Deputy Finance Minister has dismissed claims by the Minority in Parliament that it is illegal for the government to set up the Development Bank of Ghana without an Act of Parliament.
According to Dr John Kumah, there are many ways to set up a bank for the country, and the government has chosen to use existing structures and laws to set up the bank.
Speaking on Top Story on Thursday, he said, “I think that what is going on is not illegal or contrary to our laws. The Minister of Finance is going through the existing banking regime, for instance, securing licenses from the Bank of Ghana, [and], operating and setting up structures within the banking governance regime that is already existing. it is not wholly true that you could do this by setting up legislation.”
Dr Kumah told Evans Mensah that, it is also untrue that the Finance Minister has not been to Parliament or furnished the members with the needed information on the bank.
He explained that in the 2021 budget, a seed fund of about GHC300 million earmarked for the bank, was highlighted and additional information was captured in the 2021 mid-year budget review statement.
“So all these, every time the Finance Minister has been to Parliament, he has informed them about steps that have been taken to set up the Development Bank of Ghana…So let’s not make it look like the Finance Minister is taking revenue from the government without informing Parliament about what he is using it for,” he said.
His comment comes after the Minority in Parliament served notice that it will vehemently reject the use of public resources, for the setting up of the Development Bank of Ghana, which is expected to enhance the financial system by supporting the private sector to expand and create jobs.
They claimed that the ongoing recruitment process for key positions at the bank, has been shrouded in secrecy.
Meanwhile, explaining why the government has chosen to not set up the bank via an act, the Deputy Minister stated that it is to steer the bank away from politics.
“If you choose to go by an Act of Parliament, it means that the President or the government will have to appoint the Board and then eventually, it may turn out to become political. But, they are choosing to set it up within the existing structures.”
“I heard the Minority Leader say they will oppose any allocation for such an arrangement, but the government has already spent monies on various banks without going for any Act but still within the banking structures, the Bank of Ghana licensing regime and the Banking Act.”
Dr Kumah however noted that, should the government need an Act or choose to set up the bank using one, the Finance Ministry will not hesitate to do so.