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Parliament of Ghana has approved the Appropriations Bill 2021 for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Appropriations Bill contains a summation of all estimates of government’s planned expenditure for the fiscal year.
Though the approval is for government to expend GH¢145.4 billion, budgeted expenditure for the fiscal year is supposed to be GH¢137 billion.
But the additional GH¢9.8 billion added to the total expenditure is to cater for amortization and clearance of arrears.
Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson emphasized the need for government to offer more details on arrears clearance and amortization in order to ensure clarity.
“Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak to the Appropriations Bill 2021. For the records, the amount the Ministry of Finance is asking for is GH¢145.4 billion. It is important to note that this amount is different from a total expenditure as stipulated in the budget statement.
“Mr. Speaker, you will note that in the budget statement, the total expenditure is GHc137 billion but in the same budget statement, there is 7.9 billion for amortization. If you are to add GH¢7.9 billion and the GH¢1.9 billion for arrears clearance, then you will have the total appropriation. Arrears clearance and amortization are not included in expenditure allocation in the year concerned so it is important to clarify that information.”
Meanwhile, the Minority have maintained that the electronic transaction levy has not been passed despite the approval of the bill.
A statement by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu indicated that his caucus will continue to oppose the levy.
“The Appropriation Bill for 2021 to cater for ordinary government business for 2022 has just been passed. The killer e-levy bill is yet to be considered by Parliament. For the avoidance of doubt, the Minority will continue its opposition to the e-levy.”
“We in the Minority remain committed to exploring lawful and democratic means of getting the government to abandon this insensitive, obnoxious and regressive tax.”