The mid-year budget review presentation by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been a subject of debate and rescheduling in Ghana’s Parliament. Originally scheduled for July 25, 2023, the presentation has now been moved to July 27, 2023. This change has sparked concerns among members of Parliament, particularly regarding a development conference organized by the Church of Pentecost (CoP) and the potential impact on the parliamentary schedule.
The Rescheduling Decision
The decision to reschedule the mid-year budget review was announced by the Second Deputy Majority Whip, Habib Iddrisu, during his presentation of the business statement for the ensuing week in Parliament on July 21, 2023. He cited a formal communication from the Finance Ministry as the reason behind the change, explaining that the budget review would now take place on July 27, instead of the initially planned date of July 25.
Contrasting Views in Parliament
The rescheduled date immediately raised concerns, particularly from the First Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim. He expressed worry that the new date clashes with a directive given by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, who had previously stated that the mid-year budget review should be presented on July 25.
Reasons for Speaker’s Directive
According to Ahmed Ibrahim, the original date, July 25, was carefully chosen to coincide with a development conference organized jointly by Parliament and the Church of Pentecost (CoP). Notable figures, including the former and current presidents, as well as Members of Parliament, were all invited to attend the event alongside the Speaker.
The Importance of the Conference
The development conference held by Parliament and the CoP seems to hold great significance, as it involves prominent political figures and members of the church. The Speaker’s decision to schedule the mid-year budget review on July 25 was likely made to accommodate this event, allowing key participants to be present for both occasions.
Parliamentary Recess Considerations
Another factor contributing to the Speaker’s directive was the impending parliamentary recess. Originally planned for August 9, 2023, the Speaker expressed concern that presenting the mid-year budget review on July 27 would be too close to the intended date of adjournment. As a result, he urged the House to adhere to the original schedule and present the budget review on July 25.
Implications of the Rescheduling
The decision to reschedule the mid-year budget review to July 27 has raised questions about the potential impact on the development conference and parliamentary schedules. It also indicates a possible conflict in priorities between the parliamentary business and the joint conference.
The rescheduling of the mid-year budget review in Ghana’s Parliament has become a topic of discussion and concern among members. The clash of priorities between the joint conference organized by Parliament and the Church of Pentecost and the parliamentary schedule has created uncertainty and raised questions about the decision-making process. As the revised date approaches, it remains to be seen how Parliament will address the concerns raised and ensure that both events are managed effectively without compromising any crucial aspects of the budget review process or the development conference.