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19.11.2002 General News

MPs contemplate Budget Act

By gna
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Some Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday, stressed the need for a Budget Act to enable legislators make inputs in the preparation of the national budget.

Under the current constitutional dispensation, Parliament only approves or rejects a budget and cannot increase proposed expenditure.

This was one of the decisions by over twenty-five members of the Public Account, Finance, Local Government and Gender and Children Committees at a seminar on "NEPAD and the Budget" at Green Hill near Accra.

They did not indicate whether the bill would be sponsored by a private member or by government.

They dwelt on the Ugandan budgetary system where the Budget Act directs that the executive present proposals to Parliament for inputs before the final draft was brought back to the house for approval.

The legislators said that would ensure more participation in drawing the budget and promote public monitoring of expenditure.

According to them, MPs who were the representatives of the people could help direct the budget to fall in line with the objectives of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) and NEPAD.

The members called for the strengthening of the various Parliamentary Committees through the allocations of resources for their activities.

They said it was unthinkable for a Parliamentary Committee to be looking around for sponsorship for its programmes since such actions would put limitations on their discretionary powers.

On NEPAD and the GPRS, the lawmakers called for a study to know popular opinion about the programmes.

They called for the creation of a NEPAD Committee in Parliament and a national Committee to coordinate activities on the programme.

The Members said the success or otherwise of the GPRS and NEPAD would depend on the strength of constitutional bodies and other organs charged to promote macro economic stability, health, gender, infrastructure and other vital services.

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