November 17th, 2021 saw Ghana hit by a new extravagant national budget as the sitting party the NPP forcefully approved the newly imposed E-Levy tax on Ghanaians.
The budget was approved in the absence of MPs from the Minority, who declined to participate in the business of the day.
In their absence, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta re-submitted a revised version of the 2022 Budget, which was unanimously approved by the Majority MPs including the Speaker.
The sitting was delayed by hours of meetings between the Majority and Minority leadership aimed at exploring how to cure what has been termed by the Majority as unconstitutionality by Speaker Alban Bagbin.
The Majority side accused Mr. Bagbin of acting in breach of the 1992 constitution after he said that 137 MPs had taken a decision to reject the budget last Friday.
According to the Majority, the act fails the constitutional requirement of 138 MPs present in the House before a decision can be made.
Famebugs understands entrenched positions around the controversial e-levy had been the major dividing issue.
The Minority Caucus has been demanding a withdrawal of the proposed levy.
The majority side backed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who walked into the meeting around midday had agreed to reduce the proposed levy from 1.75% to 1.5%.
There was a stalemate as the Minority walked out of the House.
Upon a motion by Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, and a vote by the House, the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu ruled that the earlier decision was in error and in violation of Article 104 (1) and caused it to be expunged from the record.
Parliament then proceeded to consider the motion on the budget and subsequently approved it.
The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, counted himself as an MP making the Majority Caucus in the House 138 members.
The House will now consider the budget estimates in the coming weeks for specific sectors of the economy before the appropriation bill will be passed.
This will give the government the green light to spend according to monies appropriated in the budget.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in winding up the debate highlighted how the government will accommodate the concerns raised by the minority in the approval of estimates, revenue bills, and appropriation.