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Parliament in retrospect – No show for E-Levy

uestions, statements and the presentation of reports dominated proceedings in Parliament this week after the House resumed sitting from February 1 to 4, 2022.

Many were those who expected the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) Bill 2021 to feature on the Order paper for the first day of proceedings but it did not. It resulted in some arguments as to when the bill would be brought back to the House to go through the various stages of consideration.

Although the Leader of Government Business in the House, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu,t last Friday, January 28, 2022 when he presented the Business Statement for the week to the House, said the E-Levy bill would be considered on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, that did not feature on the Order Paper for the day.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who was not pleased with the development, demanded from Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to provide “clarity and certainty” on when the bill would be introduced in Parliament for the House, to debate the principles of the bill.

In his response to the concerns raised by the Minority Leader, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told the House that when he presented the business statement last Friday for the week, there was no indication that the bill would be taken this week.

Subsequent to that, he said there was some engagement between the leadership of the caucuses during which it was determined that the bill would be introduced in the House last Friday.

Order paper

Per the business statement read last Friday for this week, there should have been second reading of three major bills, namely the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2021 and the Student Loan Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

However, while the Order paper contained motion on the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2021 and the Student Loan Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021 was missing.

Questions

Some questions were asked by some Members of Parliament (MPs) on the floor of the House on the status of some health facilities some of which are ongoing.

The MPs had sought to know when the projects would be completed, as well as when those being constructed under the Agenda 111 would also begin.

The questions were asked by the MPs for Tempane, Builsa South and Salaga South, Ms Lydia Lamisi Akanvariba, Dr Clement Apaak and Ms Zuwera Mohammed Ibrahimah respectively, and the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, was in the House to provide answers on them.

Ms Akanvariba wanted to know when the construction of the Tempane District Hospital will commence, Dr Apaak also wanted to know whether funding has been secured for the proposed Builsa South District Hospital under Agenda 111 and when work would commence, while Ms Zuwera wanted to know when the Kafaba Health Centre in her constituency would be completed and made operational, as well as the 60- bed Salaga Euroget Hospital project would be completed and when the Kulpi, Yayielie and Dagombia CHPS compounds would be resourced and made operational.

Mr Agyemang-Manu in his response to the questions said everything was on course and those that were ongoing would be completed, resourced and made operational, while those under the Agenda 111 would also commence this year.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, also appeared before the House to answer questions concerning his ministry and steps being undertaken by the government in the land, forestry and mining sectors of the country.

Loans

The House, during the sitting, also approved loan agreements for the construction of the Bunso-Adawso road and the specified approach roads to the Adawso Bridge and a Bridge over the Afram River all in the Eastern Region.

This was after the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, presented a report of the committee on the loan agreement for the construction of the roads and the bridge to Parliament for adoption and subsequent approval.

Source: graphic.com.gh

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