Parliament defers debate on 2016 Budget
Parliament on Wednesday deferred the debate on the 2016 Budget Estimates to Thursday for members of the House to get the correct copies of the Budget document which the Finance Minister had presented.
The House learned that earlier copies distributed to Members contained some printing errors, and the corrected versions had to be distributed for study for Thursday’s sitting.
The decision for the adjournment was reached shortly after the House came back from a suspended sitting for the Leadership to find the way forward on the lack of quorum to start the debate on the 2016 budget proposal.
There was some wrangling, on the lack of quorum, which was sparked by Mr Joe Appiah, Member of Parliament (MP) on the Minority side of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who was at a loss why only a 92 members were on the floor, against 165 members listed present on the floor of the House on the Votes and Proceedings of the previous day.
The issue generated inputs by members from both sides with the conclusion that a member’s presence was not limited to the floor but could also be working at the committee level, or even outside the House, but which must be communicated to the House.
Contributions from the Majority Side caused the Minority to deliberately leave the chamber and sit at the coffee shop so that a quorum could not be reached.
An initial resolution of the matter gave way for Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology to make a statement on climate change, after which some reports were laid.
However, the issue of quorum resurfaced when it was time to begin the debate on the 2016 budget proposal, but the House after some suspension decided to defer the debate to the following date at which time all members would have received the correct version of the Budget document.