Ahead of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s presentation of the budget for the first quarter of 2021 on Wednesday, October 28, different groups of the Ghanaian society have been speaking about their expectations.
The presentation, known as the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation, is normally read in elections years to ensure the smooth running of government for the first quarter of the year after an election.
One of the groups looking forward to the budget is the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI).
The Chamber has said that it does not expect any pronouncements increasing existing taxes or introducing new ones, but it is rather upbeat about a possible reduction in taxes to help Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) find their feet from the impact of COVID-19.
The CEO of the Chamber, Mark Badu-Aboagye, in an interview with Citi Business News said, “Basically, we are not expecting a budget that will increase existing taxes or introduce new taxes because this is the time that we need to help businesses by coming up with activities that will stimulate the private sector, more especially the SMEs. So any new taxes will be detrimental to businesses and to the private sector. So the 2021 budget for the first quarter should look at how they can create a more conducive environment for businesses and providing all the necessary support that businesses will need to be able to come out of the difficulty that we are facing which is being brought about by the COVID-19.”
He also asked government to put words into action by establishing the SME-focused bank it promised in the previous budget.
“In the last budget and the mid-year review, the Minister of Finance promised to establish a development bank to provide medium to long term funding to businesses. For us, if there is a time that we need that bank, it’s now. So in budget, we are expecting that the Minister will make a very definite statement on the establishment of that bank and how it is going to help businesses.”