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General News Tue, 30 Sep 1997

Parliament Grants Autonomy To Utilities Regulatory commission

Parliament today/yesterday decided to give the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission absolute independence in the performance of its duties. This was after an amendment motion tabled by the NDC MP for Anlo, Squadron Leader Sowu was defeated narrowly by a vote of 55 against and in favour. The amendment motion sought to compel the Commission to submit to Parliament guidelines on levels of rates to be charged by public utility providers. Supporters of the motion argued that Parliament, as representative and law-making body of the people, should have say in the work of the Commission which should not be absolutely independent. Our correspondents say voting on the issue was significant, because it was the second time the pattern of voting has cut across the political divide in the House, with some NDC Members joining the Minority group. An amendment moved by the NPP Member for Offinso North, Dr.. Kori Apraku, to ensure that provision was made for affordable utility rates was also defeated by a vote of 74 to 47. The House is still sitting to consider more amendments.

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