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Minority cries foul on voting result for tariff increase motion

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Kyei-Mensah Bonsu

Minority in parliament on Tuesday said voting on the motion to express concern on the recently announced increase on water and electricity tariffs, was swindled in favour of the Majority.

“We challenge the numbers, this amount to rigging in the House,” thundered Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu after the results were announced by Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, First Deputy Speaker, who presided over proceedings that day.

The Minority Leader said voting members of the Minority were more than the Majority and wondered why the results stood at 87 for those in favour of the motion and 98 for those against the motion.

The voting was on two motions: The first motion was from the Minority side which reads: “This Honourable House expresses concern on the recently announced increased electricity and water tariffs and call for its immediate reconsideration by government.”

Whilst the second motion from the Majority side read: “This Honourable House expresses concern on the recently announced increased electricity and water tariffs and called for its immediate reconsideration by the Public Utility Regulation Authority.”

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s appeal, however, did not overturn the result, which was handed over to Mr Adjaho by the clerks of Parliament, who counted the votes.

When voting was conducted for the second motion 95 members voted in favour of the motion with 89 voting against the motion.

The two motions were proposed after debates on the floor escalated into uproarious hecklings on an original motion which read: “This Honourable House expresses concern on the recently announced increased electricity and water tariffs and call for its immediate reconsideration.”

Mr Joe Gidisu Minister of Roads and Highways proposed the first amendment to the motion from the majority side and was seconded by Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.

Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Member for Afigya Sekyere West proposed the motion from the Minority camp and was seconded by Mr Joe Ghartey, Member for Esikadu/Ketan, who also called on government to intervene in the increase by allocating subsidies to cushion the impact on ordinary Ghanaians.

Mr Kobena Tahir Hammond, Member for Adansi Asokwa said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government had cozened Ghanaians.

He noted that in their manifesto they promised to put prices of utilities within the reach of the ordinary Ghanaians, but it was rather the opposite.

Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah said it was PURC that had the mandate to determine the tariffs for utilities, but government had the option to design mitigation measures to reduce the harsh impact the increase might have caused.

He said the previous administration did a lot in that aspect by designing many mitigating packages to cushion the effects of tariff hikes.

Mr Gidisu on the other hand said government was very considerate as compared to the previous administration.

Mr Moses Asaga, Member for Nabdam, said PURC demanded an increase of 154 per cent, but government reduced it to 89 percent adding that all that was in consultation with organized labour.

He said before PURC proposed the increase, factors such as consumer interest, investor interest, and cost of production were considered before the tariff was pegged.

Source: GNA

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