The Speaker of Parliament has recalled Members of Parliament for a sitting on Thursday, April 30, 2020.
“The Parliamentary Service wishes to inform all Honourable Members and Staff of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Quaye, in accordance with Standing Order 6, has directed the resumption of the Sitting of the First Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic on Thursday, the 30th of April, 2020 at Ten O’clock prompt at Parliament House, Accra,” a statement signed by Parliament’s Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo stated.
The sitting according to the statement will among other things, consider waiving VAT on donated equipment and good being brought into the country to help boost the fight against the Coronavirus disease in Ghana.
“The House will also be permitting the deduction of contributions and donations towards COVID-19 as allowable expenses for tax purposes and extending the due date for the filing of taxes from four (4) months to six (6) months after the end of the basis year,” the statement added.
Adjournment of Sitting instead of suspension
The Minority side in Parliament were unhappy with a decision by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye to suspend the House instead of adjourning sittings.
Parliamentarians were supposed to go on a recess beginning today, Saturday, April 4, 2020.
Instead of adjourning sittings sine die [indefinitely], the Speaker of Parliament suspended sittings sine die; a decision that did not go down well with the Minority MPs.
Per the Standing Orders of the House, if sittings were adjourned sine die, the Speaker would have to give MPs at least two weeks’ notice before the House could be recalled.
But with the indefinite suspension, the House could reconvene at any time to deal with an urgent business that may arise.
Prof. Oquaye explained that the decision was taken following the COVID-19 outbreak which could compel Parliament to be recalled at any time to attend to urgent business.