Business News of 2013-12-18

Seth Terkper assures of contingency plans

Finance Minister, Seth Tekper has assured that contingency plans are in place to meet the requirements of the Electoral Commission (EC) in their bid to conduct any election next year.
He said while the EC’s budget may have been cut government will pursue other sources of funding to meet the operations of the EC and to fulfill its own agenda.
Mr. Tekper gave the assurance in an interview on Joy News in response to concerns raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) about the inadequate funding to the EC for 2014 financial year.
The MPs called for the needed funds to be released on time to enable the EC conduct the district level elections next year as well as to conduct the referendum on the proposed constitutional amendments on some entrenched clauses in the 1992 Constitution.
The house in unison appealed to the government to quickly release all funds required by the EC in implementing key programmes including the holding of the district level elections next year.
The committee report on special budget indicates that the EC requested an amount in excess of 300 million Ghana cedis but the finance ministry has allocated an amount of 141 million Ghana cedis.
Majority leader Dr. Benjamin Kunbour, who presented the committee's report, said the EC requires additional 186 million Ghana cedis without which it will have difficulty in organizing both the district level elections and a referendum on the portions of the 1992 constitution.
According to the Majority leader, it had become necessary for the EC to acquire an appropriate warehouse to store its software and hardware to prevent the commission's equipment from breaking down. This, he noted will spare the EC the challenges it faces in organising elections.