Seth Terkper, the Former Finance Minister, has stated that the projected variations in the fiscal accounting of Ghana from cash to assurance in the mid-year budget, as announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, is retrogressive and a fiscally imprudent step.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta who laid the mid-year budget before parliament, informed the house that the economy exhibits signs of steadiness. He stated that the implementation of sustained and adjustments in the citizens of the nation has greatly added to the equilibrium of the economy.
“The exchange rate has stabilized, inflation has softened, and interest rates have declined since December, 2022, and private investments have been announced due to increased investor confidence in our economy.”Ken Ofori-Atta
However, commenting on the budget presentation in a tweet, Mr Seth Terkper said “Listening to the MYR. The proposed change in our fiscal accounting from Cash to Commitment basis is a retrogressive and fiscally imprudent step. The difference leaves out “Arrears” just when we should be adopting a semi-accrual budget accounting basis.”
“I appreciate this is the basis of the IMF conditions [“primary balance” driven]. This is not good for a country that has, since 2017, ‘offset’ and pushed arrears to “footnote” or memo standards. Note that we had added an “a/c payable” & receivable modules to GIFMIS in 2016.”Seth Terkper
School Feeding Arrears Settled
The Finance Minister revealed in Parliament that the outstanding arrears owed to the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) have all been honored.
Speaking on Monday 31 July, he stated that the government will go on to bear social protection programmes that will surely shield the poor and helpless.
“Under the LEAP programme, Government disbursed a total of GH¢169.95 million as at June 2023 to 346,019 households comprising 1,533,748 individuals. This includes the increase of the monthly grant to beneficiary households from GH¢32.00 to GH¢64.00 for one-member household and GH¢38.00 to GH¢76.00 form two-member households. Our target under this programme period is to reach about 8 percent of the population, that is 2.5 million people.
“Under the Ghana School Feeding Programme, coverage increased considerably from 1,671,777 beneficiaries in 2016 to 3,801,491 beneficiaries by June 2023. The feeding grants cost per meal, per child, per day increased from GH¢1.00 to GH¢1.20 for the 2023 academic year. We have also settled all arrears owed to caterers under the programme for the second and third terms of the 2022 academic year; and the first term of 2023.”Ken Ofori-Atta
He noted that the capitation grant subsidized to increased enrollment in public basic schools from 6,048,897 pupils for the 2021/2022 academic year to 6,114302 pupils for the 2022/2022 academic year.
The Minister of Finance expressed the governments gratitude towards all bondholders and financial institutions that helped the economy little by little through their sacrifices made.
Further, he commended their input to help the government turn cover and also applauded the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its support to the government during its trying times. “We must also extend our appreciation to the IMF, the World Bank and other Development Partners as well as the G7 and G20 members who stood so strongly with us,” he opined.
Ken Ofori-Atta admired how Ghanaians endured during the implementation of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) this year.