The Minority in Parliament has described as unacceptable, the absence of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and his deputies during the debate on the 2022 Budget, which commenced on Tuesday.
The Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Finance, Charles Adu Boahene was also absent.
According to the Minority side, the absence of these persons undermines the important parliamentary process which ends on Friday.
The Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, who spoke on behalf of the Minority said, “the Minister of Finance moved a motion on behalf of the President. We are debating the motion to make alternative inputs to be sent to the President, who sent him to bring the motion to us. Where is the mover of the motion?
“This House must not be taken for granted. If the President sends you to bring us the budget statement, it’s necessary we are going to suggest alternative solutions. The Minister of Finance must be here, to take notice of all the alternative solutions that are going to be proposed and send them to the President. At least one of them must be here,” he added.
His colleague, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Kluste Avedzi, also threatened to stop the debate if the Finance Minister does not show up, but the leadership of the Majority claimed that the Minister’s absence was justified.
Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, said the Finance Minister and his deputies are engaged in other pressing assignments.
According to him: “The Finance Minister and his deputies joined Parliament in Ho for the post-budget workshop. They take Parliament serious and in moments like these, the Ministry will be engaged in a lot of activities.”
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, who was presiding over the proceedings, ruled for senior analysts of the Ministry who were present in Parliament to be brought into the Chamber to observe and take note of the suggestions from members.