Unprecedented ¢1.9bn allocation to presidency is profligate- Minority suggests

The Minority in Parliament is mulling over what it says is the unprecedented ¢1.9 billion budgetary allocation to the presidency in the 2018 budget.

The Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson says the likelihood of wastage at the presidency is extremely high.
He made the comments on the floor of Parliament, Tuesday to begin what is expected to be a feisty debate on the 2018 budget presented to the house by the Finance Minister last week.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta presented what he believes to be a progressive budget with the macro-economic indicators pointing in the right direction.

According to him, the overall GDP as of June 2017 was 7.8% with the non-oil GDP pegged at 4.0%.
The end of year inflation as of October is 11.6% with an overall budget deficit on cash basis as a percentage of GDP in September pegged at 4.5%.
But for revenue projection which fell below government’s expectation, the government appears to be on the right track, the Minister observed.
However, the Minority does not appear to share in the overwhelming optimism of the government.
On the floor of Parliament Tuesday, Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported the debate has started in earnest with the Minority pulling no punches at all in its attack of the 2018 budget presentation.

Cassiel Ato Forson said the figures as presented in the 2018 budget were unlawful. According to him, the figures which formed the foundation of the budget presentation were taken from the mid-year budget review presentation in July which Mr Forson said is yet to be approved by Parliament.
He said those revised figures ought to have been approved by the House before it would be accepted as lawful.
According to Opoku Gakpo the Majority did not directly respond to the claims by Mr Forson.
The former Deputy Finance Minister also raised issues about the budgetary allocation to the presidency in 2018 and feels the office will be profligate in its expenditure.
But in a reaction, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah said the allocation to the scholarship secretariat and the free SHS policies both of which are directly under the Presidency, are responsible for the increase in budgetary allocation.
Gakpo expects a more feisty argument on the budget in the coming days.

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