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Speaker Bagbin asks gov’t to appear with new budget with modifications

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin has directed the Minister for Finance to appear before the House with an amended 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government that captures what the Minister said in a letter to the Speaker are modifications and concessions.

Speaker Bagbin says it is only when the new Budget Statement containing the modifications and concessions are adopted by the House that “the estimates will stand committed to the various Committees of Parliament” for consideration.

Parliament has been engulfed in controversy following the rejection by the House of the 2022 Budget, in a move that saw government seeking through its members and in the absence of the Speaker to overturn the decision.

With the NDC Minority insisting that it will not support the approval of the budget if it contains the proposed 1.75% e-levy on mobile money and other electronic banking transactions, the Agyapa deal and others, government has been forced to announce what it says are concessions but are unknown to the NDC minority and the public.

Giving his directive in a statement to the House on Thursday night, Speaker Bagbin said while he is aware that the Committees have started the consideration of the estimates as contained in the original budget statement, they must “reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House.”

He had earlier questioned the legal basis of the Finance Minister’s letter purporting to make the concessions and modifications, indicating that it left a lot to be desired.

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