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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Majority kicks against proposed Petrol Development Fund

Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu
Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu
Controversial clause 17 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, on Monday set Parliament apart again into voting sending the minority tumbling with 60 votes against 81.

By the decision there would not be a separate account for the petroleum revenue as proposed in the amendment that stood in the name of Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader.

Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu proposed a separate account to be called Petroleum Development Fund to hold the petroleum revenue instead of keeping it in the Consolidated Fund.

This according to him, would enable government to treat petrol revenue separately from other revenues for the purpose of proper utilisation of the revenue.

The clause 17 states that “disbursement of the Petroleum Account shall (a) only be made to the Consolidated Fund in support of national budget (b) the Ghana Petroleum Funds for the purpose of saving and investment and (c) exceptional deductions according to the provisions of this act.”

The Majority, therefore, supported the original proposition that all petrol revenue should be kept in the Consolidated Fund.

Clause 19 of the bill was another knot that engaged the House in a long battle of words.

Mr Moses Asaga, Chairman for the Committee on Mines and Energy, proposed the creation of a new sub-clause in the Bill, which would prop the collateralisation of the revenue for a period of ten years after its passage.

“The annual budget Funding Amount may be used as collateral for debts and other liabilities of the government for a period not less than ten years after the commencement of this act,” the amendment stated.

This proposed amendment was adopted by a simple ayes vote.

Last week the House also voted on the amendment to clause five of the Bill, which ended in 86 and 96 vote in favour of the Majority – The amendment gave Government the right to collateralize the oil revenue.

The house adjourned at 21:45 hours.

Source: GNA

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