General News of Friday, 19 June 2009
The President John Evans Atta Mills has given approval for a $50,000 car loan for Parliamentarians.
The move is to facilitate the work of MPs some of whom have to commute long distances to their various constituencies and back to Accra weekly.
Even though approval for the loans has received presidential assent, contractual details are yet to be firmed up.
Some of the MP’s who confirmed the news to Joy FM’s Parliamentary correspondent Araba Coomson, said the House is in preliminary discussions with some private banks to make the loans available to the MP’s.
Far from being excited, some Parliamentarians expressed reservations over the erroneous impression from the public that the loans are ‘free lunch’.
They argued the loans are exactly what they are, loans, to be paid back in monthly installments for four years, by which time their tenure of office in parliament would have come to an end.
The ex-gratia payable to the MP’s at the end of their four year tenure would also be used as a guarantee for the procurement of the loans.
Similar policy under the erstwhile New Patriotic Party government which made available $20,000 for MPs generated heated public discontent for MPs.
To allay the fears of the public on the issue, Majority leader, Alban Bagbin had proposed early on for the state to provide official cars to MPs as is the case with other public officials.
But that idea appears not to have sat well with the president. His approval might just provoke yet another controversy but the MPs have called for truce