Finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has revealed that government has allocated some GHC10 million to the Keta Sea Defense project following the devastation caused by tidal waves which rendered communities along the coastal lines homeless.
Addressing the media today, December 6, 2021, on modifications made to the 2022 budget following dissatisfaction from the minority in parliament and some stakeholders, Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that prior to the approval and to achieve consensus, he requested parliament for an opportunity to effect some modifications to the 2022 budget. Following this, he wrote to the Speaker of Parliament with details of modification in response to emerging concerns by all stakeholders including the minority caucus.
The finance minister expressed that these modifications will address the concerns of the minority caucus and various stakeholders, whiles ensuring that the “deficit target of 7.4%” and a “positive primary balance” will be maintained in view of the nation’s determination to reduce its debt levels. He intimated that he is hopeful it will equally raise adequate revenue to promote youth employment, build infrastructure, especially roads and fund other government obligations including the flagship programmes.
“In respect of the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, Ketu South and Anloga constituencies, we shall make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHC10 million to complete the feasibility and engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected. We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540km of coastline including the 149km between Aflao and Prampram. Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crises created by the tidal waves on the coastline”.Mr Ken Ofori-Atta
Touching on the Agyapa Royalties Limited, Mr Ofori Atta explained that government shall “amend paragraph 442 and 443 to take out reference to mineral royalties’ collateralization”. He emphasized that any reference to Agyapa was for “information purpose” and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework of the budget.
Modifications to 2022 budget
Commenting on the benchmark values, the finance minister revealed that government shall avert any hardships to “importers and consumers” while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for the people. He highlighted those adjustments made to the benchmark value affects only “11.4% of CIF value of imports” of which 50% is for vehicles.
“From my analysis, a potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted. The YouStart program will also support our resourceful traders in appropriate training and access to capital to become manufacturers in other to expand the industrial base of our society and our import substitution strategy in line with our Ghana beyond aid agenda”.Mr Ken Ofori-Atta
On the matter of the e-levy, he intimated that recognizing its “serious fiscal implications”, government will continue its 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 expressed his commitment to work with 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, he noted, which will emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the committee as has been the tradition.
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