The Post-Budget Workshop for the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government, will take place at the Volta Serene Hotel in Ho, from Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27.
Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, said this in a formal communication to the House.
He said the practice had been that before the House decides on the venue for the Post Budget Hearing Workshop, an Assessment Commitment was set-up, which goes down to assess the various facilities and present a report to the House and based on that report one of the venues would be selected.
He noted that in reaching the decision, many issues were always considered, mostly concerning cost, saying, “definitely we are concerned about value for money”.
Other issues he cited include convenience, availability of Members of Parliament (MPs) and the capacity of the venue’s facilities.
He said all these things were taken into consideration and that when the Assessment Committee’s report was taken, two venues came top – Rock City and (Volta) Serene Hotel.
“The cost of Rock City was far above that of Serene Hotel. We also looked at issues of proximity and convenience,” Mr Speaker stated.
“I am aware the concern raised by members has to do with issues of cost, but both (hotels) really have adequate facilities that could host members.”
He said after the decision of the House, Administration had proceeded to make some commitments and that some payments had already been made.
The Speaker reiterated that the decision for them to hold the Post Budget Workshop in Ho still holds.
“I can only plead with members to bare with me and the Administration for us to host it there. We’ve taken note of the issues raised concerning cost cutting,” he said.
“Well, we know the situation we are in as a country and, therefore, we will be looking at the laws, because of payment that had been made on some other things.”
Touching on the proposals that some MPs had made concerning them hosting the Post Budget Hearing Workshop in Chamber of Parliament, the Speaker said they were also aware from experience what happens when they try to host such things in the Chamber of Parliament.
“Even when we tried hosting a number of them at GIMPA, we saw how those things affected attendance and the fact that members had serious challenges in focusing on the workshop, because of interruptions by various imperatives, there is nothing you can do about it as a Member of Parliament,” the Speaker said.
“So, members should bare with me and the Leadership for us to host the Post Budget Workshop at Serene Hotel in Ho,” he said
He said during the Post Budget Workshop, Members of the House would be prepared, so that next week they could do a better job.
Speaker Bagbin said looking at the circumstances, they had just about a month to deliberate on the budget and then pass the Appropriation Bill.
The Post Budget Workshop is aimed at increasing Members’ knowledge on the policy underpinning the 2023 Budget.
Debate on the Budget is expected to start on Monday, November 28, 2022.
Source: Ghana News