BY: Mary Quartey
A letter from the office of the President delivered on the floor of parliament on Wednesday 24, March 2021, has disclosed that the government has rectified its decision of slashing the 2021 budgetary allocation to parliament and the Judiciary.
The letter follows the refusal of the Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin when he stated that he won’t accept the reduction of budgetary allocation for Parliament which has been reduced by GH¢119 million, contained in two separate letters from the Office of the President read to the house at the commencement sitting on Tuesday,16 March 2021 in respect of the budget estimates to Parliament and the Parliamentary Service as well as the Judiciary.
The Speaker explained that it is Parliament that is vested with the power to decide the budget of arms of government, not the power of the Executive to cap the budget of the two bodies. The former Nadowli-Kaleo legislator informed the August House that he has officially replied to the president asking him to reconsider the decision to slash the budgetary allocation to the House, which is in dire need of adequate funding to function effectively.
The Presidency has, however, pacified the Legislature in a new correspondence to the speaker where the estimates for both legislature and judiciary have been increased significantly. And this was disclosed during the period of Public Business on Wednesday 24, March 2021, where the Speaker read to the house another letter from the office of the President which sought to rectify its decision.
According to the letter, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has increased the budgetary allocation for the parliamentary service and parliament by over 180 million cedis. The over 533 million cedis estimate presented by parliament has now been cut by just 10 million instead of the earlier 119 million. Parliament now has been allocated over 532 million cedis.
The judiciary also benefited from the crusade by the speaker with their over 77 million slashes now been increased by over 30 million. Thus, Out of the over 470 million cedis requested, the Judiciary has now been allocated 437 million. In view of this, the Rt. Hon Speaker directed the new recommendations to its special budget and Judiciary committee to consider the estimates for approval.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that the house will send a thank you message to the office of the President for his compliance.