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$1 Billion Chinese Loan In Parliament   
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Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo
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A SUBSIDIARY agreement between the government of Ghana and the China Development Bank (CDB) for an amount of $1 billion to finance the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project has been laid before Parliament for approval.

The credit facility is for the tranche B project under the Master Facility Agreement (MFA) between the Government of Ghana and CDB for a total amount of $3 billion to finance infrastructural development projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA).

It would be the recalled that before the approval of Master Facility Agreement a few months ago, the Minority caucus in Parliament demanded the entire subsidiary agreements in the credit facility totaling about 12, before it could give its support.

However, government failed to bring the subsidiary agreements with all the details involved but promised to do so after the approval of the MFA, raising eyebrows.

Earlier, concerns of budget estimates for sector ministries, as approved in the budget statements, not tallying with those provided for in the reports of the select committees on the annual estimates of some ministries, were raised in the House by some Members of Parliament.

The issue cropped up when the Minority Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, who is also the MP for Old Tafo, bemoaned that some select committees of the House were not doing due diligence on the budget estimates.

Dr. Akoto Osei, a former minister of state at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, drew the attention of the speaker to the figures of some committees, notably the Committee on Transport as the amount in its report did not match with the estimates provided by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

The issue ran through most of the reports that Speaker Joyce Bamford-Addo had to occasionally step down the approval of the estimates of some ministries to enable the chairpersons of the affected committees to go out and iron out the differences.

Apparent not happy with the discrepancies, the Speaker stated, “We have to apportion blame even though we sometimes say we should not apportion blames”.

The House, she directed, should “take the bull by the horn” to iron out the problem of differences in the figures before it confronted the Legislature in the passage of the Appropriation Bill to authorize government expenditure for 2012.

Justice Bamford-Addo’s directive kept the chairpersons who were all members of the ruling National Democratic Congress on their toes, as they shuttled in the chamber to confer with each other to resolve the discrepancies in order to pave way for the approval of the estimates.

The budget of the Ministry of Information, amounting to GH¢29,201,381.00, was approved, together with others after the sector minister, John Akologu Tia, moved the motion for its approval to carry out the activities and programmes for 2012 fiscal year.
Source: Daily Guide Ghana

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