Parliament has approved a GHc 10.9 billion request by the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper to help finance “critical government expenditure” in the first quarter of 2017.
The approval was concluded Thursday evening after almost an hour of deliberations on the floor of the House after the Finance Committee forwarded the request after earlier scrutiny at the committee level.
The Committee noted that the government’s request became necessary due to the tight election calendar which made it difficult to come out with an Appropriation Act before the end of 2016.
This request is also in line with Article 180 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 23 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
Among the notable expenditure budgeted for includes the compensation of employees which has been budgeted at GHc 3.8 billion.
GHc 1.8 billion will also be spent on interest payments whilst grants to other government units will cost GHc 2.3 billion.
Finance Minister, Seth Terkper noted that all the expenditure budgeted for the first quarter is for essential and statutory payments whilst all non-core expenses will be deferred to the second quarter of 2017.
The Finance Ministry is projected to raise revenue amounting to GHc 8.9 billion for the first quarter of 2017, according to the Committee.
The bulk of this projection, GHc 7.2 billion, will be from taxes ranging from income and property tax to international trade taxes whilst non tax revenue is expected to be GHc 1.1 billion.
Non presentation of budget
Contrary to the expectations of many, Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, did not present the details on the floor of the House as the Bill was referred to the Finance Committee for discussion.
But a former Majority Leader in Parliament, Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor explained to Citi News, the turn of events was acceptable as the Finance Minister was just giving projections not to be accompanied by policies.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana