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15.10.2008 Politics

Lack of quorum delays work on Pension Bill

By gna

Parliament on Wednesday suspended business on the National Pension Reform Bill because of divisions over numbers to work on the Bill.

Although, leadership had agreed that work in the House would continue this week despite the need for members to be in their constituencies to file nominations, yet the issue of quorum prevented smooth business today.

Some members, including Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Deputy Minority Leader and Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum, CPP Flag Bearer said the Pension Reform Bill was a very important Bill which would affect the security and future of Ghanaian workers and needed a lot of input from majority of members.

The Majority side led by Mr Kwabena Okerchiri, Majority Chief Whip, insisted that the consideration stage of the Bill could easily be handled by the few present.

However, Mr Freddie Blay, First Deputy Speaker, who was presiding, said given the strong objections raised over the lack of quorum, work on the Bill be suspended until next week when the House was full.

The Bill, when passed into law, would address issues such as a Pension Scheme for the informal sector and correct the inadequacies in retirement benefits.

Earlier, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, told the House that the School Feeding Programme started in 2006 and as at October 14, 2008, an amount of 60,723,156.23 million Ghana Cedis had been spent on the programme.

He said modalities were in place to add 100,300 pupils during this fourth quarter to bring the total number of pupils on the programme to 576,383.

Mr Adjei-Darko was responding to a question from Mr Joe Gidisu, NDC-Central Tongu, on how much had been spent so far on the programme and efforts to expand it.