Speaker Warns Ministers’ Against Absenteeism

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The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has decried the absence of some Ministers from Parliamentary sittings and said this is causing undue delays in the legislative process.

He has thus given such public office holders a one-week “honeymoon” to put their acts together, avail themselves to the work of the House and not force the hand of the House in exacting its inherent powers in dealing with that problem.

The Speaker was reacting to concerns raised by the Minority on the seeming “disrespect” shown to the House by ministers who do not show up to answer questions pertaining to their sectors.

The House was scheduled, as per its order paper for today, to commence public business with the consideration of the Value Added Tax Bill 2013 that seeks to revise and consolidate the law relating to the Value Added Tax (VAT) by moving all the administrative provisions in the VAT Act, 1998 (Act 546) into a single Revenue Administration Act.

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Old Tafo and Ranking Member on Finance, wondered why none of the ministers from the Finance Ministry was in the House for the consideration stage of the Value Added Tax Bill 2013.

“Mr Speaker, this House should be respected, how can ministers absent themselves from the processes of this very important Bill……We are here for serious business,” he said.

The bill also seeks to improve existing provisions of Act 546 to enhance efficiency and facilitate compliance. The bill is divided into 11 parts with 45 clauses and six schedules.

Source: GNA

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