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MPs justify US$100,000 car loan

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Mr Rockson-Nelson Defeamakpor, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi has justified the government’s decision to provide US$100,000 as car loans for MPs.

According to him, all the other arms of government with the exception of the legislature are provided with official vehicles for their use without going for a loan.

“I think the criticism of MPs over the car loan is unfair, offensive and creating enmity for MPs among the populace,” Mr Dafeamekpor said.

Mr Dafeamekpor made the observation when he spoke to the media in Parliament on recent public reaction to MPs being given US$100,000 car loan for the purchase of vehicles.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has tabled before Parliament a car loan purchase agreement of US$28 million for MPs. Each MP is expected to receive an amount of US$100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.

The papers for the agreement, submitted to the House, have been referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.

Mr Defeamekpor also explained that the vehicle to be bought with the US$100,000 would not be owned by the MP during the pendency of the loan and they only get the vehicles transferred into their names after they have finished paying for it.

He debunked claims that the car loans come with soft interest and MPs are given tax exemptions on the vehicles they purchase.

He cited for example that companies that came into the country and got registered under the Free Zones Board were granted extensive tax waivers.

“So, if MPs by virtue of being given a facility to purchase a vehicle and granted a tax waiver, I don’t think it is an exceptional matter,” he added.

Mr Defeamekpor also explained that since January this year monies were being deducted from MPs salaries towards the car loan but have not started using the vehicles yet.

According to him, to avoid all these criticisms of MPs, the State should make arrangements and acquire the necessary tools needed for the effective function of their office.

Mr Patrick Boamah, MP for Okaikoi Central, expressed worry about MPs being subjected to public bashing anytime they go for the car loan facility.

He said the other arms of government particularly the Executive and Judiciary were given vehicles without having to go through this process where the media is always at the back of MPs for contracting a loan.

“If I have the power, I will ask my colleagues to reject the facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government vehicles are procured for them without having to go through this process where the media is always at the back of MPs for contracting a loan.”

Mr Boamah said he does not see the reason why MPs should be the subject of public criticism because it was a loan agreement that the Finance Ministry had contracted with the National Investment Bank for MPs and Members of the Council of State.

He said though this was done after every four years, they had never heard anybody talking about why the State procure loans for Members of the Council of State, questioning it was because MPs were easy target.

Source: GNA

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