Finance Minister Orders Investigation Into Payment Of Budgeted Wage Bill

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terkper has ordered the Controller and Accountant General to investigate the reasons underlying the payment of about twice the budgeted wage bill under the new pay policy last year.

The payment of salaries for workers under the Single Spine Salary Structure is said to have gone up by about 300 percent in 2012 alone thereby raising questions about the possible causes.

This was made known by an Economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Joseph Kwadwo Asenso in Kumasi at day one of a two-day seminar on an Analysis of the 2013 Government Fiscal Policy document.

The programme is being organized by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalist with funding by Star Ghana.

It is being attended by journalists from all the five regions constituting the northern sector of Ghana including Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, representatives of the private sector as well as market queens.

According to Dr. Asenso, later told Radio Ghana that the investigation will soon end and a report on the findings presented the Minister for the appropriate steps to be taken to avert re-occurrence.

He said the increasing wage bill continues to be a challenge for government and that one of the means to effectively handle it is to increase revenue hence the need and plans to widen the tax net.

Also, government has now decided to keep to its wage negotiation. Dr. Asenso emphasized that manufacturing is not shrinking as being speculated but rather growing gradually.

Dr. Asenso also disclosed that even though some of the foreign donors felt jittery and therefore could not disburse their promises to the government because of the election last year, they have started releasing the funds this year.