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General News of Thu, 28 Jul 201628

Omane Boamah ordered to pay light bills

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho on Monday ordered the Minister of Communications, Edward Omane Boamah to immediately ensure that his ministry pays the electricity bills of the Assembly Press which is under his ministry to enable it print important documents to enhance the work of parliament.

The speaker gave the order after some Members of Parliament (MPs) had complained bitterly about the inability of the Table Office to give copies of the Legislative Instrument (LI) on the Electronic Communications (Interconnect Clearing House Service) Regulations, 2016, which was laid in the House on June 22 to them on time for their perusal.

By the Standing Orders of the House, immediately an LI is laid copies of it must be made available to the members for their perusal.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, consistently reminded the speaker of that legitimate obligation of the House.

Copies were eventually given to members about a week ago before the debate on the report by the Subsidiary Legislative Committee on the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2016.

The delay in providing copies of the LI, which should have been printed in time by the Assembly Press, also delayed the debate which coincided with the last day of the expiration of the LI, forcing the speaker to direct the Minister of Communications to settle the electricity bills of the Assembly Press that had been disconnected and was running on a plant.

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The approval of the LI was deferred yesterday because the required number of members was not present in Parliament on Monday evening.

The House needed half of its members but less than half were present forcing the speaker to defer its approval.

The Electronic Communications (Interconnect Clearinghouse Service) Regulations, 2016 L.I. 2234 provides that a connecting entity that has established interconnection before the coming into force of the regulations shall not pay a service charge until January, 2018

The LI 2234 also states that a connecting entity shall not increase its call charges for purposes of routing a call through an Interconnect Clearinghouse until January, 2018.

The National Communication Authority (NCA), according to the LI, shall pay an interconnect clearinghouse with monies that the Authority collects on behalf of government for the use of the authority under subsection (9) of section 25 (A) of the Act.

It is further observed that the Authority, in proposing to freeze interconnect and services charge until January, 2018, will protect the service providers and consumers from any increase until January, 2018 which begins on the first day.

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