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MPs clash over ministry’s budget report

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Parliament yesterday debated and adopted the 2018 Budget Performance Report of the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives which generated a lot of controversy between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) members and Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) members with regard to the actual amount released to the ministry and projects that were initiated by the ministry.

The Chairman of the Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises Committee of Parliament (which scrutinized the budget performance before the adoption), Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, said that despite the limited resources made available to the ministry, the ministry, which is a new one, was able to achieve a lot within the year under review.

The Minority NDC led by the NDC MP for Yapei/Kusawgu, John Jinapor, criticized the government, especially the President, for making campaign promises of developing the constituencies by allocating $1 million to each constituency every year but since taking office just about 8% of that amount had been released. He said the committee itself which scrutinized the budget performance was not happy with the paltry release of budgeted amounts to the Ministry by the Ministry of Finance.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said that the amount promised by the government was not intended to be given to MPs but rather to the development authorities and in collaboration with the various district assemblies initiate development projects according to the peculiar needs of each constituency.

He, however, urged the committee members to visit all the project sites to ensure that there is value for money for all the projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives.

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