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Gov't Withdraws $3 billion Chinese Loan
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Audio Attachment:Listen to Peace Fm's Emmanuel Akorli filing a report from parliament

Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor
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Peacefmonline.com can confirm that the Ministry of Finance has withdrawn the original report laid before Parliament for the approval of a $3 billion Chinese loan facility following some concerns raised by the Minority on some aspects of the agreement.

Consequently, a new report has been laid before the House and sitting has been suspended to enable the Joint Committee on Finance and Poverty Reduction Strategy to consider the new report, says PeaceFM's parliamentary correspondent, Emmanuel Akorli.

The Finance Committee of Parliament on Wednesday August 24, recommended for approval by majority decision, the $3 billion loan agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank.

Debate on the Bill, laid before the House on Wednesday, was expected to begin today, August 25, but Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor asked that the bill be withdrawn for certain portions to be removed.

So important is this loan facility to the ruling NDC government that Parliament was recalled from recess after four weeks to consider the agreement expected to finance a number of projects in the country. The loan is meant to finance a number of infrastructure projects, including the Eastern Corridor roads and Accra Plains Irrigation project.

The Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, according to reports, withdrew the loan deal when the leadership of the House impressed on him the need to ensure that approval of the deal was done in the supreme interest of the house and not by majority consensus.

He was also advised to take steps to address some red flags raised by the Minority in Parliament so both sides could come to an understanding for the loan deal to be passed.

The loan deal has left the House sharply divided with the Minority members of the Committee not happy with some aspects of the agreement, eventhough they (Minority) say in principle they support securing of the loan.

They insist portions of the agreement will not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians, especially portions governing subsidiary agreements.

In a related development, Parliamentary debate on the $3 billion Chinese Loan agreement has been deferred to tomorrow, Friday August 25, 2011.
Source: Nana Kwadwo Asante/Peacefmonline.com

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