Brouhaha over Ofori-Atta’s absence as MPs debate 2023 Budget

The absence of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament Tuesday November 29, 2022 nearly caused the postponement of the debate on the 2023 budget.

Minority MPs through their deputy whip, Ibrahim Ahmed prayed the Speaker to freeze the debate, questioning the whereabouts of the minister.

In a rebuttal, the Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu however argued that there is no law that compels the minister to be present during the debate on his budget.

Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu also refuted the assertions of the Suame MP.

He nonetheless explained the minister sought permission to travel to Germany on an urgent assignment.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin underscored the importance of presence of finance ministers during debates.

The debate proper started with Minister of state in charge of State Owned Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe who argued contents of the budget are aimed at resuscitating the country’s economy.

Ranking member for the committee on finance Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson on his part accused government of shifting burden onto the citizens contrary to its mantra of burden sharing.

According to the former deputy finance minister not only is the mismanagement of the economy by the Nana Addo administration collapsing businesses, marriages are collapsing too.

Mr. Forson disclosed the minority will oppose some tax measures in the budget.

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare refuted the claims of Ato Forson.

She warned any delay in approving the budget will be catastrophic for Ghana’s economy.

Ranking member for committee on energy John Jinapor painted a gloomy picture of the economy predicting tougher times for Ghanaians going into next year.

He asked the majority MPs to support the censure motion against Ken Ofori-Atta.

Deputy finance minister John Kumah walked back his assertions on debts restructuring moves arguing no definite decision has been made yet relative any haircut.

Bolgatanga Central MP Isaac Adongo argued seeing the back of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is not enough.

According to him, the minister must be followed by the Bank of Ghana Governor and Vice President Bawumia’s lead economic management team.

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