The Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare has warned that any delay in the approval of the 2023 budget will worsen the current economic crisis.
The Member of Parliament for Atiwa East blamed the current economic challenges on external factors in a statement on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday adding that the 2023 budget must be passed quickly to avoid plunging the country into further crisis.
“We are faced with local and global challenges, we also have an ongoing IMF negotiation, and also we have debt operations which we are trying to come up with to bring our debt levels to a sustainable level,” she said,
The Deputy Minister further said, “Mr Speaker, little did we know that a global pandemic and a war in Ukraine will bring us down to our knees…The quicker we do something about it, the better. It is in this respect that we are asking our colleagues on the other side to support the government in the revenue measures that we have stated in next year’s budget. Any delay in passing this revenue measure means we are pushing Ghana down the drain,”
Meanwhile, as part of its efforts to reduce spending in the aftermath of the current economic downturn, the government has announced some cost-cutting measures.
Delivering the 2023 budget statement on the floor of Parliament last week finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta said “All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit system, and fuel depots.”
“ Accordingly, 50% of the previous years (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs, the minister said
“ A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023,” the minister added.
According to him, a cap has been placed on the purchase of vehicles. “For the avoidance of doubt, purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles,” he explained.
“ Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff”
As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities;
Below are some measures taken by the government to reduce cost;
● A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for free zone, mining, oil and gas companies;
● A hiring freeze for civil and public servants
● No new government agencies shall be established in 2023;
● There shall be no hampers for 2022;
● There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024
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