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By Elsie Appiah-Osei
Accra, November 19, GNA – Encouraging deliberate actions to enhance the well-being of their constituents, Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has urged MPs to exemplify respect through their endeavors.
He emphasized that MPs can accomplish this by displaying respect in their work.
“We cannot disregard the media and public assessors of ethics, performance, and standards who continuously scrutinize us. We should not remain ignorant of their vigilant scrutiny; This realization demands our awakening,” he expressed.
“As leaders, it is our responsibility. We can also earn a badge of honor beyond the title of Honorable. Let us strive to be recognized for praiseworthy actions and character, not simply for our affiliated designations,” he articulated.
Mr Bagbin presented this appeal while addressing MPs during the inauguration of the 2023 two-day post-budget workshop at the Parliament House, Accra.
The primary objective of the annual post-budget workshop is to equip MPs and senior officials of the Parliamentary Service with the skills required to scrutinize the budget and economic policy of the executive branch of government for the 2024 financial year.
It also aims to provide parliamentarians with insights into the budget and facilitate enquiries to offer effective oversight, elucidating government policies and programs.
The key anticipated outcomes will involve discussions on the merits of the statement on the House floor in the forthcoming days, relevant legislation, and the final Appropriations Act for the 2024 fiscal year.
Therefore, he reminded MPs about their obligations to the representatives who entrusted them and anticipated them to justify their worth as holders of the honorable title.
He mentioned that according to the Afrobarometer survey report (Round 91) conducted in July 2022, there has been an indication of a lack of trust in democratic institutions in the country.
“As for trust rating, the courts have ten percent; The President has 14 percent; The Election Commission has ten percent and Parliament has eight percent.
“Honorable members, we have to alter our mindset, attitudes, and modes of conducting ourselves and our affairs. If you are unconcerned about the rating, I am genuinely troubled,” Mr Bagbin expressed.
The five-themed plenary session, presented by Dr. Alhassan Iddrisu of the Ministry of Finance, centered on the 2024 Budget-macroeconomic, fiscal environment, and relevant overview of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while a Comparative Analysis Example of Finance The ministry was presented by Mr. Samuel Arkhurst on Public Sector Debt Management.
Professor Osei Akoto of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) provided MPs with a comparative analysis of the 2022 policy objectives and targets in comparison to the 2024 objectives and targets.
“What to Consider in the Analysis of the 2024 Sector Budget – How to Analyze and Criticize the National Budget” was a presentation by Dr. Alex Amankwa Poku of the Ministry of Finance, on how to use appendices in the budget statement for analysis and PBB The exhibition was curated by Professor Daniel Twerefor.
Other topics deliberated during the two-day workshop centered on governance, economic, infrastructure, and social sectors.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that the 2024 budget aims to ensure the timely implementation of the Program for Economic Growth (PC-PEG) to safeguard recent macroeconomic gains, expand investments to implement the new growth strategy, and chart a new course.
It aims to consolidate and complete ongoing projects to enhance productivity and welfare, while also mobilizing climate finance to foster government resilience and promote climate-sensitive development.
He said: “Speaker, regarding the development provision in this budget including the clearance of road dues, this government intends to demonstrate our commitment to building a robust infrastructure network. On statutory funds, we have allocated a budget to clear the dues.
Mr Ofori-Atta encouraged the participants to approach the workshop with an open mind and a critical perspective.
He called for a partnership that would propel the economy forward.
“Mr. Speaker, I am confident that with determination, we can achieve these lofty goals while maintaining the possible primary balance.
“Mr. President, this is a time for unity, reform, and peace,” he expressed.
Majority Leader Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu urged MPs to ensure that the budget aligns best with the country’s resources to support vulnerable groups in society.
He also urged MPs to fortify their roles in order to articulate their perspectives.
Minority leader Dr. Casil Ato Bah Forsan stated that it is likely for the government to hastily initiate projects without dedicated funding sources to fulfill unplanned campaign promises in 2024.
“Mr. Speaker, it is common for overspending to occur in an election year, and to fulfill unplanned campaign promises, projects are hastily launched without dedicated funding sources, and without regard to its impact on wages for organized workers. Better conditions of service are assured.Bill,” he articulated.
The Government’s 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy was presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, with the theme: “Advancing growth and development within a stable macroeconomic environment.”
The government also referred to it as the “Nkunim” budget or the 2024 victory budget.