Ghana’s Parliament has approved a sum of GHc10.9 billion requested by the government to help finance “critical government expenditure” in the first quarter of 2017.
The request for this amount was in line with Article 180 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 23 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
Finance Minister Seth Terkper laid the paper containing details of the budget before parliament on Thursday, October 20.
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The paper was earlier referred to the Finance Committee of Parliament and the report on the estimates was subsequently presented to the house after it had finished its work.
According to the Committee, the government’s request was necessitated by the “tight election calendar” which made it difficult to come out with an Appropriation Act before the end of 2016.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben North, Kwasi Boateng Adjei, who represented the Ranking Member for the Finance Committee, said he was “saddened by how government should spend GHS1.8 billion on interest payments alone”.
The Committee explained that GHc1.8 billion has been earmarked for interest payments whilst grants to other government units will cost GHc 2.3 billion.
Compensation of employees will also amount to GHc 3.8 billion.
The Committee added that the Finance Ministry plans to raise revenue amounting to GHc 8.9 billion for the first quarter of 2017, saying the bulk of this projection, GHc 7.2 billion, will be from taxes ranging from income and property tax to international trade taxes.
Non-tax revenue is, however, expected to be GHc 1.1 billion.
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