us in that particular Order -
“. . . annuls any such Rules, Orders or Regulations by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the Members of Parliament.”
So we can allow the process to continue. When we begin the debate and there are compelling issues, we can exercise the right of annulment to put it to a stop.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Members, what I intend to do is that we defer the laying. The Regulation should be withdrawn; the day that it takes effect should be put in the Regulations and then they come back and lay it.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, may I also draw your attention? As the Hon Member who just spoke has indicated, really it is the day of laying that the Instrument should be gazetted. These Instruments have been gazetted yesterday, so technically; it is even wrong, what they tried to do.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Member, I have ruled on the matter that we have to - I have ruled on the matter so that tomorrow, it can be laid.
Mr Avoka 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am praying that we suspend Sitting for sometime in the light of item 1 (a) in the Addendum Order Paper, so that we can be advised by the Committee on Finance on the matter.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:35 p.m.
Speaker, I thought your directive really solved the problem? It means that the laying that has been done, really, we are to consider all of them as having been unlaid. Because they have not been laid by your directive. -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
directive only relates to the Legislative Instruments (L.I.) that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has drawn my attention to. His issue is in relation to item 2 (a) on the Addendum on the Order Paper.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:35 p.m.
That is the
point that I am making, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
But I
thought I heard the Hon Majority Leader talk about item 2 (b). Is it item 2 (a) or item 2 (b), Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Avoka 2:35 p.m.
It is item item 1 (a), and
for that matter, item 2(b), they are the same.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
1(a) has
been laid, we have passed there; we are done with 1(a).
Mr Avoka 2:35 p.m.
And I am rather saying

that let the two Committees determine before they bring that Report and advise us.
Mr Opare-Ansah 2:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, 2
(b) is a Report of the Committees on item 1(a). The Committee has not even seen the Paper and you want to lay 2 (b).
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
Hon Members, there should not be any problems here Wait Hon Members, the Hon Majority Leader is saying that we suspend the House in respect of item 2 (b). It is for the House to determine whether we want suspension for item 2 (b) to be considered, while we wait for the Committee on Finance to come and say that it is an urgent Bill or it is not an urgent Bill. That is a matter for the Committee to come and tell the House.
So if the Committee comes back to tell the House that it is not an urgent Bill in line with Standing Order 119, we adjourn the House for the day. It is a very simple matter. The urgency of the Bill can only be determined by the Committee and if the Committee goes and says that it is not an urgent Bill, that ends the matter. We come and adjourn the House. We cannot take that decision on the floor of the House --
Hon Members, it is the Committee, so let the Committee consult. What I need now is how many hours or minutes should the House be adjourned? I need some guidance from Leadership and I will suspend the House accordingly.
Hon Majority Leader, for how long are
we suspending the Business of the House?
Mr Avoka 2:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I know we have been Sitting the whole morning, so I think in fairness to all, Hon Members would want to take something before we come back and with the time now reading at 2.40 p.m. -- [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, I have further consulted

the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, and he thinks that even tomorrow, we can look at it without coming back. [Interruptions.] So the Committee can look at it and tomorrow they can inform the House the urgency of the matter.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
Very well,
Hon Members, on that note, the House is adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 in the forenoon.

  • The House was adjourned at 2.41 p.m. till Friday, 19th November, 2010 at 10.00 a.m.