Parliament to debate $3b China loan facility today after withdrawal

Parliament on Thursday amended the $3 billion loan report and deferred debate on it to Friday August 26, 2011 after adjourning temporarily for about three hours.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho First Deputy Speaker, who presided the sitting, ruled that the motion for the laid report be taken and the full blown debate commenced on Friday.

He said this was a very important motion and that all members must be conversant with the document.

The revised report was not available to members early enough for them to study it for debate to commence on the Masters Facility Agreement.

The Minority rejected the earlier report on the basis that some aspects of the report, especially the Subsidiary Agreements were not known to members.

They also indicated that the original loan agreement was not made available for them.

The Minority also contested parts of the report on the basis that there were gaps in the agreement marked with phrases such as “to be agreed,” or “to be inserted,” as in the clause 15.1.1, 18.62 and that of 19.17.

The Majority and the Minority split over the matter when the House reconvened.

Mr Cletus Avoka Majority Leader said the amended report was not substantially different from the rejected one, explaining that the only difference was a paragraph on the last pages otherwise the reports were the same.

Hence, he called on the speaker to suspend sitting for 30 minutes for members to read the report and commence debates on the matter immediately.

“Change could not be done in a vacuum,” Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu Minority Leader said and added that the old report must be compared with the new one for members to assure themselves that the change had been effected.

“If there is any change then certainly it must be juxtaposed with the amended old agreement,” he said, adding that it must be predicated on the old agreement.

He called on the speaker to defer debate till tomorrow when all members were privy to the loan document.

He said the Committee Chairman must ensure that the report was distributed to other members since it was not meant for the Committee members alone.

Mr Abrose Dery Deputy Minority Leader said Parliament should not be reduced to rubber stamp and questioned whether any good debate could be done without having access to the reports.

Government is contracting two tranches loan agreement to tune of $3 billion which had two sets of agreements.

The loan facility, which is one of the biggest in recent time, is to finance projects such as Accra Plains Irrigation Project Phase 1 covering 5000 hectares, Coastal Fishing Habours and Landing sites projects, East Corridor Multi-modal projects with Volta Lake facility components, Western Corridor gas infrastructure project, Phase one of the Takoradi Petroleum Terminal project and Western Corridor oil Enclave Toll Road development project.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.