No request for more cash, taxes; we’re staying within the 2021 budget – Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, has told Parliament that his presence on the floor of the House, Thursday afternoon, was not to request for more money to finance government’s obligations and or programs and activities for the 2021 fiscal year.

Instead, government will stay within the Appropriation Act, 2021, which was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President on March 31, 2021.

The Act, authorizes the nation to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund and other public funds an amount of GH₵129,032,804,201 to be appropriated for government obligations from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

Additionally, his presence was not to introduce new taxes apart from what was introduced during the 2021 Budget presentation to the House.

“Mr. Speaker, this Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review that I am presenting does not come with a supplementary budget, and our revised fiscal framework for 2021 is kept within the fiscal target of 9.5 percent of GDP. We are staying within the 2021 Appropriation. Respectfully, Mr. Speaker, let me repeat. I am not here today to ask for more money. I have not come to ask for more taxes. I have come to update the House on the performance of the economy for the first half-year of 2021 and our plans for the unexpired term of the year, consistent with section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act”, he noted.

Mr. Ofori Atta made these observations on Thursday, July 29, 2021, when he moved the motion for the approval of the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2021 Financial Year.

Commenting further, he said one of the serious impacts of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the loss of jobs, which has exacerbated the unemployment problem, particularly, among the youth.

However, he said government was ready to roll out a comprehensive program to tackle the unemployment challenge, noting that the goal was to create employment opportunities for a million “of our young people over the next two and half years by igniting a high spirit entrepreneurship”.

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