There was no dishonesty in the decision by the government to use portions of the Covid funds to pay for the free water and electricity for lifeline consumers during the peak of the pandemic, a member of the National Communications team of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ms. Ellen Ama Daaku has said.
She said even though it was free, the government needed to find money to pay the service providers hence the use of parts of the Covid funds to defray the cost.
She said this on the New Day show with Berla Mundi on TV3 Thursday June 23 while contributing to a discussion on the breakdown of the Covid funds utilization given by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament on Wednesday June 22.
“Where is the dishonesty in this?” she asked.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Ofori-Atta said in the area of free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, for instance, an amount of “¢200m was made available for free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, out of this, ¢143m utilized.”
He further said that “Though our response was bold and decisive and compassionate, it has also been costly. Mr Speaker, you will recall that on 30th March 2020, I made a statement to Parliament that the economic impact of Covid 19 pandemic on the economy of Ghana following the implementation of the coronavirus alleviation programme commenced.
“Furthermore, during the presentation of the 2020 mid year budget fiscal policy, I indicated that the supplementary request included the programme funding of ¢19.3billion from various funding sources to support the budget both directly and indirectly. On the expenditure side, an amount of ¢11. 16billion was programmed for Covid-19 related expenses. The difference of ¢8.14 billion was progarmme to provide for shortfall in revenue.
“In 2021, the budget programme of a total amount of ¢4.6billion for Covid-19 related expenses. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Finance mobilizes the needed financial resources whiles the various Covid-19 interventions and related expense were implemented by the relevant sector ministries and agencies.”