Government Prepares For 2017 First Quarter Spending

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Government is to seek parliamentary approval to finance its operations through Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation instead of a full budget for the first quarter of 2017.

The Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation, is to enable government to run its machinery during the first three months of 2017, in the absence of a full budget statement.

According to a Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, in line with provisions in the constitution, the full budget would not be presented to Parliament in November because 2016 is an election year.

Also, the new cabinet taking office in 2017 would have to approve the budget which it will oversee.

He made the remarks when he addressed the media after a stakeholders’ consultation workshop on the 2017 budget in Accra.

The stakeholder consultation forum was organized to solicit the input of various stakeholders on the 2017 budget and forms part of government’s commitment to improving the budget process to enhance transparency and accountability.

According to Mr. Forson, Ghana has signed onto the Open Budget Initiative which is an international movement promoting transparency and accountability in budget management, towards ensuring that citizens are best served through government budgets.

Government in 2016 sought parliamentary approval for over 50 billion cedis [GH¢ 50,109,851,734].

At the time, Finance Minister Seth Terkper cited developments on the global economy such as declining global prices of gold and the fluctuating prices of cocoa on the global markets.

Also, government in its 2016 budget statement pegged the country’s economic growth target at 5.4 percent which has since been revised to 4.1 percent.

However prevailing economic conditions including the declining commodity prices, culminated in the presentation of a mid-year budget review and supplementary budget on July 25, to seek approval to spend about 1.8 billion cedis.

Delivering his presentation, Finance Minister, Seth Terkper also indicated of some adjustments to some projections initially made in the 2016 budget statement.

For instance, government revised the oil production and revenue targets from 53 dollars per barrel to 45.35 dollars per barrel and 1.4 billion cedis to 2 billion cedis respectively.

Source: citibusinessnews.com

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