2023 budget was ‘fantastic delivery, excellent’ – Kamal Deen

The Finance Minister presented the budget on Thursday

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was excellent in the delivery of the 2023 budget statement.

He described the presentation as ‘fantastic, excellent.”

Kamal Deen further said that the government acknowledges that times are hard for Ghanaians hence, drastic measures taken in the 2023 budget statement.

Speaking on the Big Issue with Roland Walker on TV3 Friday November 25 while discussing the budget presentation, he said regarding the embargo placed on employment into the public and civil service that it means “those who have reached retirement age must go for them to be replaced.”

He added “drastic measures needed to be introduced, times are are hard, we have had the president acknowledging that fact, Finance Minister acknowledging, Vice President acknowledging that we are not in normal times.”

The Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta announced in the 2023 budget a freeze on employment into the civil and public service.

He also said there shall be no new government agencies established in 2023.

He said these while presenting the budget in Parliament on Thursday November 23.

Mr Ofori-Atta said as a first step toward expenditure rationalisation, government has approved a number of directives which takes effect from January, 2023.

These are “All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and State-Owned-Enterprises (SOEs) are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit system, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous years (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs;

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“A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross country travel. All
government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from
January 2023; Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles;

“Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be
allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members.”

The Finance Minister added “Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff;  As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities; Government sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year; Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities and clothing, etc.;

“A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for free zone, mining, oil and gas companies; A hiring freeze for civil and public servants, No new government agencies shall be established in 2023; There shall be no hampers for 2022;  There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional, merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024;  All non-critical project must be suspended for 2023 Financial year.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana