Minority calls for withdrawal of Petroleum Bill

Linda Akrasi Kotey

Mr. Felix Twumasi Appiah, MP for Sene

The Minority in Parliament has called on the government to withdraw the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill which is currently before the House.

This, they say, is to enable the government come clear on her position, because all indications point to the fact that the government had lost focus, with its members criticising the bill themselves.

Supporting the withdrawal of the bill, the Member for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, said government officials criticising contents of their own bill was a clear indication that the bill should be withdrawn and looked at again.

But, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sene, Twumasi Appiah, disagreed with the member, and argued that the withdrawal of the bill would not solve the problem. Instead, the leadership must come together to resolve the issue.

Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Wa Central, Rashid Pelpuo, disclosed that the government’s position on some of the policies in the bill had changed.”I can say on authority that government position on the bill has shifted, as it can be seen in the amendments proposed.”

The First Deputy Speaker, Doe Adjaho, who was in the chair, said the government cannot propose an amendment to a bill which is before the House.

He added that if the position of the government on the bill had changed, then it should be communicated to the House.

The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah, said the withdrawal would be the best under the circumstance, because, “You cannot criticise your own bill which is before the house.”

The purpose of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill is to provide for a frame work that will guide the efficient collection, allocation and management of petroleum revenue for the benefit of current and future generations of Ghanaians, and also to ensure that the overall management of petroleum revenue is based on sound sustainable fiscal policies that transcend political regimes.

The bill is also to provide clear assignment of responsibilities from collection to the final utilisation of petroleum revenue, within a transparent and accountable framework.

Unique challenges are presented by the petroleum sector. Global experience is that proper and responsible management of petroleum revenue is essential to deliver the best possible future for Ghanaians.

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