Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance says he has written to the Speaker of Parliament to modify aspects of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday (6 December), Ofori-Atta said modifications have been made to portions of the budget following concerns that have been raised by the public and the Minority side in Parliament.
The letter sighted by asaaseradio.com, said, “Mr. Speaker, I hereby write to confirm the details of these modifications:
i. with regards to Agyapa Royalties Ltd, we shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation. It is important to note that, any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes, and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework;
ii. in respect of the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, Ketu South and Anloga constituencies, we shall make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHC10 million to complete the Feasibility and Engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected. We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 Km of coastline, including the 149 Km between Aflao and Prampram.
Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crisis created by the tidal waves on the Keta coastline;
iii. Relating to the Aker Energy transaction, we shall amend paragraph 829 of the 2022 Budget on the acquisition of a stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum by GNPC, to reflect the resolution of Parliament dated 6th July, 2021 that “the terms and conditions of the loan for the acquisition of the shares shall be brought to Parliament for consideration pursuant to article 181 of the Constitution; and
iv. On the benchmark values, we shall avert any hardships to importers and consumers while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for our people. This administrative exercise which reviewed 43 out of 81 line items, has the objective to promote local manufacturing and the 101F policy, including the assembling of vehicles. It is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles.
The letter continues, “From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted. The YouStart programme will also support our resourceful Traders with appropriate training and access to capital to become manufacturers in order to expand the industrial base of our society and our import substitution strategy, in line with our Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.”
“Mr. Speaker, we will work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect these modifications in the 2022 Budget as is the usual practice, before the Appropriation Bill is passed. Any other concerns which may emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the Committees, as has been the tradition.”
“Mr. Speaker, on the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shotest possible time,” the letter added.