The Majority in Parliament has today November 30, 2021, approved the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government presented by Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on the 17th of November this year.
This comes following earlier confusion on whether or not the budget had been rejected at Friday’s Parliamentary sitting.
The Majority side accused the Speaker of the House, 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 cure the unconstitutionality committed by speaker Bagbin and the 137 MPs.
The talks have been ongoing in Parliament for several hours in a desperate attempt to build consensus over the rejected budget.
The entrenched positions around the controversial e-levy had been the major dividing issue.
The Minority Caucus demanded a withdrawal of the proposed levy.
But the majority side backed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who walked into the meeting around midday had 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 buttress his point that the acting Speaker, Hon Osei Owusu, is "clothed with the power to consider the motion" moved by Kyei Mensah Bonsu.
Rejected, Now Approved
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 monies appropriated in the budget.
Finance minister Ken Ofori Atta in winding up the debate highlighted how government will accommodate the concerns raised by the Minority in the approval of estimates, revenue bills and appropriation.
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