Parliament begins debate on 2024 Budget
Parliament is scheduled to commence debate on the 2024 Budget statement and economic policy of the government tomorrow, Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who presented the Business Statement for the week on the floor of Parliament last Friday said the Business Committee looked forward to a lively, well researched and informed debate.
He said in order to afford as many Members of Parliament (MPs) as possible the opportunity to participate in the debatepol, the committee has proposed the following time allotments: Seconder and Ranking Members of the Finance Committee would have 20 minutes to speak, other committee members, 15 minutes and all other MPs, 10 minutes.
The committee proposed that the debate for each day be structured according to specific sectors, that is, governance, including security and public safety, finance and economy generally, energy and other infrastructural sectors, the social sector, local governance as well as youth, sports, tourism and the cultural sectors.
The Majority Leader said the recommendation was to ensure coherence, comprehensiveness and logical flow of the debate.
Per the timetable, Tuesday will be for finance, agric, trade, and industry.
Debate on communications, energy, roads, works and housing, sanitation and environment would take place on Wednesday; Thursday will be for education, health, employment, youth and sports, tourism, culture, and chieftaincy while on Friday, governance including local government, judiciary, defence, interior, the Electoral Commission, National Commission for Civil Education, and Commission on Human rights and administration of Justice will take centre stage.
The debate is expected to be concluded by leadership of both the Majority and Minority on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said as had been the practice, sitting periods would be extended into the night to enable Parliament to finish its assignments before it rose on December 22, 2023.
He entreated all committees to expeditiously work on the budget estimates of the various MDAs for the consideration of the House due to the limited time available to parliament before the yuletide.
That, according to him, was to enable the passing of the Appropriation Bill, 2023, and other equally important parliamentary business prior to the House adjourning.
The Business Committee also urged committees of finance, gender and children and environment, science and technology to expeditiously work on the bills which were laid under a certificate of urgency for the consideration of the House as they are time bound and any further delay to the passing of the bills will not augur well for the image of the country.
The bills are: Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2023; Affirmative Action (Gender Equality) Bill, 2023; Social Protection Bill, 2023; and the Environment Protection Bill, 2023.
Also on the bills for this week are five ministers to appear before the House to answer questions.
The questions include six urgent ones.
The ministers scheduled to appear are Education; Communication and Digitalisation; Trade and Industry; Interior; and Roads and Highways.