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Finance Minister to ask for more money; ¢78bn approved budget inadequate

File photo. Finance Minister [in white] arriving at Parliament to present government’s budget
Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta will this morning appear and present to parliament a 2019 mid-year review and supplementary budget that will see the government seek approval to spend more for the next six months.

Following a request by government, parliament in December last year approved 78, 771, 833,602 billion cedis for the 2019 financial year.

A total of 95.6 million cedis was budgeted to subsidize electricity bills for customers  while 19.4 billion was to be used to pay compensation of employees (wages and salaries, pensions, gratuity and social security).

A further 18.6 billion cedis was to be used to service domestic and external interests on existing debts, with 13.7 billion cedis for government units such as the National Health Insurance Fund, the Ghana Education Trust Fund, Road fund, Petroleum Related Fund, District Assembly Common Fund, Retention of Internally-Generated Funds, Transfer to GNPC and other earmarked Funds.

Capital expenditure was fixed at 8.5 billion cedis while 6.3 billion was to go into the use of goods and services. Additional 730 million cedis was allocated to arrears and 5.3 billion cedis to amortization.

But after six months of implementation of the 2019 budget, the government says it will need more than the over 78 billion cedis it requested to spend for the year.

A statement issued by the Finance Ministry Sunday said it will require more to be able to achieve the objective of the 2019 budget.

“[Government] “will see an upward revision of the 2019 appropriation ceiling and its underlying measures, in order to achieve the objectives of the 2019 budget theme of expanding the economy and increasing jobs” the statement said.

In this regard, the statement said the finance Minister will today present budget on the additional funds the government will require to achieve its 2019 budget objective, and seek parliamentary approval on same.

Meanwhile, it said the mid-year review budget will also focus on reforms in the energy sector, the country’s debt situation, domestic revenue mobilistaion and review of the controversial luxury vehicle tax which triggered series of protests from drivers and car owners.

Below are the key areas the mid-year review budget will cover:

  1. In accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) the Minister for Finance is expected to present the Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates to Parliament not later than 31st July of each financial year. This year’s presentation to Parliament will take place on Monday 29th July, 2019.

 

  1. This year’s presentation will have a particular focus on issues affecting the energy sector, alongside their planned reforms. Another major area expected to be addressed is the financial sector’s performance. Ghana’s debt situation, domestic revenue mobilization, and the review of the Luxury Vehicle Tax will also be highlighted.

 

  1. This presentation to Parliament will see an upward revision of the 2019 appropriation ceiling and its underlying measures, in order to achieve the objectives of the 2019 budget theme of expanding the economy and increasing jobs. Government will, therefore, seek the approval of Parliament for supplementary estimates.

 

  1. Aside from highlighting Ghana’s fiscal performance between January and June 2019, as well as fiscal strategy going forward, this year’s Mid-Year Budget Review will touch on policies leading to increases in industrial output, such as the agro-food sector. Roads Rehabilitation & Construction, the strengthening of Security, and Government Priority Programmes, among others, will also be addressed.

 

  1. Against the backdrop of the Ghana Beyond Aid vision, this Mid-year presentation to Parliament is expected to explain how Ghana will take advantage of the opportunities that come with the hosting of the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

 

  1. The review covers:

 

– a brief overview of the macroeconomic developments (2018 & 2019);

– analysis of revenue, expenditure, and financing performance for 2019;

– a revised fiscal outlook for the unexpired term of the financial year; and

– overview of the implementation of the annual budget.

By 3news.com|Ghana

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