The Second Deputy Speaker of parliament, Hon. Joe Ghartey has expressed disquiet at the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the Ministry of Finance over their failure to appear in parliament as the house considered the Deposit Protection Bill, 2015.
According to him, the bill which must be passed, required the presence of an official from the central bank or the Finance Ministry to help address technicalities relating to it but no official was available.
Addressing the House, Mr. Ghartey expressed his disappointment at the absence of officials from the two institutions.
“When we had the opportunity to call the then governor of the BoG to parliament following the DKM debacle he mentioned that there were some bills before the House that we need to pass and called on parliament to pass those bills to strengthen their hands so that they can police these institutions for the benefit of the good people of Ghana,” he recalled.
“Here we are dealing with this bill, I don’t see any representative of the Ministry of Finance here, I cast my eye unto the gallery within the chamber where the technical people sit and I don’t see any representative of the Bank of Ghana here,” he lamented.
Enquiring if the two institutions were aware the bill was going to bedeliberated upon, Mr. Ghartey explained that parliament works with institutions to pass laws in the interest of Ghanaians.
He argued that parliament must not be blamed over any oversight or changes to the bill which will be deemed later as not healthy for its implementation.
The need for the bill follows efforts by the BoG to streamline activities in the microfinance sector to prevent a recurrence of a recent debacle that hit the sector, resulting in loss of millions of cedis.
Some customers of DKM microfinance and God is Love Fun Club, among others lost their investments after the companies ventured into areas that were prohibited by the central bank for categories of companies in the sector.
The situation was also blamed on the companies overzealous moves to give customers 60 to 100 percent interest on their investments when the BoG T-Bill was around 25 percent.
The Bank of Ghana, which is the regulator of the financial sector has promised to assist in retrieving the funds especially for those involved in the DKM saga, but that is yet to happen.
The passage of the Ghana Deposit Protection Bill, 2015 into law is expected to empower the BoG to protect and build trust in the formal banking system.
The objective of the Bill is to establish a Deposit Protection Scheme to protect small depositors from loss if a financial institution faces bankruptcy.
The bill will also help establish the Deposit Protection Fund which constitutes the assets of the Scheme.
After the scheme takes off an insured depositor who deposits with a bank would recover up to five thousand Ghana Cedis while a depositor of a specialized deposit-taking institution would recover up to one thousand Ghana Cedis if it goes under.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana