The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, on Friday amended Table 21 of the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, to include critical roads in the Volta Region.
The critical roads according to the amended document, included Asikuma-Have (45km), Have-Hohoe-Jasikan 83km and Ho-Dzodze-Denu roads (99km).
The minister said that the amended table was necessitated by the fact that on page 160 of the budget document, the Volta Region was inadvertently left out.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta, the inclusion of the critical roads in the region would not increase the proposed 2020 appropriation because the roads expenditure was already included in the 2020 Budget estimates from 2020.
Giving reasons for the amendment, he said following his presentation of the budget to Parliament, the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, and the Minister of Energy, Mr John Peter Amewu, drew his attention to an omission from the list of critical roads listed in Table 21 of the Budget Statement.
He said, his checks confirmed the inadvertent omission because all the regional ministers were requested to submit a list of critical roads, which required immediate attention.
Mr Ofori-Atta said at the instance of the Volta Regional Minister, the three road projects in the region were prioritised in the list of critical road projects for 2020.
The Minister of Finance also informed the House of some other important road projects in the Volta Region, programmed for 2020, as indicated in paragraphs 867,868 and 869 of the 2020 budget statement.
Mr Ofori-Atta said they included the dualisation of Ho main roads, the construction of the Ho bypass, the replacement and expansion works on Volta River at Volivo at Sogakope and the construction of Dufor Adidome-Asikuma Junction Road.
He said, additionally, the Ministry of Road and Highways has already prioritised some roads in their approved work plan for 2020 and captured them in the 20202 budget statement.
Mr Ofori-Atta mentioned the projects as the Asutuare-Aveyime road, upgrading of Klefe town roads in the Ho Municipality, upgrading of Akatsi town roads, upgrading of Ketu South area roads, upgrading of selected roads in Kpando Municipality and upgrading of Ketu North Area Roads.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, accepting the addendum of the budget statement, said the minority caucus was overlooking the Parliamentary procedural infraction by the Minister of Finance since it was presented as a Statement rather than being put to motion.
He said since it was for the benefit of Volta Region development, the Minority would overlook that infraction.
However, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, disagreed with him, stating that there have been such precedents in the House, therefore, the Finance Minister did not infringe upon any Parliamentary procedure.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI