Fire Officers Cause Scare In Parliament

Fire Service officers stationed in Parliament yesterday caused a scare in the House when they evacuated all the staff of Parliament and journalists from the second floor of the Chamber Block due to a fire scam.

This caused a commotion in the House as the staff and reporters of the Parliamentary Press Corp had to rush to the basement of the block for the lives.

After inspections by the fire service personnel, it was discovered that a faulty computer monitor and booster created the false alarm.

Even though the Members of Parliament where having closed sitting in the Chamber with the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Afari Gyan and the Finance Minister, the evacuation did not disturb their proceedings.

In another development, the Customs Bill aimed at harmonizing and consolidating the administrative provisions in the existing tax laws into one legislation was read for the second time in the House.

The Bill seeks to revise and consolidate existing provisions in relation to the imposition of customs duties into one single Act to make it user friendly and to provide for related matters.

Presenting the Finance Committee’s report on the floor of Parliament yesterday, Chairman of the Committee, James Klutse Avedzi observed that the provisions relating to the customs operations remain scattered in the Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) (management) Act, 1993 (PNDCL 330), CEPS (amendment) Act 2002 (Act 634) and the Customs House Agent (Licensing) Act, 1978 (SMCD 188) among others.

According to the committee’s report, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terkper indicated that the Bill also introduced new clauses and modified existing ones to help bring clarity to some issues that create implementation challenges to the tax authorities.

The report added that the passage of the Bill will reduce the obstacles to compliance and facility revenue collection at the countries entry points.

The report stated that with coming into force of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791) which integrated the three main revenue collection agencies as Divisions of the Authority, it has become necessary to harmonize and consolidate the administrative provisions in the existing tax laws into one legislation to be known as the Revenue Administration act and to recognize and streamline the other residual operational and charging provisions into separate one. By Yaw Kyei

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