2019 Mid-year Budget Review: Finance Minister to seek approval to spend more

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is scheduled to present the 2019 Mid-Year Budget Review this morning in Parliament.

The presentation is set to begin at 10:00am.

The review would among other things look at revenue mobilization to undertake government’s infrastructural projects, according to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who briefed journalists earlier.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, will seek Parliament’s approval to spend more the approved GH¢78 billion during the presentation of the 2019 Midyear Budget Review on Monday.

A statement from the Finance Ministry reveals that this year’s presentation “will see an upward revision of the 2019 appropriation ceiling and its underlying measures, in order to achieve the objectives of the 2019 budget theme of expanding the economy and increasing jobs.”

Legislators last year passed the Appropriation Bill, giving the government the green light to spend some GH¢78, 771, 833,602 billion for the 2019 financial year.

It is this amount that the statement from the Finance Ministry says it will seek to review upwardly

Key sectors

The government over the 2019 financial year was expected to spend GH¢95.6 million to subsidise electricity bills for customers.

Out of the GH¢ 78.7 billion, GH¢ 19.4 billion was also permitted to be used to pay compensation of employees (wages and salaries, pensions, gratuity and social security).

A further GH¢ 18.6 billion was earmarked to service domestic and external interests on existing debts, while GH¢ 13.7 billion will go to grants to other government units such as the National Health Insurance Fund, the Ghana Education Trust Fund, Road fund, Petroleum Related Fund, District Assembly Common Fund, Retention of Internally-Generated Funds, Transfer to GNPC and other earmarked Funds.

Also, capital expenditure took some GH¢ 8.5 billion, while GH¢6.3 billion went into the use of goods and services.

Some GH₡ 730 million was allocated to arrears and GH¢ 5.3 billion will go to amortisation.

What to expect in today’s Midyear Budget review

In accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will Monday present the Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates to Parliament

This year’s presentation will have a particular focus on issues affecting the energy sector and planned reforms for the sector.

Another major area expected to be addressed is the financial sector’s performance.

Ghana’s debt situation, domestic revenue mobilisation, and the review of the Luxury Vehicle Tax will also be highlighted. The Luxury Vehicle Tax has been criticised by economists and the public alike.

Government will, therefore, seek the approval of Parliament for supplementary estimates.

Aside from highlighting Ghana’s fiscal performance between January and June 2019, as well as a fiscal strategy going forward, this year’s Mid-Year Budget Review will touch on policies leading to increases in industrial output, such as the agro-food sector.

Roads Rehabilitation and Construction, the strengthening of Security, and Government Priority Programmes, among others, will also be addressed.

According to the statement from the Finance Ministry, against the backdrop of the Ghana Beyond Aid vision, this Mid-year presentation to Parliament is expected to explain how Ghana will take advantage of the opportunities that come with the hosting of the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

In a nutshell, Monday’s review covers:

– A brief overview of the macroeconomic developments (2018 and 2019);

– An analysis of revenue, expenditure, and financing performance for 2019;

– A revised fiscal outlook for the unexpired term of the financial year; and

– An overview of the implementation of the annual budget.

 

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