Accra,- Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says he has written to the Speaker of Parliament with details of modifications to the 2022 budget in response to emerging concerns by all stakeholders, including the Minority.
The proposals include amendments of paragraphs 442 and 443 of the Agyapa Royalties Ltd to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation.
Also, the government’s decision to make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHC10 million to complete the Feasibility and Engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected by the tidal waves.
Relating to the Aker Energy transaction, the government would 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, the government said it would work 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 1D1F policy, including the assembling of vehicles,” the Minister said.
He said the adjustment affected only 11.4 per cent of the total CIF value, of which 50 per cent is for vehicles.
“From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and, therefore, inflation should be muted,” he said.
The YouStart policy will also support the Traders with appropriate training and access to capital to become manufacturers to expand the industrial base of the society and import substitution strategy in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the government would work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect these modifications in the 2022 Budget before the Appropriation Bill was 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 matter of the E-levy, Mr Offori-Atta said no review had been made to the 1.75 per cent because of 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,” he said.
He said the National Budget remained the single most effective tool to address the greatest challenges of the nation.
“As a country, we cannot allow such a strategic national tool to be held hostage by partisan interests, especially when the consideration stage offers every opportunity
for such redress,” Mr Ofori-Atta added.
Source: Ghana News Agency