Parliament approves Ghc1.6m tax waiver for earthquake devices

Parliament has approved an amount of 1.6 million cedis tax waiver to procure equipment to monitor weather and earthquake movements.

The approval of the waiver is in respect of the Ghana radio astronomy project and colocation of the satellite earth observation group receiving station at Kuntunse for Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI).

The Ghc1.6 cedis million equivalent to (ZAR4, 907,555) South African Rands project is in accordance with the MoA signed between the governments of Ghana and South Africa for science co-operation in 2013.

Under the agreement the GSSTI of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in collaboration with the Square Kilometer Array-South Africa will establish a facility to train students in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology and Space Science in the country.

Presenting the Finance Committee’s report, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah said the project is expected to contribute significantly to the development of highly skilled human capital for sectors of the economy such as software, mechanical and structural engineering and various fields in science and technology.

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has accused government of inflating cost of Scientific Mathematical Instruments (SMI) being procured by government for students aimed at eliminating examination malpractices in the country.

According to the NDC MPs, the unit cost of GHC 75 cedis per a set is too expensive as compared to other maths sets on the market.

The SMI is to be procured and supplied by Messrs Bluegrass Group Limited for use in West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) examination in Ghana.

The agreement is between Education Ministry and Messrs Bluegrass Group Limited to supply 853,009 units of Kapek Scientific Mathematical Instruments at the Unit cost of Ghc75.

Presenting the Finance Committee report for approval of 3.2 million dollars tax waiver on the importation of the mathematical sets, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboh argued the mathematical sets will help curb examination malpractices. The New Juaben South MP further explained the instruments are different from what’s available on the open market.

But contributing to the debate on the floor, a former deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa demanded a value for money report on the yet to be procured gadgets.

The North Tongu MP also expressed his disappointment over the sole sourced contract to Messers Bluegrass Group Limited without the participation of other local companies.

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu on his part said concerns raised by the Minority MPs relating to the unit cost per Mathematical Instrument is in order, adding that the cost of the set should concern Members of Parliament.

He charged the Education Committee of Parliament to supply the house with details of cost of the Mathematical sets.

Source: Starrfm

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