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28.10.2004 Business & Finance

Parliament passes Long-Term Savings Scheme Bill

By GNA

Accra, Oct. 28, GNA - Parliament on Thursday passed the Long-Term Savings Scheme Bill, after Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo moved a motion for the reading of the Bill for the third time.

A memorandum accompanying the Bill said it would be an effective framework for the development of a "retirement-oriented long-term savings plans in the country."

"It is envisaged that the scheme would provide an attractive vehicle for employees and employers to cooperate in establishing supplementary pension funds. Employers may thus use the scheme to fund end-of-service benefits to their employees," it added.

The scheme will not only mobilise savings but also generate funds, which would be a source of long-term investment capital for the economy. The house also took the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa Bill through a second reading.

The purpose of the Bill is to establish a university of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa as a public tertiary institution that is capable of awarding degrees and other certificates for higher education in mining and related disciplines.

The University, which would be the first public tertiary school in the Western Region, was formerly a college under the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, the Defence Minister, said the University would help in the training of personnel for the mining sector, which was attracting a lot of capital investment.

He expressed the need to have more local people to manage the mining industry rather than the country's over-dependence on expatriates. Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said there was the need to expand university education to all parts of the country.

Earlier, the House through a resolution backed by 121 votes gave approval to the agreement between the government of Ghana and Nigeria for an amount of 40 million US dollars as part funding for Ghana's equity in the West African Gas Pipeline Company.

Another agreement, involving an investment incentive agreement between the Government of Ghana and the United States was also approved by 120 votes.

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