Parliament has approved the Mid-Year Budget review and supplementary estimates of government presented by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament last Thursday, July 23.
The approval came after three days of debate which began on Monday, July 27.
The debate, which pitched the Majority and Minority against each other, touched on various sectors of the economy including finance, agriculture, education, communication, trade, industry and transportation as well as the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also focused on the supremacy over which of the political parties—NPP or NDC—has a better record in managing the economy.
The Finance Minister moved a motion in the House requesting Parliament’s approval to spend an extra ¢11,896,477,566.00 to support Government expenditure for the rest of the year.
In November last year, the House approved ¢98,36,692,358.00 for Government’s expenditure this year.
The Minister, while delivering the Mid-Year Budget review told Parliament the additional expenditure has become necessary as a result of the impact and revenue shortfalls the economy has suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic saying the extra cash would therefore help government to implement various alleviation initiatives.
Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah in seconding the motion said the Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme announced in the budget review is meant to recreate the economy and set it on a course that the country yearns for and will involve an investment of ¢100 billion stimulus package for businesses to roll out unemployment benefits for all Ghanaians and alleviate the plight of workers affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The MP for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo, said the entire presentation by the Finance Minister was very disappointing, insisting that lots of the figures do not add up. He said the total foreign and domestic borrowing to finance the deficit should be ¢56.7 billion and asserted that Ghana’s projected fiscal deficit should be 15.6 percent and not the 11.6 percent quoted by the Finance Minister.
Both minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, rounded up the debate.
In his concluding remarks, the finance minister expressed appreciation to the House for all the comments made about his presentation. He was optimistic that all the measures announced will yield positive results.