Minority to resist approval of budget estimates

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader, says the group will resist the approval of budget estimates for ministers who fail to move the motion of the ongoing debate of the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of their respective ministries in the House.

He expressed concern about how ministers of the various ministries were not taking the business of the House seriously.

“Mr Speaker, going forward, we will resist the approval of any estimates coming from ministers who absent themselves from such exercises,” he said.
Mr Iddirsu said this on the floor of Parliament on Thursday.

Parliament is expected to conclude a debate on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

The House is thus expected to subsequently approve the Appropriation Bill.

Mr Iddrisu, the Member of Parliament for Tamale South on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress, further cautioned sector ministers to avail themselves to the House for the approval of their budgets.

“When we get to the approval of budget estimates and ministers don’t appear in person in Parliament by themselves, we will not support the approval of the budget allocations to those ministries.

“Ministers must take this House very seriously, and only ministers so appointed by the President to oversee the sectors of those ministries must rise from their seats to move motions to ask for budget allocations and approval by this House. Failure to do so will mean that we will stump down a number of those motions,” Mr Iddrisu said.

He noted that Parliament and the minority would hold the government accountable, adding that “we intend to strengthen oversight, and it begins with this our decision. If ministers don’t appear in person to move motions for budget allocations, then they should expect the fiercest resistance from this side of the House.”

Since the debate on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy began on Tuesday, November 29, the MPs on the Majority side have silently protested without showing up to contribute to the debate compared to the Minority side of the House.

The group had also called for the timely debate of the censure motion against Mr Ofori-Atta since it was not captured in the Business Statement for the following week.

“On the motion of censure against the Finance Minister, the words in Article 82 do not give Parliament perpetuity to discuss the matter, we are within defined time limits to consider the motion and take decisions as appropriate so whatever committee has been set up, we need to bring closure to it,” he said.

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