Ghana's Parliament went on a recess last Friday after 42 sittings in the Second Meeting of the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu who is the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, adjourned the House sine die, but did not state any date for resumption.
The MPs are expected to be on break for about three months. The House passed about twelve Bills into law during the meeting, it included the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill to deal with political vigilantism and the menace of land guards.
The Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was also passed into law. It amended the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) to increase the penalties for a person who buys or sells minerals without a licence or without a valid authority and increased the penalties for a person who engages in illegal mining.
With the amendment, the penalty regime for offences for persons who engage in illegal mining operations has been increased from the existing 3,000 penalty units to 10,000 penalty units.
The implication is that the minimum term of imprisonment has been pegged at a minimum of 15 years and not more than 20 years.
During the Meeting, the House also approved the supplementary estimates of GH¢6,370,355,925. Members of Parliament also approved loans and commercial credit agreements between the government and some countries and institutions.
Parliament also approved USD$11,040,425 million loan request for the purchase of Night Vision Binoculars and Monoculars for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The amount is a down payment to the supplier, FInanciere DUC, Luxembourg, after a contract was signed with the Government of Ghana.
The report of the Finance Committee of Parliament indicated that the equipment and accessories would be used by the military to defend the territorial waters of Ghana.
In his closing remark, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, praised MPs for working to pass many bills into law.
According to him, no Parliament in the Fourth Republic had passed as many laws as the Seventh Parliament.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu urged his colleague legislators to increase their engagements with the public on important issues to improve appreciation of the issues.
He wished the National Democratic Congress (NDC) well in its forthcoming primaries.
In his remarks, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, appealed to the Minister for the Interior and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take steps to deal with growing insecurity in the country.
Mr Iddrisu called for a full scale independent enquiry into the PDS concession saga by the judiciary.
That, he said, was crucial because the House went ahead to approve the agreement despite calls by the Minority for the government to do due diligence before the approval.
Mr Osei-Owusu thanked the leadership of Parliament, MPs, clerks and all staff of Parliament for their support and cooperation towards the work of the House.
Source: Primenewsghana/ additional files from Graphic online