June 15, 2024 8:50 am

2022 Budget: How Samson Lardy ‘suffocated’ Kyei Mensah-Bonsu on NewsFile

There seem to be interesting times ahead pending the approval of the 2022 Fiscal Policy and Budget Statement following Parliament’s rejection of the document on Friday, November 26, 2021. 

Even though the Majority insists the rejection is unconstitutional due to the 137 members that didn’t constitute half of the total membership that voted, the Minority says the presence of the other caucus to contribute to proceedings before exiting unofficially nullifies their claims.

After series of heated argument between both sides regarding the presence of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, in the House, the Majority boycotted proceedings insisting Asiedu Nketia vacates the gallery after the Finance Minister had been sacked from the Majority caucus.

Mr. Nketia, whose adamancy was bent on the fact that the public gallery is for non MPs, retained his spot making the House rule to reject the budget with the Majority’s absence.

Speaking on NewsFile Saturday, November 27, 2021, closely monitored by Ghanasonline.com, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, told Samson Lardy they will pass the budget within the remit of the constitution and parliamentary orders irrespective of the potential hurdle ahead.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, has left for medical check up in Dubai, meaning a Deputy Speaker would take over in his absence.

When asked what the Majority would do if Friday’s events turns against them come Tuesday, he only managed to say time will tell.

“If the Deputy presides, what numbers would you have? If the Minority decides to walk out as you did, would you be able to approve the budget?,” asked Samson Lardy.

The Majority Leader in response said “we will cross the bridge when we get there.”

“We will not anticipate what will be done on Tuesday. Whatever would be done on Tuesday will conform to the constitution and to our standing orders,” Mr. Kyei Mensah-Bonsu added when he was asked to “cross the bridge now.”

The NewsFile host insisted the probability of the House sitting on the budget “over and over again without yielding any results but rather putting Ghana’s economy at the suffering” is glaring.

But the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs told Samson “you’re drinking the soup even before we finish pounding the fufu.”

“Don’t be pessimistic. I believe that we all want the best for this country and we’ve not ceased with our consultation. We will continue consulting and what is right and appropriate will be done in the fullness of time,” he assured.

The 2022 Budget seems to be the most talked about Fiscal Policy in the Fourth Republic due to the introduction of taxes and especially the Electronic levy.

Many have complained that the government’s move to tax electronic transactions is a lazy man’s approach especially after touting itself as the government that was going to transform the economy from taxation to production whilst in opposition.

Meanwhile, the Minority has clarified that until government fixes something that addresses the predicament that is befalling residents of Keta and its environs, and revisit the E-levy policy, they will stand in the way of the budget’s approval.

Source: Felix Anim-Appau//Ghanasonline.com

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