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11.02.2005 Business & Finance

Doe Adajo calls fortime to debate Budget Statement

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Accra, Feb. 11, GNA - Mr Edward Doe Adjajo, Deputy Minority Leader, on Friday appealed to the Majority Leader to assist in ensuring that this year's Budget Statement and Economic Policy was brought before Parliament in good time for extensive debate.

He said the Executive needed to bring the Budget to the House early enough to enable the House to have ample time to scrutinise the Government's economic policy properly before giving approval. Mr Adjaho was reacting to the "Business Statement" for next week presented by the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Abraham Ossei-Aidoo. Mr Ossei-Aidoo told the House that the Budget would not be presented to Parliament next week as initially planned but rather it would be during the fourth week of February.

Mr Adjaho said it was expected that Parliament would rise some where in March and there would not be enough time for the House to go through the Budget and approve the estimates for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

"We have less than one month to debate and scrutinise monies that would be going to Ministries, Departments and Agencies....I can't see how we can do any serious work," Mr Adjaho said.

It is, however, expected that the House would have extended or double sittings to enable it thoroughly go through the Budget Statement before going on recess around March 22.

Later when the House commenced Public Business, Mr Francis Agbotse, NDC-Ho West, urged President John Agyekum Kufuor to use his good relations with Togo in resolving the crisis in that country. The MP who was continuing the debate on the State of Nation address, touched on the close relationship between the Late Togolese Leader, President Gnassingbe Eyadema and President Kufuor and said there were serious implications for border towns in Ghana in the event of a spill over of the crisis in Togo.

On the development of ICT, the MP urged the Government to fulfil the promises it made to rollout telecommunications development throughout the country.

He said there was the need for a road map on telecommunications so that Members of Parliament could assist in facilitating the expansion of the sector in their communities.

Mr Agbotse said the Government had also made some promises in the past to extended telephone lines to all secondary schools and border towns, but this promise was still outstanding.

Ms Cecilia Dapaah, NPP- Bantama, said the Government's focus on human resource development was in the right direction but a lot of work would have to be done in scaling down the infection rates of HIV/AIDS to preserve the gains made in the area.

Professor George Gyan-Bafour, NPP-Wenchi, said the focus on private sector development would ensure efficiency in the running of important areas of the economy because privatisation meant someone had direct oversight and was answerable for any loss.

Mr Lee Ocran, NDC-Jomoro, said it was disappointing that little mention was made of the environment in President Kufuor's address. The MP said with the many problems and challenges facing the environment such as the flouting of mining laws, degradation of the environment and pollution, the Government should have been concerned enough to tackle these issues.

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