Parliament has approved the sum of Forty Billion, Six Hundred and Seventeen Million, Four Hundred and Twenty-Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty-Eight Ghana Cedis (GH¢40, 617, 423, 468) for the discharge of the Other Government Obligations (also referred to as Statutory Payments) for the 2019 Financial Year.
The 40 Billion has been allocated to be expended on the under listed Government Financial Obligations: Social Contribution GH¢3,401,403,244 (Pensions GH¢1,243,941,758, Gratuities GH¢388,731,799, Social Security -GH¢1,768,729,687), Subscriptions GH¢113,795,815, General Government Services GH¢251,300,638, Lifeline consumers of electricity GH¢95,616,060, Contingency (Goods and Services) GH¢117,244,351, Contingency (CAPEX) GH¢90,844,480 and the rest are: Interest Payments GH¢18,645,707,469 (Domestic GH¢14,504,883,697 and External (Due) GH¢4,140,823,772) as well as Subsidies on Petroleum Products GH¢180,260,489, Grants to Other Government Units GH¢9,371,891,017 (Earmarked Funds), National Health Insurance FundGH¢1,692,678,294, Ghana Education Trust Fund GH¢1,205,763,S45 among others.
Under the GETFund Allocation, “The Committee noted that on the back of a Joint Memorandum submitted by the Ministers for Finance and Education, Parliament has approved a request for GETFund Receivables to be used as security to borrow up to the Cedi equivalent of US$15 Billion to undertake educational infrastructure projects.
That approval was based on the assumption that GETFund will receive GH¢1.3 Billion in 2019”.
However, the Committee observed that only GH¢1,206,763,545 has been allocated to the Fund for the 2019 financial year, thus falling short of the expected GH¢1.3 Billion.
“The Committee finds that this situation may negatively affect the ability of GEI’Fund to obtain the loan facility as envisaged and hence recommends to the Ministry of Finance to consider making some additional funds available to GETFund in the course of the year”.
In relation to The National Health Insurance Fund, a total amount of GH¢1,692,678,294 has been allocated to it as against a recapping gross of GH¢2.4 Billion.
The Committee observed that this huge funding gap of about GH¢700 Million may adversely impact the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme but The Committee’s report say “The Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare assured the Committee that the Ministry of Finance is in discussion with the Minister for Health on ways to full the funding gap created by the capping policy so as to ensure that the NHIS operates effectively and efficiently in the 2019 financial year”.
Government has earmarked GH¢730 Million for Arrears Clearance in 2019 (all road and non-road arrears) with an explanation that Government has programmed to settle the arrears over a medium term and that budgetary allocations are being made each year to clear some of the arrears until they are all extinguished.
“It was intimated to the Committee that in 2020, Government will programme to clear a further GH¢1.S Billion of the outstanding arrears”.
Story by Edzorna Francis Mensah