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Monday, September 21, 2020

NDC, NPP MPs “Exchange Blows” over removal of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta from office

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Members of Parliament are divided along party lines over whether or not the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta should be removed from office.

The NDC MPs contend Mr Ofori-Atta has breached provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 which makes him liable to removal from office under the same Act.

According to Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, a request by the Finance Minister to suspend the fiscal responsibility rules would not be entertained by the House.

The Act says that the Minister should ensure that for every fiscal year, budget deficit is not more than 5% of GDP. Also, a positive primary balance should be maintained.

If these cannot be met due to spelt out measure in the law which include public health epidemics, the Finance Minister must suspend the rules with Parliament’s approval to the reasons.

But rejecting the move by Mr Ofori-Atta, Haruna Iddrisu said there is nothing the House can do to save the Minister’s job.

“We would not suspend the law. He will undergo the sanctions spelt out in the Fiscal Responsibility Act…” the Tamale South MP asserted.

But the NDC MPs do not have the numbers to pass a vote of censure.

The governing NPP which has the numbers is not at all enthused about removing the Minister from office, neither do they believe he has breached any law.

Speaking to Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the House, Mark Assibey Yeboah rejected the NDC MPs’ argument.

He said per the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Finance Minister has submitted the House a request for the suspension of the rules of fiscal responsibility, a ramification of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He maintains Ofori-Atta has complied with the law and there is no grounds to remove him from office.

But NDC Tamale Central MP Inusah Fuseini counters this position. He explains that the notice coming from the Minister is coming too late, a time where the threshold of budget deficit of 5% of GDP has already been exceeded.

Dr. Assibey Yeboah, however, disagrees, stressing the fiscal year is not over.

The NDC MPs are, meanwhile, resolute in the course to sanction the Minister.

Source: Joy News

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