The Minority in parliament has criticized government for not investing in critical sectors of the economy in its expenditure of the Appropriation Bill.
The Appropriation Bill which was approved by parliament yesterday is in line with constitutional requirement to provide funds for an incoming government for the first three months after an election.
Out of a total of GHS10, 999,108,191 approved, only GHS 164,220,432 was allocated to Goods and Services, while Capital Expenditure was allocated GHS1, 251,883,521.
Interest Payment of loans accounted for GHS1,889,870,741 while Tax Refunds, and Grants, represented GHS151,078,450 and GHS2,368676114 respectively.
Speaking to Citi Business News after the approval of the document, a Member of the Finance Committee in parliament and MP for New Juaben South , Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah stated that the document shows how government is not interested in essential sectors of the economy.
According to him, the critical sectors of the economy such as Capital Expenditure as well as Goods and Services have been neglected in the bill.
“Interest payment, together with Non-Road arrears which is a form of payment and amortization, which is retiring the principal on loans , those three together is 29 percent of the 11 billion being given to the government for the first three months . So what it means is that if you take compensation of employees which is also 35 percent; 35 percent is going to pay wages and salaries, 29 percent is going to loan repayment that makes it 64 percent, then there are statutory payments going to the Common Fund” he observed.
He stated that the phenomenon is symptomatic of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) as it borrows for recurrent expenditure.
He maintained that such fiscal policies are the bane of the economy as Ghana’s debt balloons despite low infrastructure development.
He pointed out that,“ Capital Expenditure, Goods and Services are negligible, so if you are worker, the first three months what this is saying is that you are going to be paid for doing nothing because the Goods and Services is what runs the ministries”.
Criticizing government, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah was of the view that with such low investment, running government machinery in the three months will be practically difficult since it will affect the administration.
“What you need to buy like paper, petrol, pen the things you need, so how do you run the government machinery,” he asked.