The Minority in Parliament has raised red flags over the absence of the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, his two deputies, and the Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Finance, Charles Adu Boahene, during the debate of the 2022 budget statement and fiscal policy of the government.
According to the Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, it is unacceptable for the Minister and his deputies to be absent when the budget is under consideration.
According to him, the Minister or at least one of his deputies must be present to convey the sentiments and suggestions of the legislators on the budget to be President.
“The Minister of Finance moved a motion on behalf of the president. We are debating the motion to make alternative inputs to be sent to the president, who sent him to bring the motion to us… Where is the mover of the motion? This house must not be taken for granted. If the President sends you to bring us the budget statement, it’s necessary we are going to suggest alternative solutions. The Minister for finance must be here, to take notice of all the alternative solutions that are going to be proposed and send it to the president. At least one of them must be here,” he said.
But the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, was of the view that the Minority is seeking to score cheap political points, as the Minister or his deputies didn’t have to be present during the debate.
He was of the view that since the Minister and his deputies were present during the post-budget workshop in Ho to discuss the budget, it was sufficient.
“I am surprised at the Deputy Minority Whip. The Finance Minister and his deputies, joined parliament in Ho for the post-budget workshop. They take parliament seriously and in moments like these, the ministry will be engaged in a lot of activities,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, who was presiding over the proceedings, ruled for senior analysts of the Ministry who were present in parliament to be brought in to observe and take note of the suggestions.