The Minister of Finance is to go to Parliament with an amended statement of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government as part of efforts to help cure the confusion that has engulfed the “rejection” or “rescission” of the budget by Parliamentarians.
The amended statement is to contain the modifications and concessions, which the Minister of Finance has already communicated to Parliament in a letter.
The modifications and concessions will then be adopted by the House and the revised document with the estimates will stand committed to the various Committees of Parliament.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, made this known when he resumed sitting on Thursday, December 16, 2021 after a two week break which saw him travel to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for a medical review.
In a formal statement delivered in the House when he resumed his seat, Mr Bagbin said: “I am aware the Committees have begun consideration of the estimates. It would thus be their responsibility to reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House.”
He said the move which was to help cure the “rejection and rescission” public debate was following a letter presented by the Minister of Finance on Concessions and Modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement.
Mr Bagbin said the legal basis of the laying of such a letter by the Minister and what actions Parliament may take as a result leaves a lot to be desired but “I have however held discussions with the Leadership of the House to find a path that is faithful to law, respects our rules and processes and ensures the governance of the country does not grind to a halt.”
In that vein, he said the leadership has agreed on the new steps be taken.
“I am aware the Committees have begun consideration of the estimates. It would thus be their responsibility to reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House,” Mr Bagbin added.
Concluding his statement, Mr Bagbin reiterated the pledge that he would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate government business, but, will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.
“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.”
“Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”