Debates of 19 Jul 2018

PRAYERS 10:46 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
Hon Members, correc- tion of the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 18th July, 2018.
Page 1… 7 --
Ms Linda Obenewaa Akweley Ocloo 10:46 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to draw the House back.
I wish to make an application --
Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
Hon Member, I have not called you.
Ms Ocloo 10:46 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry.
Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
Page 8.
Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
Hon Member, do you rise On a Point of Correction?
Ms Ocloo 10:46 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
You may proceed.
Ms Ocloo 10:46 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to make an application in view of item numbered 13 on page 1.
Mr Speaker, Hon Sophia Karen Ackuaku was absent with permission. She travelled last week to execute an official duty, so I would be grateful if the correction could be made.
Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
Hon Member, it would be made accordingly.
Page 9… 10 --
Mr Speaker 10:46 a.m.
Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa?
Hon Members, order!
Mr Ablakwa 10:46 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on the third paragraph on page 11, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker directed that the leadership of the Finance Committee be served with copies of the Agreement so that they can advise the Committee on Education.
He did not direct that they should join the Committee on Education. So this is not exactly how the directive was made.
Mr Speaker, I would be grateful if it could be captured accurately.
Mr Speaker, on that same page, the sixth line of item numbered (c) (i) reads 10:46 a.m.
‘'… on goods and services and equipment in under the Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP)''.
The word “in'' after “equipment'' should be deleted so that it would read:
‘'… on goods and services and equipment under the Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP)''.
Mr Speaker 10:56 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I thought you were on your feet?
Ms Sarah A. Safo 10:56 a.m.
Rightly so, Mr Speaker. My issue is on page 16 of the Votes and Proceedings, so when we get there, I would come back.
Mr Speaker 10:56 a.m.
Please go on.
Ms Safo 10:56 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 6 on page 16, we are told that an amendment was proposed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee to delete “reveal” and substitute it with the word “prejudice”.
Upon further deliberations by the House, the Hon Majority Leader brought the attention of the House to the fact that we would save ourselves a good deal if we maintained the word “reveal” as it appeared in clause 7 (1) (c) of the Bill.
However, in the Votes and Proceed- ings, it captures its first part. So I would want to draw attention to it.
Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa 10:56 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is right. However, I would like to draw her attention to the fact that page 18 has captured that and made that correction so we are good to go.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 10:56 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I really wanted to bring to her attention that it has been captured accurately on page 18 of the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Speaker 10:56 a.m.
That is fine. Shall we move on from there?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 10:56 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is right.
Even though I know that Hon Ablakwa and Hon Chireh have referred to page 18 to cure the defect which she drew our attention to -- We are a House of record; a Question was put on the substitution of “reveal” for “prejudice”, and if we look at page 16 carefully, it is captured as if the House agreed and took a decision on it.
Mr Speaker, if we travel further to page 18, we rescinded that decision, so maybe the exact words must be captured on page 16 to report that we went back to what pertained in the Bill and adopted the word “reveal”.
Mr Speaker 10:56 a.m.
It must be so corrected so as to also reflect the chronology of events and how that came to be corrected accordingly. So there should be a clear reference with regard to the antecedent and the latter. It should be so done.
Page 17…21.
The Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, as corrected be hereby admitted as a true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we agreed that we would move on straight to public business.

Order, order!

Hon Members, Presentation of Papers; item numbered 5 (A) (a) (i) and (ii), by the Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker 11:06 a.m.
Item numbered 5(A) (c) (i) and (ii).
By the Minister for Finance --
(c) (i) Term Loan Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch [as Agent, Arranger, Structuring Bank and Lender] (supported by United Kingdom Export Finance as ‘Covered Lenders' Guarantor) for an amount of forty-eight million, six hundred thousand euros ([€48,600,000.00] from Covered Lenders) and thirty-two million, four hundred thousand euros ([€32,400,000.00] from Direct Lenders) for Phase II of the Redevelopment and Mo- dernisation of the Kumasi Central Market and its Asso- ciated Infrastructure.
(ii) Commercial Loan Facility Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch [as Agent, Arranger,
Structuring Bank and Lender] for an amount of twelve million, three hundred thousand euros (€12,300,000.00) for Phase II of the Redevelopment and Moder- nisation of the Kumasi Central Market and its Associated Infrastructure.
(d) (i) Term Loan Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH (as Original Lender) [supported by United Kingdom Export Finance gua- rantee] for an amount of fifty-six million united states dollars (US$56,000,000.00) for the con- struction of the second phase of the Tamale International Airport.
(ii) Commercial Loan Facility Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH (as Original Lender) for an amount of twenty-four million United States dollars (US$24,000,000.00) for the construction of the second phase of the Tamale International Airport.
Referred to the Finance Committee.
Mr Speaker 11:06 a.m.
Item numbered 58 B (i) and (ii) -- Hon Minister for Health.
By the Minister for Health --
(i) EPC/Turnkey Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (Ministry of Health) and Contracta Costru- zioni Italia S.r.l. for the Construction, Retooling, and Equipping of Selected 4 Health
Facilities (Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital, Kibi District Hospital, Aburi Hospital and the Atibie Hospital) in Ghana.
(ii) Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (Ministry of Health) and Ellipse Projects SAS France (UK) Limited for an amount of twenty- two million, three hundred and thirty thousand, five hundred and fifty euros (€22,330,550.00) for the Completion and Equipp- ing of the Bekwai District Hospital.
Referred to the Committee on Health.
Mr Speaker 11:06 a.m.
Item numbered 5(C).
Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:06 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister responsible for Local Government and Rural Development is with the President, for which reason she is not here with us. She is outside the Greater Accra Region and so she requests her Hon Deputy Minister, Hon O. B. Amoah, to perform the functions listed on pages 4 and 5 of the Order Paper.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:06 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I note that the Leader of Government Business has made an application for the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to stand in the stead of the Hon Minister, whom we understand is with the President and would soon follow suit. I have no objection to that.
Mr Speaker, I tried to catch your attention earlier and it is specific to this. With regard to item numbered 5 (C) which is on the Kumasi Central Market; that the Hon Deputy Minister -- you could refer
Mr Speaker 11:06 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, would you want the Committee on Finance to be added?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:06 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is not that loan agreement; it is a contract agreement. Indeed, what we have been doing is to have the leadership of one Committee join the sector Committee that has a referral.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the Finance Committee has programmed to meet outside Accra this weekend. It would be difficult at this time to have the Committee on Health join the Finance Committee.
So what we could do, as we did yesterday, is to supply the document to the leadership of the Finance Committee so that if they have any input, they would ferry same to the Committee.
Mr Speaker, under the circumstance, that is how it should be done because they are looking at the contract.
Mr Iddrisu 11:06 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I understand that the contract agreement can go to the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development while the loan agreement, looking at the terms and conditions of it, would go to the Finance Committee [Interruption.] It is not about difficulty.
If the leadership of the Finance Committee can join, it is about the same amount. They must relate the terms to the contract. For better diligence, if the leadership could join the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, it would be useful.
Mr Speaker 11:06 a.m.
Hon Members, if the Committee has any difficulty, it may invite us as it thinks best.
Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, you may lay the Paper.
By the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (Mr O. B. Amoah) (on behalf of the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development) --
(C) Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (Ministry of Local Government and Rural Develop- ment) and Contracta Constrution (UK) Limited for an amount of eighty-two million euros ((€82, 000,000.00) for Phase II of the Redevelopment and Moderni- sation of the Kumasi Central Market and its Associated Infrastructure.
Referred to the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development.
Mr Speaker 11:16 a.m.
Item numbered 5(D).
Hon Minister for Aviation?
By the Minister for Aviation --
Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (Ministry of Aviation) and Queiroz Galvao Constructions UK Limited represented by Construtora Queiroz Galvão S.A. Sucursal Ghana for an amount of seventy million United States Dollars (US$70,000,- 000.00) for the construction of the second phase of the Tamale Interna- tional Airport.
Referred to the Committee on Roads and Transport.
Item numbered 5 (E).
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi 11:16 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Report is not ready.
Mr Speaker 11:16 a.m.
The Report is not ready?
Item numbered 6 -- Motion of the Mid- Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2018 Financial Year.
It is essentially a review.

Hon Members, order!
MOTIONS 11:16 a.m.

Minister for Finance (Mr Ken Ofori- Atta) 11:16 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in accordance with section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, Act 2016. (Act 921), I stand before this august House to present a Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2018 Budget Statement.
Mr Speaker, yesterday was Mandela's 100th birthday -- [Uproar] -- and the President of the Republic gave a sterling speech and it will be befitting to remind us of his words:

The Holy Book also says:

“The Lord did not give us a spirit of timidity but of power, love and self-discipline.”
Mr Speaker 11:16 a.m.
Hon Members, Order!
Mr Ofori-Atta 11:26 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let us also with decorum remember our former Vice- President who was at the Ministry of Finance. May his soul rest in peace.
We have to speak with one language if we are to execute this transformation that we all seek. Indeed, in Genesis, the Bible says;
“Behold, they are one people and they have all one language and now, nothing will be beholden from them which they purpose”.
This is where we see Ghana — one language, one people -- and nothing will be beholden from us that we purpose.
Mr Speaker, permit me also to convey our sincere appreciation once again to this august House on behalf of His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo. [Hear! Hear!] -- For the continued cooperation and support of Hon Members in the management of the economy since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assumed office in January, 2017.
It is our fervent wish that this cordial relationship between the Executive and Parliament continues to promote the
Mr Ofori-Atta 11:26 a.m.
attainment of our collective development, aspirations and goals.
Mr Speaker, this presentation is an abridged version of the 2018 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review and I would like to request the Hansard Department to capture the full text.
On 15th November, 2017, I came to this august House and presented a Report on our continued efforts to resolve the many economic challenges we face and our strategies to improve the socio-economic conditions of our people as part of the 2018 Budget Statement.

Mr Speaker, in October 2016, after a year and a half under the programme, this was the IMF assessment of their performance:

“…Economic outlook remains difficult and fiscal challenges are mounting. The growth outlook for 2016 and 2017 has weakened. Revenues are underperforming and the deteriorated financial situation of some SOEs in the energy sector is posing fiscal risks.

The authorities will cut spending to offset revenue shortfalls and have taken steps to address the financial situation of SOEs, including new levies on petroleum products.

Domestic revenues are under- performing, reflecting lower-than- projected oil prices, weak economic

activity with lower business profits and personal incomes, as well as lower-than-expected revenue impact from several measures implemented so far...”.

Therefore all that should come as no surprise to you shortly thereafter, thus in January 2017 when we inherited an economy in distress with a debt overhang which had exceeded 73 per cent of our GDP.

The GDP growth had declined to 3.7 per cent, the lowest in twenty-three (23) years -- A fiscal deficit which had risen to 9.3 per cent of GDP, and a Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) of 22.5 per cent which had led to crowding out of the private sector, making it difficult for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and expand to create jobs. The IMF programme had essentially derailed.

Mr Speaker, the NPP Government managed to bring the programme back on track and after one year of managing the economy, the same IMF had this to say in April 2018, and I beg to quote:

“Implementation of the ECF- supported programme has signi- ficantly improved in 2017. Growth has rebounded, the fiscal deficit has declined, leading to a primary surplus for the first time in fifteen years, the external position has strengthened, generating a build-up of external buffers, and key steps have been taken to address fragilities in the financial sector. Reforms should continue to entrench these hard- won gains....”.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report that by the end of 2017, in less than one (1) year, our collective effort had put the economy back on track as evidenced by the following indicators:

a) Reduced the fiscal deficit from 9.3 per cent at the end of 2016 to 5.9 per cent.

b) Reduced inflation from 15.4 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 11.8 per cent.

c) Reduced gross public debt to GDP ratio from 73.1 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 69.8 per cent.

d) Grew GDP from 3.7 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 8.5 per cent; and

e) reduced interest rates (91-day treasury bills) from 16.4 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 13.3 per cent.

In addition, we managed to pay off over GH¢6 billion (including ESLA payments) of outstanding claims that we inherited.

On the socio-economic front, the Akufo-Addo Government has eased the burden of hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians and invested in the future of our children and our country.

We implemented the Free SHS programme that has provided over 90,000 additional teenagers an opportunity to access high school education and improve their future prospects.

This major flagship programme has saved parents a minimum of GH¢3,000 and GH¢1,950 per student per academic year for boarding students and day students respectively.

We increased the school feeding programme from 1.6 million children to 2.1 million children, and also increased the amount spent on each child by 25 per cent.

We added more than 150,000 households to the LEAP programme, thereby improving their livelihoods. We have and continue to

provide for over 49,000 teacher trainees and 51,000 nursing trainees with GH¢480 every month without which most of them would have dropped out.

We have supported over 200,000 farmers with fertilizer and seeds to help increase production and improve their incomes and create employment.

We have been more diligent with payment of Statutory Funds, unlike under the previous Government where they could be in arrears for three quarters or more.

We have given tax relief of over GH¢800 million to businesses and households through the abolishment of nuisance taxes; and electricity tariffs have been reduced by 17.5 per cent to 30 per cent for the various customer classes, leading to savings of approximately Gh¢1.8 billion per year for businesses and households.

In addition, we continue to make significant investments and renegotiate Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA) to avert defaulting on unconscionable financial transactions in the energy sector inherited from the NDC, and also to ensure that we do not go back to the dark days of “Dumsor”.

Mr Speaker, after seven years of agitation by public sector workers demanding that their pension funds be transferred to their schemes to be managed, we transferred the total amount of GH¢3,001.73 million being the total value of funds in the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) and restored workers' pension funds to the five (5) public sector pension schemes something that the previous regime had been unable to do for seven years.

Mr Speaker, that is how we have prudently utilised the very limited
Mr Ofori-Atta 11:36 p.m.

resources that we have had these last 18 months to stabilise the economy, invest in our people and ease their heavy burden, which translate into real money in the pockets of our fellow Ghanaians.

As I indicated in my Budget Statement last year, it is always rewarding when you hear from numerous beneficiaries of these programmes as they recount how these interventions have changed their lives.

I have heard many more in the past 18 months of some difficulties facing many of our small indigenous contractors. We are, as such, taking steps to clear the rest of the outstanding validated claims on the Government.

Mr Speaker, as a country, we continue to face many challenges that we must address. These include low domestic revenue mobilisation; illicit financial flows; impact of recent oil price increases; the high and increasing wage to tax revenue ratio; currency volatility; relatively high debt burden and the related interest expense; and the sticky bank lending rates.

Mr Speaker, in spite of these domestic and international headwinds, we have competently managed the economy and put in place structures to build a robust and resilient economy for sustainable growth.

Mr Speaker, provisional first quarter GDP estimates indicate that real GDP grew by 6.8 per cent for the first quarter of 2018 compared to 6.7 per cent for the same period in 2017. The non-oil GDP grew by 5.4 per cent up from 4.0 per cent during the same period in 2017.

The fiscal performance for January to May 2018 shows that both revenue and expenditures were below their respective

targets but the shortfall in revenues (GH¢1.43 billion) was much greater than the shortfall in expenditures (GH¢797 million) thus leading to a fiscal deficit of 2.6 per cent of GDP compared to a target of 2.4 per cent.

Mr Speaker, headline inflation declined to 10 per cent in June 2018 from 11.8 per cent in December 2017, driven by moderation in both food and non-food inflation and in response to exchange rate stability, fiscal consolidation and prudent monetary policy among others.

Mr Speaker, the trade account recorded a surplus of US$1.35 billion (2.6% of GDP) compared with a surplus of US$1.27 billion (2.5% of GDP) over the same period in 2017. Gross International Reserves was US$7.8billion (4.2 months of import) by end-May 2018 compared to US$8.1 billion (4.6 months of import) in the end-May


On year-to-date basis, the Ghana cedi depreciated against the US$ by 0.2 per cent compared to 2.0 per cent depreciation during the same period in 2017; appreciated against the Pound Sterling by 1.4 per cent compared to 6.1 per cent depreciation during the same period in 2017; and appreciated by 2.6 per cent against the Euro compared to the depreciation of 8.0 per cent during the same period in 2017.

Mr Speaker, despite the strong fundamentals, we have seen the cedi come under pressure primarily due to external pressures. In fact, aside the short transitory volatilities recorded in June this year, the average performance of the cedi relative to the dollar has been one of the best in recent years.

Mr Speaker, the performance of the Ghana cedi during the 18 months of the Akufo-Addo Government has been impressive, if compared with the last six years. These are the facts; the year-on- year depreciation of the Ghana cedi against the United States (US) dollar stood at 4.9 per cent in 2017.

It was 9.7 per cent in 2016; 15.7 per cent in 2015; 31.3 per cent in 2014; 14.5 per cent in 2013; and 17.5 per cent in 2012. A further interrogation of the data from Bank of Ghana shows that the depreciation for the first half (6 months) of 2018 has been the best since 2012.

It is instructive to note that from January, 2018 to June 2018, the cumulative depreciation of the Ghana cedi against the dollar was 2.4 per cent as against 17.2 per cent in 2012; 3.4 per cent in 2013; 26.7 per cent in 2014; 26.1 per cent in 2015; 3.3 per cent in 2016; and 3.7 per cent in 2017.

If this is anything to go by, it means that the 2018 performance of the Ghana cedi is likely to be better than even the 2017 performance, which was an all-time low compared to the four years of the Mahama Administration.

Relative to the Pound Sterling and the Euro, the domestic currency cumulatively appreciated by 1.40 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. This compares favourably with a depreciation of 6.13 per cent and 7.99 per cent against the Pound and the Euro respectively during the same period in 2017.

Mr Speaker, based on the fiscal performance of the economy, we have programed the underlisted measures to ensure that we meet our fiscal deficit target of 4.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to end the year.

Mr Speaker, what is also clear to us is that we are not collecting as much as we should. The solution to this problem however, is not necessarily the imposition of many taxes.

We must first make sure that we do these four things; ensure compliance of existing tax laws, block the leakages in the existing systems, ensure value for money for the expenditures that Government undertakes and ensure that the wealthy also pay their fair share.

Mr Speaker, beyond this, any taxes should be to ellicit socially desirable outcomes such as a better environment in this regard.
Mr Speaker 11:36 p.m.
Hon Members, order!
Mr Ofori-Atta 11:36 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there would be no increase in VAT as has been speculated. I would also like to advise our friends that we should stop taking directions on economic policy from social media. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, so the measures for this year is to ensure that we meet our fiscal deficit target of 4.5 per cent to ensure that we exit the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme.
Mr Speaker, we are converting on National Health Insurance of 2.5 per cent
Mr Ofori-Atta 11:36 p.m.

to a straight levy of 2.5 per cent; converting the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) VAT rate of 2.5 per cent to a straight levy of 2.5 per cent. VAT would thus be maintained at 12.5 per cent.

We are imposing a luxury vehicle tax on vehicles with capacity of 3.0 litres and above. We are reviewing Personal Income Tax to include an additional band of GH¢10,000 and above per month at a rate of 35 per cent and intensifying tax compliance measures to make sure we collect the taxes that are due us.

Mr Speaker, as part of efforts to improve revenue performance, we will intensify tax compliance and plug existing revenue leakages.

Investigations we have undertaken show inbound leakages on goods arriving in the country, significant outstanding tax debts, suspense regimes in the area of warehousing, transit trade, and free zones, and tax audit issues such as limited coverage, low auditor productivity, and low audit yields.

Mr Speaker, we are rolling out major initiatives to address these tax compliance issues. These initiatives will include prosecutions of tax evaders and corrupt tax officials, a special VAT attack force to ensure enforcement and deepen VAT penetration from the current low levels of 11 per cent, and implement institutional reforms at Ghana Revenue Authority

Mr Ofori-Atta 12:06 p.m.
The deficit for the period was financed mainly from inflows from foreign sources, including receipts from the 2018 Eurobond. Foreign financing constituted about 64.4 per cent of total financing, while domestic financing constituted 35.6 per- cent.
Mr Speaker, due to lower revenues for the period, the primary balance was equivalent to a deficit of 0.4 per cent of GDP against a target surplus of 0.2 per cent of GDP.
Mr Speaker, the gross public debt stock in nominal terms stood at GH¢154.00 bil- lion (US$32.00 billion) as at end of May 2018, representing 63.8 per cent of GDP, compared to 66.8 per cent in same period in 2017.
Mr Speaker, of the total public debt, external debt at end of May, 2018 amounted to GH¢81.7 billion (US$18.5 billion), whereas domestic debt amounted to GH¢72.6 billion (US$16.4 billion), repre- senting 53.0 per cent and 47.0 per cent of the total public debt stock respectively. As a percentage of GDP, external and do- mestic debt represented 33.8 per cent and 30.0 per cent, respectively.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance had approval from this august House on March 26, 2018 to raise up to US$2.5 billion from the International Capital Market on behalf of Government to raise funding for budg- etary purposes and for liability manage- ment.
Mr Speaker, consequently, on May 10, 2018, Government raised a 10-year and 30- year eurobonds of US$1.0 billion each from the international capital market.
The 10-year bond was priced at 7.625 per cent whilst the 30-year bond was priced at 8.627 per cent. Mr Speaker, this

Mr Speaker, it must be noted that the transaction was a landmark achievement in many respects:

The first time a ‘B' rated sub-Saharan country has priced a sovereign bond at this level indicating strong investor confi- dence;

The first time Ghana has extended the tenor of its international capital market funding to 30 years, and hence, extended the yield curve by two times;

It is also the largest Eurobond ever raised by Ghana and was four times over- subscribed; and

It must also be noted that despite the forbearance of Parliament to raise US$2.5 billion, we accepted only US$2.0 billion of that amount.

It must also be noted that despite the size, more than half of the proceeds will be used for liability management, which will not increase the net total debt stock.

Resolving Challenges in the Financial Services Sector

Government approved Purchase and Assumption (P&A) transaction in respect of UT and Capital banks on August 9, 2017. The P&A involved takeover of total deposit liabilities and some selected as- sets of the resolved banks. The total net liabilities of the resolved banks stood at GH¢2,201,280,634.00 as at December 2017.

In order to not overburden GCB Bank Ltd, Government issued a 10-year fully amortising domestic bond, with effective

date of January 1, 2018, being redeemed in ten (10) equal instalments, at a coupon rate of 12 per cent. The bond structure which ensures regular injection of cash, will im- prove the financial position of GCB Bank Limited, and eliminate any financial strain the P&A may bring along.

Section Four: Revised 2018 Macro-Fis- cal Framework

Mr Speaker, since the presentation of the 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to this august House in November 2017, there have been new developments which necessitate a revision to the fiscal framework and outlook to achieve our fiscal objectives and targets. These de- velopments include:

a. Lower than anticipated domestic revenue mobilisation for the first five months of the year;

b. Issuance of US$2,000 million Eurobond with US$750 million allocated for Budget support compared to an original alloca- tion of US$1,000 million;

c. Additional Programme Loan of about GH¢915 million (US$191 million), following the success- ful completion of the combined 5th and 6th Reviews of the IMF- supported Extended Credit Facil- ity (ECF) Programme. This is in line with programme arrange- ments agreed before the approval of the combined review by the IMF Executive Board; and

d. Additional domestic interest pay- ment of GH¢125.5 million, resulting from the GCB Bond is- sued by Government to GCB Bank on the Purchase and As-

sumption of UT Bank and Capi- tal Bank.

Consistent with Section 28 (2d) of Act 921, we present the revised fiscal frame- work and budget for the rest of the 2018 fiscal year.

Mr. Speaker, as already mentioned, the January — May 2018 fiscal performance shows that the Total Revenue and Grants fell short of target by GH¢1,428.7 million (0.6 per cent of GDP), whilst total expendi- tures were below target by GH¢796.5 million (0.3 per cent of GDP), resulting in a cash fiscal deficit of GH¢6,371.8 million (2.6 per cent of GDP), against a target of GH¢5,739.5 million (2.4 per cent of GDP).

Mr Speaker, we anticipate that at this rate, if remedial actions are not triggered, the resulting end-year Total Revenue and Grants would amount to GH¢49,610.4 million (20.5 per cent of GDP) or 2.8 per cent lower than the original Budget target of GH¢51,039.1 million (21.1 per cent of


Mr Speaker, on the other hand, Total Expenditure (including the net change in arrears clearance) would amount to GH¢61,451.6 million (25.4 per cent of GDP), GH¢558.7 million lower than the pro- grammed target of GH¢62,010.3 million.

The resulting fiscal deficit would be GH¢11,841.2 million (4.9 per cent of GDP), against a programmed target of GH¢10,971.1 million (4.5 per cent of GDP).

This will derail our fiscal consolidation efforts and put our objective of reducing the public debt profile at risk. A net fiscal adjustment of GH¢870 million (0.4 per cent of GDP) would be required to ensure that we achieve our fiscal deficit target of 4.5 per cent of GDP.

Mr. Speaker, therefore, to ensure that the achievement of the 2018 fiscal objectives and targets are not derailed, this
Mr Speaker, other tax compliance measures that will be implemented include 12:16 p.m.
Specialised Audits (Mining, Oil and Gas, Telecommunications Services, Transfer Pricing and High Net Worth Individuals)
Experts have been contracted to work alongside GRA staff to conduct forensic audits of companies in priority sectors and undertake audits of multinational enterprises to re-characterise transactions that are a result of transfer pricing activi- ties for the appropriate taxes to be levied.
Prosecution and Enforcement Actions
The Ghana Revenue Authority in conjunction with the relevant state institutions will embark on an exercise to prosecute and retrieve all Government rev- enues that have been held in abeyance or evaded due to tax evasion or malfeasance.

Issue Audits (Withholding Taxes, VAT, NFSL, Rent Tax)

Mr Speaker, institutions and business persons are required to withhold and re- mit to the GRA specified sums from pay- ments made to their suppliers and service providers. Some of these persons fail to make the deductions, deduct the correct amounts or remit the sums to the GRA. The same applies to rent taxes. Audits have commenced to identify and recover these and other outstanding amounts.

Broadening the Tax base (Tax Amnesty and Registration for TIN)

Mr Speaker, a campaign commenced in April, 2018 to increase the number of Tax Identification Number (TIN) registered
Mr Speaker, other tax compliance measures that will be implemented include 12:16 p.m.
persons, encourage the voluntary filing of tax returns and a general amnesty for tax- payers who would voluntarily register, file returns or pay outstanding arrears. The GRA will intensify education to enable as many taxpayers as possible take advan- tage of this window of opportunity to reg- ister and regularise their tax affairs.
Mr Speaker, TIN numbers have in- creased from 14,000 in April, 2018 to 102,000 in June 2018, making a total of 1.4 million new TINS registered.
VAT Monitoring and Deployment of the Electronic Fiscal Device
Mr Speaker, the Electronic Fiscal De- vice Act XXX (Act XXX) has been passed and a programme outlined for commence- ment of the policy in the last quarter of
In the interim, intensive monitoring will be carried out to ensure that suppliers and service providers charge and account for VAT. The GRA will additionally commence a series of public campaigns to encourage citizens to demand VAT invoices and re- ceipts from suppliers and service provid- ers.
Introduction of Cargo Tracking Note
Mr Speaker, since 1st July 2018, GRA has started implementing the Cargo Track- ing Notes (CTN) System for all imports, including transit cargoes into Ghana. This is aimed at closing the reporting gap be- tween Ghana Customs and trade partners.
Downstream Petroleum Monitoring
Mr Speaker, the GRA, in collaboration with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has developed and are now using
a common platform to report on oil lifting. With this development, it will be possible to detect if the Cil Marketing Companies (OMCs) understate their oil lifting from the depots and tanks. Severe sanctions includ- ing imposition of penalties and prosecu- tions will be initiated to collect all outstand- ing taxes.
We have outlined a number of these prosecutions to collect over GH¢500 mil- lion of taxes that have been evaded.
Full implementation of the Excise Tax Stamp Policy
Mr Speaker, the Excise Tax Stamp Policy came into full effect in January 2018. Some manufacturers complained about the inefficiencies of using manual stamps on ‘high speed' production lines. This issue has been resolved, paving way for the full enforcement of the policy from August,
Use of electronics systems to identify taxpayers
Mr Speaker, the GRA has commenced the use of big data analytics to identify and register additional taxpayers, and through that, improve filing rates and revenue receipts.
The project is also integrating various data sources to identify recalcitrant tax- payers for compliance and enforcement actions.
Use of Electronic Systems to Support Voluntary Compliance
Mr Speaker, electronic applications are being developed to enable taxpayers con- duct business with the GRA online. The online portal for TIN registration is now available for use, while contracts for development of simple applications for record keeping and computations of taxes
have been awarded. Taxes can be paid through currently available bank transfer systems and the GRA is discussing with GhIPPS for additional electronic platforms for the payment of taxes. This will enable small taxpayers pay their taxes using mobile money.
Tax Policy Measures
Luxury Vehicle Levy
Mr Speaker, Government proposes to introduce a luxury vehicle levy on vehi- cles with engine capacities of 3.0 litres and above. The levy will be paid on first regis- tration and subsequently at annual re- newal. Commercial vehicles will be ex- empted from this policy.
Personal Income Tax

Health and Education Levy

Mr Speaker, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) exists to ensure that citizens obtain quality health care at all times while the GETFund provides for educational infrastructure.

Studies have indicated that current revenue sources do not guarantee the sustainability of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) given that enrolment to the Scheme has increased over the years. The GETFund is also inadequate in the face of an expanding student population and so has the need for additional infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, Government is therefore consolidating contributions to the Health Insurance Fund Levy C and the GETFund portion of the VAT into a separate Health and Education Levy. This will enable Gov- ernment isolate and increase the budget for health and education. Both the Health Insurance Fund and the GETFund levies will continue to be 2.5 per cent each, while the applicable VAT rate is 12.5 per cent.

General Policy Measures on Payroll

Mr Speaker, as a way to ensure an efficient payroll management system which guarantees cost reduction, quicker payroll processing, data and cost validation, accountability, payment validation and improve overall efficiency, Government is currently evaluating options to outsource the payroll processing for its employees.

Mr Speaker, outsourcing government payroll is aimed at addressing the Public Sector Wage Bill and its crowding out effect on public expenditure. The overall goal is to achieve the convergence criterion of 35 per cent wage bill to tax revenue in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) from the current 48 per cent.

Internal Audit Agency

Mr Speaker, the Internal Audit function in the public sector needs to be restructured and strengthened to play its role in the fiscal consolidation efforts of Government. The current law and structure of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) does not empower it to effectively supervise, manage and regulate the practices of Internal Auditing in the public sector.

Mr Speaker, the following measures are being pursued to restructure and re- engineer the practice of Internal Auditing to enhance public financial management in Ghana:
Mr Speaker, other tax compliance measures that will be implemented include 12:26 p.m.
Restructure IAA to function as a de- partment of the MoF and the Internal Au- dit Department will then be the Internal Auditor of Government, with all Internal Audit Units in MDAs and MMDAs directly under its control and management. This will help to align the activities of Internal Auditing to national financial priorities and strategies set by the Ministry of Finance.
Medium Term Revenue Policy
Mr Speaker, the Ministry is putting to- gether a medium-term revenue policy that would outline revenue reforms targeted at ensuring that there is adequate revenue to fund Government programmes. The policy is expected to inform revenue measures for the 2019 Budget Statement and beyond.
Subsequent to the policy will be the development of a medium-term revenue strategy to act as a vehicle for the implementation of the policy. The proposed measures would feed seamlessly into the policy and strategy.
Section Five: Update on Key Policy Initiative
Mr Speaker, having gone through the macroeconomic performance for the first half-year, please, permit me to also provide you with the update on the flagship projects and programmes in the 2018 Budget Statement.
Status of implementation of Flagship Programmes
Mr Speaker, we crafted our policies and strategies to ensure that we accelerate growth and development and at the same time “leave no one behind”. Thus, we are implementing a myriad of growth- enhancing, job-creating, and social intervention programmes to better the lives
of the people of Ghana as well as achieve relevant SDGs.
Planting for food and jobs programme
In the 2018 Budget Statement, a total sum of GH¢700 million was allocated for the implementation of the Programme, out of which GH¢ 365,609,010.50 has been released to fund various components of the programme. Thirty (30) new warehouses to be equipped with seed cleaners, dryers and weighing scales are being constructed in strategic Districts in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. Evaluation of bids is completed for the construction of the warehouses.
Additionally, the programme received a boost from 216 pickups and 3,000 motor- cycles and protective clothing, including uniforms and Wellington boots which were distributed to the District Agricultural Departments and Agricultural Extension Agents across the country.
Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP)
Mr Speaker, the main vehicle for delivering the IPEP -- the three (3) Development Authorities-- have been established and their governing boards inaugurated. This is great news for the programme as the IPEP project would then become more decentralised.
For the implementation of the programme, commencement certificates amounting to GH¢548,104,163.81 have so far been issued out of the approved budget of GH¢1,237,500,000.00. This has paved way for the following projects to be implemented:
Construction of 1,000 Community Based Limited Mechanised Solar Powered Water Systems;
Construction of 50 No. 1,000 metric tons prefabricated warehouses;
Construction of 570 small dams and dugouts in the three Northern Re- gions under the One Village, One Dam initiative; and
Construction of 1,000 No. 10-seater water closet institutional/commu- nity toilets with mechanised boreholes and solar panels.

One District, One Factory (IDIF) Initiative

Mr Speaker, to date, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has received 781 expressions of interest, out of which 632 have been reviewed and 332 identified for financial support for factories in the districts. In order to attract more private sector investments in support of the 1D1F programme, Cabinet has approved incentive packages, including tax waivers, which will be presented to this august House for approval.

Mr Speaker, we have also negotiated with a number of banks who have agreed to match funds for these programmes. Government would subsidise these loans to 1D1F beneficiaries of about 10 per cent interest rate.

Stimulus Package

In the 2018 Budget Statment, the Ghana EXIM Bank was expected to provide an amount of GH¢236 million to revamp distressed but commercially-viable industries. The bank has disbursed US$5.1 million to the pharmaceutical and textile industries. The Universal Merchant Bank

has also disbursed GH¢2 million to the alu- minium industry.

Free SHS Programme

Mr Speaker, Government continued with the implementation of the Free SHS Programme after take-off in September


The implementation of the programme created opportunity for the enrolment of an additional 90,000, students who would have otherwise dropped out of school. Currently, a total of 362,118 first year students from all public senior high schools are benefiting from the Free SHS Programme. This is made up of 117,692 day students and 244,426 boarding students.

Mr Speaker, to date, GH¢899,524,466.30 has been released for the 2017/18 academic year. In addition, sufficient allocation has been made in the 2018 Budget Statement to cover the first term of the 2018/19 academic year.

Mr Speaker, in order to address the challenges identified with the implementa- tion of the programme, 96,413 mono desks, 32,171 dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses, and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs have been supplied to various senior high schools.

Nation Builders' Corps

The 2018 Budget Statement provided GH¢600 million for the implementation of the programme, out of which GH¢300 million has been released to take care of the initial cost of the programme.

Nursing Trainee Allowance

Mr Speaker, in consonance with the policy to reinstate the nursing trainee allowances, an amount of GH¢311,988,400.00 was allocated in the 2018 Budget State- ment to pay the allowances of 68,000 trainee
Mr Speaker, works have started on the following projects 12:36 p.m.
Pokuase Interchange under the Accra Urban Transport Project;
Tema Motorway roundabout -- con- struction of a 3 tier interchange; and
Kasoa and Nungua bus terminals --
improvement of existing parking and holding area, construction of a ter- minal building, walkways, paved road-ways, toilets and its associated facilities.
Mr Speaker, as part of the Kumasi facelift projects, about 17 contracts for works have commenced. Some of them include asphalt overlay in Manhyia, Bantama and on the road from Anloga Junction to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Junction.
Some of the development projects com- pleted over the period include:
Construction of Oil and Gas enclave Roads -- (Construction of 10km road along the pipeline including the Amazure bridge); and
Construction of two lane underpass to link Spintex and East Legon.
Mr Speaker, Ghana faces major infrastructural deficits in all areas including roads, sanitation and hospitals. The deficit is in the region of, at least, 30 billion US dollars. While the need for a major invest- ment in infrastructure has long been rec- ognised, the challenge has been the inadequate availability of financial resources to undertake the requisite investments.
Mr Speaker, to bridge this gap, Government is proposing a new module of financing Ghana's infrastructure requirements through the leveraging of our natural resources.

Ghana would establish a refinery within the next three years and select its own partner to undertake the refining of the bauxite.

Under this barter arrangement, the US$2 billion of infrastructure provided by Sino- Hydro Group Limited would not add to Ghana's debt stock. No revenues or resources would be encumbered as a result of the barter arrangement.

The terms of the exchange involves a moratorium period of three years after which Ghana would fulfil its part of the barter agreement over another twelve-year period. The moratorium period will give Ghana the time to establish an aluminium refinery. There would be, at least, 30 per cent of our participation in the project.

Mr Speaker, the infrastructure to be provided under this barter arrangement include roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing and rural electrification, among others.

A lot of work has been done in preparation for these projects and they will include the following -- The first tranche shall be used through this financial arrangement, which will enable us pursue our infrastructural agenda through to 2019 and 2020 without increasing our deficit or ruining the economy.

Mr Speaker, the first tranche shall be used to finance the construction, and/or completion of key roads in all the ten (10) regions. We are confident that this new initiative will be the catalyst for the
Mr Speaker, we will also look at a number of inner 12:36 p.m.

Greater Accra

Taifa-Burkina-Nkatia Burger-Dome- Kwabenya Mosque 7km;

Christo Asafo Area Roads-Taifa 5.7km;

Pure Water Roads and Links- Kwabenya 5

Fan Milk Area Road-Anyaa 1.9km;

Adu Gyamfi Road-Anyaa 2.2km;

Selected Roads in Anyaa 1.8km;

Apostle Safo Onyinase Road 2.06km;

Pentecost University Road 1.97km;

Omanjor to Olebu Road 1.8km;

Abease Road to Ablekuma 1.9km;

A lang Area Road-Sowotuom 2.5km;

Race Course Medical Centre Road 2.5km;

Selected Roads in Gbawe 3km;

Nanakrom-Santor-Ashaiman Road 8.5km;

Adenta-Dodowa Road (dualling) 22km;

Ofanko Hospital Link Road 3.32Km;

Abensu Afiama Taxi Road (Trobu) 1.2km;

Israel Junction-Sound Foundation- Blue Gate and Yeboah Street- Nii Ankraman (Trobu-Amasaman) 4.01km;

Partial Construction of North Ofanko John Teye Bypass 1.6Km;

Partial Construction of Yellow House and Links (Trobu-Ama- saman) 2.74km;

Partial Construction of Asofan Amamorle Road and Links (Trobu- Amasaman) 3km;

Poultry Farm Road (Trobu Amasaman) 2.2km;

Drainage Construction -Confidence and Veterinary-South Ofankor;

Demo Road (Ledzokuku) 1.8km;

Alloway to Malik Road (Ledzokuku) 2km;

Baptist School Area Tebibiano Road (Ledzokuku) 2km;

Sea Lady Road (Ledzokuku) 1.8km;

Teshie North By Pass Road (Ledzokuku) 1.8km;

GIBADA Office Complex.
Mr Speaker 12:36 p.m.
Transport Sector
Mr Ofori-Atta 12:36 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in line with Governments' Agenda to improve public mass transportation, the Ministry has initiated processes for the acquisition of high occupancy buses for the two (2) public bus companies. Government has procured fifty (50) buses for the Metro Mass Transit Limited. The first batch of thirty (30) have been delivered and would soon be deployed into service.
The additional twenty (20) are expected to be delivered by the end of the 3rd quarter of this year. For the Intercity STC Coaches, procurement process have been completed for their acquisition.
Similarly, feasibility study has been completed and the Ministry has also initiated steps to acquire 200 Compress Natural Gas (CNG) buses and related infrastructure to improve transportation services.
Railways Sector
One of the major transformational pro- grammes of the Akufo-Addo Government is to give to the country, a modern, nation- wide railway network system for both passengers and cargo.
Through competitive bidding, the Ministry of Railways Development has reached the final stage of procuring a strategic investor for the development of the Eastern Railway Line from Accra-Tema to Kumasi on a BOT basis with Ghanaian
Out of the 14 consortiums shortlisted, the preferred bidder will be chosen this year for work to begin. The Accra to Ouagadogou rail network, another BOT project, has 11 entities shortlisted for the procurement process --
Mr Speaker 12:36 p.m.
Hon Members, it appears the background noise is preventing us from hearing very closely.
Mr Ofori-Atta 12:46 p.m.
This line will serve the Eastern part of Ghana and will go through Ho, Hohoe, Yendi, Tamale, Bolgatanga and Paga.
Mr Speaker, Government will also continue with efforts to source for concessionary facilities for the construction of the Kumasi to Tamale section of the Kumasi to Paga rail line and other Export Credit Facilities for Accra to Cape Coast and Accra to Nsawam respectively.
Our approach is one of building an integrated infrastructural network, to facilitate industrialisation, trade and urbanisation across the country.
Energy Sector
Under the rural electrification programme, 88 communities have so far been connected to the national electricity grid, with several projects at various stages of completion.
Mr Speaker, following the renegotiation of the terms of the Millennium Challenge Compact II, between the Republic of Ghana and the United States of America, a successful bidder has been selected through a competitive procurement process.
The negotiated Transaction Agree-
ments, namely, the Lease Assignment Agreement, the Bulk Supply Agreement and the Government Support Agreement are to secure the proposed Private Sector Participation (“PSP”) in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) which have been approved by Cabinet and are currently in Parliament for ratification.

The project for the supply and installation of facility-based Solar Microgrid electrification project in 26 health facilities in Brong Ahafo, Northern and Western regions, for which contract had been awarded as of the beginning of the year has been completed.

In the oil and gas sector, this government is committed to implementing transparent and competitive policies that will attract both international investment and cutting-edge technology.

We are guided by the fact that not a single new exploration well was drilled in any of the upstream licences that were awarded by the previous Government. The sector was not helped by the opaque and secretive process of awarding previous licences.

This discouraged participation by the larger oil companies that value govern- ance. Many of the small unknown compa- nies that were awarded licences under the previous Government are no longer operating.

In contrast under this Government in 2018, the Ministry of Energy, in conjunction with the Petroleum Commis- sion and GNPC, will commence Ghana's first open and competitive upstream bidding round. Eight New licences will be made available to international and indigenous companies through a public

auction process that will prioritise techni- cal and financial capabilities. The licence terms will be designed to expedite the ex- ploration and development of upstream resources for the benefit of the country and our people.

The change in approach has already yielded dividends with applications received from some of the world's largest companies including BP, Chevron, the Chinese National Oil Company and Exxon Mobil.

The increase in exploration activity will improve our chances of seeing new and larger discoveries in Ghana.

It is the vision and hope of President Akufo-Addo that within the next 10 years, Ghana's production will exceed that of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and many others, with production nearing the one million barrels a day's mark.

Progress on the National Mortgage and Housing Finance Initiative

Mr Speaker, recent developments in the economy call for an enhanced social compact between the government and citizens. It is this need for an enhanced social compact that underpins our resolve for pushing the Agenda of the President's vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid”. To actualise this among others, Government intends to push for a social partnership between labour, faith-based organisations and the government itself.

One of the key elements of this social partnership between Government and these groups would be the provision of large scale residential housing across the country; and Government has started conversations with the Judiciary and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in this regard.

Mr Speaker, in line with this social part-
Mr Ofori-Atta 12:56 p.m.
The promise of 1 Constituency, US$1 million, we are fulfilling; and

Mr Speaker, in the past month, I have spent a considerable amount of time hold- ing discussions with some stakeholders in our country.

Indeed, I choose to refer to them as our “development partners” because I believe that is what they are. They include all the labour unions, business executives, trad- ers, entrepreneurs, civil society organisa- tions, think thanks and faith -- based or- ganisations, academia, traditional leaders, business leaders both Ghanaians and for- eigners.

We have begun a new conversation about how we can collaborate to develop this country. I have initiated these meet- ings to start a national dialogue on a new social partnership that places the partici- patory development of our country as our collective goal.

This is in line with the President's vi- sion for a “Ghana Beyond Aid”; A social partnership that establishes a Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered and Respected (W.I.S.E.R.) people, a (W.I.S.E.R.) Ghana. At the end of this year 2018, this new social partnership then, re- places the IMF as our trusted partners.

As difficult as it must be to take in, the way forward lies in all of us, every single adult Ghanaian, putting our shoulders to

the wheel and pushing forward as one. Our businesses must live up to their tax obligations as many but not all do.

Our revenue authority must show greater discipline about the granting of ex- emptions and the plucking of the loop- holes that plague the system.

The Akufo-Addo Government will con- tinue to intensify its efforts to stem the corruption that bleeds the country of its hard-won revenues.

In that same vein, Government is mak- ing a social compact with Ghanaians, such that every single Ghana Cedi, every sin- gle Ghana Pesewa that it takes in will be spent with only one objective in mind: the advancement of Ghana's great future.

Mr Speaker, in the 2018 Budget Statement, we signalled Governments' commitment to successfully conclude the exiting IMF ECF programme at the end of


Mr Speaker, I'm glad to inform you that we are on course to completing the pro- gramme successfully. Ghana as a Fund member country will continue to enjoy the Funds technical assistance. We have suc- cessfully completed six (6) reviews so far, leaving us with two more reviews to go. The combined 5th and 6th Reviews were successfully concluded in April, 2018.

Mr Speaker, we are also putting in place arrangements to ensure irreversibility in macroeconomic gains in the post IMF era. We are in discussion with organised labour, employers association, and other relevant stakeholders to institutionalise a social partnership arrangement to discuss and form consensus on matters of national development.

Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV) says:

“3 Through wisdom a house is built,

“3: Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is estab- lished;

4: by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

Mr Speaker, that is where we are.

Mr Speaker, the key to our development does not simply reside in our vast natural resources. Our greatness lies in the wis- dom we can harness as a people to turn our rich natural resources into a huge in- dustrial boom for our nation. That is the focus of this Administration.

As a government, we are committed to building this Ghana project with wisdom. The wisdom of our founding fathers as well as the wisdom gained from our own experi- ences.

We will learn from the wisdom of na- tions that have gone ahead of us as well as the wisdom of our own citizens, home and abroad. Above all, we will learn from the wisdom of God.
Mr Speaker 12:56 p.m.
Hon Members, order!
The Hon Minister would move for the adoption of the Motion numbered 6.
Mr Ofori-Atta 12:56 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to con- clude, I so move.
Question proposed.
Mr Speaker 12:56 p.m.
Any seconder of the Mo- tion?
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah 12:56 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker 12:56 p.m.
Hon Members, in accord- ance with the usual practice, debate on the Motion shall stand adjourned till Monday,
23rd July, 2018, or to such other time that the Business Committee may determine, subject to the exigencies of the calendar of the Meeting.
Mr Speaker 12:56 p.m.
Hon Members, order! The debate would not run away. It would surely come at the appropriate time.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:56 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what we have seen today from the Hon Minister for Finance is a mid-year review of the performance of the economy. It is not a Supplementary Budget.
Mr Speaker, however, a Motion has been moved, and we need to deliberate on the Motion that has been moved. As rightly said, the Business Committee would programme for the debate. After the initial discussion that I had with the Hon Minority Leader, it is intended for the debate on it to commence on Monday.
Mr Speaker, in the meantime, given what we have heard, I believe we may pray to ourselves sufficient space to ponder over the issues.
In that regard, I propose and indeed move that this House takes an adjourn- ment until tomorrow at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Speaker 12:56 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, would you second the Motion for adjourn- ment?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:56 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my task is a simple one. It is true the Hon Majority Leader has consulted on matters relating to this mid-year review appropri- ately. You have appropriately referred to the Committee of Parliament and also re-
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:56 p.m.
minded the Hon Minister for Finance to have moved the Motion. We were going to remind him to do that. That is why I was on my feet.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister quoted section 28 of the Public Financial Man- agement Act. Section 28 (c) states that an analyses of the total revenue, expenditure
Mr Speaker 12:56 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, we shall come to the appropriate Business. [Interruption.]
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:56 p.m.