The Majority in Parliament has approved the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government presented by Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17 this year.
This happens following earlier misunderstanding on whether or not the budget had been rejected during the Friday’s Parliamentary sitting.
The Majority side blamed the Speaker of the honorable House, Mr. Alban Bagbin for acting in breach of the 1992 constitution after the speaker claimed that 137 members of parliament had taken a decision to reject the budget, an act that fails the constitutional requirement of 138 MPs present in the house before a decision can be made.
Today’s sitting was delayed for hours by meetings between the majority and minority leadership aimed at exploring how to contain the unconstitutionality committed by speaker Bagbin as claimed by the majority in parliament and the 137 MPs.
The discussion have been ongoing in Parliament for several hours in a desperate attempt to build consensus over the rejected budget.
The entrenched treat around the controversial E-levy had been the major dividing issue.
The Minority Caucus demanded a withdrawal of the proposed E-levy.
But the majority side backed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who walked into the meeting around midday then agreed to reduce the proposed levy from 1.75% to 1.5%.
Upon a motion by Majority Leader, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, and a vote by the House, the First Deputy Speaker, Hon Joseph Osei Owusu who chaired proceedings in the absence of the Rt Hon Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, ruled that the earlier decision was in error and in violation of Article 104 (1) and caused it to be expunged from the record.
The Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Efutu, Hon Alexander Afenyor Markin, seconded the Motion moved by Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and cited order 13 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament to support his point that the acting Speaker, Hon Osei Owusu, is “clothed with the power to consider the motion” moved by Hon Kyei Mensah Bonsu.
The First Deputy Speaker counted himself as an MP making the Majority Caucus in the House 138 members.
This, he explained gives them the numbers to pass the 2022 Budget.
Parliament then proceeded to properly consider the motion on the budget and subsequently approved it.
Parliament will now consider the budget estimates in the coming weeks for specific sectors of the economy before the appropriation bill will be passed to give the government the green light to spend according to the huge amount of money appropriated in the budget.
Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori Atta in concluding the debate highlighted how government will accommodate the concerns raised by the Minority in the approval of estimates, revenue bills and appropriation.