Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader of Parliament, has cautioned the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to be transparent about the real state of the economy in his budget statement presentation.
The Minority Leader, who believes the economy is in a deplorable state intimated that the Finance Minister is likely to attribute the “excessive spending” by the government to the pandemic in his address.
“The NDC will be inheriting a very fractured fragile economy and my expectation is for the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to be candid with the Ghanaian people”.
He further hinted that, the budget statement may possibly be the last appearance of the Finance Minister in Parliament as the NDC administration makes its way to come to power in January.
“We look forward to the Minister of Finance appearing before Parliament, arguably and probably for his last time and opportunity to present a mini budget.
“We expect that Ken Ofori-Atta will come candid with numbers. The deficit we are reading is less or minus the huge expenditure in the banking sector clean-up.
“He must come clear with the compiling arrears in the name of discipline”.
Commenting on how best the “bad shape of Ghana’s economy” can be ameliorated, he noted that the next NDC Mahama-led administration will be bringing the necessary solutions.
“Former President John Mahama has promised to transform the troubled economy to a resilient kind”.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will today, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, present a budget to Parliament to cater for the first quarter of 2021.
The expected presentation, better known as the ‘Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation’, has become a phenomenon during election years to prevent transitional challenges in the smooth running of government for the first three months in the year after an election.
In anticipation of the presentation, Haruna Iddrisu, preemptively noted that if needed matters are not addressed and resolved, the Finance Minister will be “heckled”.
“The outstanding matters that the Minister for Finance should do for members, if he does not, today we will heckle him. We will subject him to an empty room today as part of the heckling then he will know we do not want to hear him.”
In July this year, the government presented a revised budget statement to Parliament for approval of an additional GHS11.8 billion to support the government’s expenditure for the rest of the year 2020.
This was after the government projections for the 2020 financial year were affected by the economic implications of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, the Finance Minister announced that the government will require some GHS9.5 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which may move the 2020 budget deficit to over seven percent.
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