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Debate on 2023 Budget begins today

BY: Daniel Kenu
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu

The debate on the 2023 Budget statement and economic policy of the government will take centre stage on the floor of Parliament today, as the House resume sitting for the week.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who announced this in Parliament last Friday when he presented the Business Statement of the House for the week ending Friday, December 2, on the floor of Parliament, said sitting is expected to be extended to ensure that the debate on the budget concludes on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

Mr Afenyo-Markin, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for the Effutu Constituency in the Central Region, reiterated the need for the Ministry of Finance and other ministries to submit to Parliament their sectoral estimates for consideration of same and approval by the House.

“Mr Speaker, the Business Committee again reiterates that due to the limited time available to Parliament to consider and approve the list of businesses scheduled for the Meeting, the Ministry of Finance and other ministries should endeavour to submit to Parliament their sectoral estimates early enough for consideration of same and approval by the House,” he said.

Other matters arising

While presenting the Business Statement for the week, Mr Afenyo-Markin noted that the Committee had scheduled six ministers to respond to questions asked by MPs during the week, adding that in all, 44 questions were expected to be answered.

Out of the 44 questions, 40 will be oral with four being urgent questions.

“Mr Speaker, the following ministers: Works and Housing, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Education, Transport, Communication and Digitalisation and Roads and Highways are expected to attend to respond to the 44 questions,” he said.

Commenting on the timely work of the ministries in the submission of their sectoral estimates, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Buem, Kofi Iddie Adams, called on the ministries to act quickly to ensure committees worked within their allocated time to ensure a productive meeting.

Delay in vetting

Reacting to a question raised by the NDC MP for Krachi West, Helen Adjoa Ntoso, on the delay in the vetting of the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister and Deputy Minister-designate by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Deputy Majority Leader told the House that a referral had been made to the Appointments Committee on the President’s nominees.

“A referral has been made to the Appointments Committee. It is for them to do their work. When the report is ready, it will be presented to the House. Thank you, Mr Speaker,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo, in August this year, nominated the NPP MP for Walewale and Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, as Minister-designate for the sector.