Accra, Monday 6 December, 2021 - Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has indicated that he has on the instructions of H E the President, written to the Right Hon. Speaker of Parliament to modify the 2022 Budget Statement in response to emerging concerns by stakeholders including the Minority.
This, he said was in keeping with a promise he made on the day the Budget was approved to address the Minority's concerns after consultations with stakeholders.
He made this known when the addressed the media at the Ministry of Finance on proposals inputted in the budget after broad consultations and the need for the budget which remained the single most effective tool to address the greatest challenges of our nation not to be held hostage by partisan interests.
“We will work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect these modifications in the 2022 Budget as is the usual practice, before the Appropriation Bill is passed. Any other concerns which may emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the Committees, as has been the tradition,” he said.
On the modalities, he said, with the Agyapa Royalties Ltd, the Ministry shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties’ collateralization and added that any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework.
Again, on the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, a necessary budgetary allocation of at least GHC10 million to complete the feasibility and engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected shall be made available.
He added that Government would also broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 Km of coastline, including the 149 Km between Aflao to Prampram.
Furthermore, under the Aker Energy transaction, government 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 6th July, 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”.
On the benchmark values, he indicated that Government shall 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 1D1F policy, including the assembling of vehicles. It is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles.
“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” Mr. Ofori-Atta commented.
He continued that, Government would work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect these modifications in the 2022 Budget as is the usual practice, before the Appropriation Bill is passed.
The 2022 Budget, he disclosed, had an added layer of significance for Government as it drove forward the great economic mission of our time – Building a sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation and sought to address the triple helix Albatross of our time; high unemployment, high debt, and inadequate infrastructure even as we pursued our agenda for increased social mobility and justice for all.
Present at the press conference were, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information, Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Ministers for Finance Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah and Hon. Abena Osei-Asare, Chief Director, Mr. Patrick Nomo, and other officials of the Ministry.