Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, has refuted accusations that the Finance Minister, Ken ofori-Atta violated some constitutional provisions when he presented the mid-year budget statement on Monday.
On July 25, 2022, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta appeared before the House and presented the mid-year budget review; however, he did not ask for more money as has become customary over time.
Although some people believed the Minister should have presented the House with a motion for approval, the Deputy Majority Leader claimed the Minister was only looking to spend money that had already been approved by the House and did not need further approval.
“As you may be well aware, under the Appropriation Act, we provide for a ceiling so once the Minister is not going outside of the ceiling, it is only proper for him to update the house as to what he is using the appropriation for and this is what he came to do.”
“So in simple terms, the Minister did not come to seek parliamentary approval. He already has that approval and the expenditure he is making is within that threshold. The minister is well fortified by the provisions of the constitution, so anyone who attempts to say that there was a motion required to be moved may be in error”, he explained.
Due to decreased revenue and the unsatisfactory performance of the contentious electronic transfer levy, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration decided not to request additional funding with the 2022 mid-year budget.
The government has sought assistance from the International Monetary Fund as a result of recent economic difficulties.
The Finance Minister acknowledged that there had been “some major shifts in our budget assumptions” since the full budget was unveiled in November 2021 during the Mid-Year Budget Review.
“These changes have led to reduced revenues, increased interest payments and changes in interest rates and exchange rates.”
“In spite of the underperforming revenues and strong external headwinds, we are not seeking additional funds in this Mid-Year Review. We are determined to efficiently use the windfall from the upstream Petroleum Sector to make up for our revenue shortfall and aggressively improve our revenues even as we rationalise expenditures,” Hon. Ofori-Atta said.