Parliamentary debate on the $3 billion Chinese Loan agreement has been deferred to tomorrow, Friday August 26, 2011.
First Deputy Speaker, Hon Edward Doe Adzaho, ruled that debate on the loan be deferred to tomorrow August 26, 2011 after Minority MPs strongly opposed an application by the Majority bench that a revised report of the Finance Committee on the facility be debated today.
“We have done a lot of consultations behind the scenes...We should not destroy what we have achieved so far...” Hon Doe Adjaho said, after Minority MPs demanded that MPs be given enough time to “digest” the new agreement and the new report of the committee.
The First Deputy Speaker also directed the Clerk’s office to make sure all MPs receive copies of the new agreement and the new report of the Committee “to allow for smooth debate tomorrow.”
“Motion moved and seconded. The debate will start tomorrow,” Hon Doe Adjaho said after, Tamale South MP and Minister for Communication, Hon Haruna Iddrissu, seconded the motion for the adoption of the Committee’s report.
The motion was moved by Finance Committee Chairman, Hon James Klutse Avedzi.
“The normal practice in the House is for the Minority Spokesperson to second such motions,” CitiNews Parliamentary Correspondent, Richard Sky said, explaining that “to have a member from the Majority second the motion meant that Minority MPs still have serious problems with the loan facility.”
The revised report, according to Majority Leader Cletus Avoka, “is not substantially different from” the original one, which was laid yesterday. It came after the Finance Committee had a marathon meeting to “consider” what some members called “the fine details” of a revised Master Facility Agreement laid before the House Thursday afternoon by Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor. The Minister had, minutes earlier, withdrawn the original $3 billion loan agreement his Deputy, Seth Emmanuel Terkper, laid before the House on Tuesday July 12, 2011.
The move, according to Majority Leader, Hon Cletus Avorka was to cure the concerns of the Minority NPP over the document.
CitiNews Parliamentary Correspondent, Richard Sky, said he saw a copy of the amended agreement into which “a three-paragraphed statement had been inserted” in an attempt to address the concerns of Minority MPs.
But the Finance Committee again failed to achieve consensus on the revised document.
In its report to the House, the Committee said in part: “Majority of Members of the Committee agreed that request...asking the House to approve the Master Facility Agreement was in order and therefore the Committee should recommend it to the House for approval. However, the Minority disagreed with that opinion.”
It concluded: “Upon critical examination of the Master facility Agreement, the Committee, by majority decision, finds that the facility would contribute to provide a comprehensive and accelerated infrastructural development across the country.
“The Committee therefore, by majority decision, recommends to the House to adopt this report and approve by resolution for signing by Government, the Master Facility (MFA) for a three billion United States Dollars ...Term Loan Facility between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank (CDB) to finance agreed Infrastructure Development Projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the loans Act, 1970 (Act 335).”
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