By Edzorna Francis Mensah
Parliament has adopted the modification of the government’s 2022 Budget Statement and the Economic Policy submitted to Parliament by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
On 7th December 2021, the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu directed the letter (modifications) be added to the main budget during consideration of the estimates for Ministries, Departments and Government Agents.
But the Minority led by Haruna Iddrisu rejected the letter on the basis that, proposed 1.75% momo has been maintained.
According to him, “minority is unable to support this modification with momo tax”.
The Minister at a press conference in Accra on 6th December 2021 to share more lights on the 2022 Annual Budget Statement the Minister has made some corrections in response to some demands made by the Minority in Parliament.
According to him, the modifications were also in response to the emerging concerns by all stakeholders, and in that order, the Minister said, “with regards to Agyapa Royalties Ltd, we shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralization.
It is important to note that, any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes, and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework.”
Regarding Sea Erosion which rendered about 3,000 people homeless at Ketu South, Keta and Anlo Constituencies in the Volta Region, the Minister indicated that government is making the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHC10 million to complete the feasibility and engineering studies.
“We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 kilometre of coastline, including the 149 kilometres between Aflao and Prampram”.
Relating to the Aker Energy transaction, Mr. Ofori-Atta said sections of the 2022 Budget has been modified to reflect the resolution of Parliament.
“We shall amend paragraph 829 of the 2022 Budget on the acquisition of a stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum by GNPC, to reflect the resolution of Parliament dated July 6, 2021 that “the terms and conditions of the loan for the acquisition of the shares shall be brought to Parliament for consideration
pursuant to article 181 of the Constitution,” he said.
On the benchmark value, the Minister noted that modifications are being made to avert any hardships to importers and consumers while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for our people.
“This administrative exercise which reviewed 43 out of 81-line items, has the objective to promote local manufacturing and the One District, One Factory (1D1F) policy, including the assembling of vehicles,” Mr. Ofori-Atta noted.
He added that “it is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles.
From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted.”
He indicated that government would work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect the modifications in the 2022 Budget as is the usual practice before the Appropriation Bill is passed.
However, any other concerns which may emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the Committees, as has been the tradition.
“On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time,” the Minster said.