Jinapor details why NDC failed to reject 2021 budget

John Jinapor New John Jinapor, MP for Yapei/Kasawgu

Mon, 22 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kasawgu, John Jinapor, has said the minority in parliament should not be blamed for failing to get Parliament to reject the 2021 budget as they had earlier indicated.

He stated that, though the NDC was keen to reject the budget, it did not have the numbers to back their quest.

According to him, three MPs from the Minority side were absent in the House for various reasons and that, one was down with COVID-19 and battling to survive.

134 MPs instead of the 137 from the Minority NDC side in Parliament showed up on Friday, March 19, 2021, to decide on the budget.

Parliament on Friday approved the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2021 fiscal year, after heated arguments from both sides of the House.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Friday, March 12, 2021, presented the 2021 budget detailing the government’s programmes and policies for the year.

After a heated debate in parliament, the Majority side won with 137 votes against 134 votes from the Minority side.

Explaining in the Citi FM interview, Mr Jinapor said: "I don't think we can be held so much liable and create the impression that every vote in the chamber, the NDC minority must necessarily win. We wish we had everybody, but at least everybody present voted in line with the party's position because this time unlike the secret ballot, the Chief Whip and the Minority Leader whipped everybody in line, and ensured that you vote for everybody to see the direction you voted."

Clarifying the absentees he said he knows that at least for Mr Kpodo, "he has lost his mother, and he was burying the mother today. I know that a colleague of mine, who is on the minority side is currently in the hospital battling to survive."

But assuming everybody was present, and we were all available both NPP and NDC, we still might not have carried the day because this is not the secret ballot and normally everybody ensures that they whip their members in line."

Substance of Minority's rejection

Mr Jinapor insisted that the treatment of the figures in the budget, especially above the line and below the line figures, "we disagree with the way they were treated. I do recall that the Majority Leader, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu agreed with our position and stated that, that will be corrected in the 2020 budget going forward, the Ranking Member and the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu insisted that, that should be corrected this year. The Majority Leader gave his word but at the committee level."

"I think one other thing has to do with some taxes that he also mentioned, so those were the issues but it was a collective decision by the Minority but normally when we take a position, all of us try to vote for our position, canvass for the various positions and you saw the results at the end of the day."

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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