A little over two months after Parliament approved the 2015 Budget statement, the Finance Minister Seth Terkper is expected to present an entirely new budget to Parliament on Thursday, 12th March 2015.
According to government, it has been forced to present a new budget due to revenue shortfalls and lack of funding from developing partners to support it.
2015 Budget Expenditure
Mr Terkper, in his presentation of the 2015 budget last year, said grants from Development Partners were estimated at GH¢1,550.8 million, equivalent to 1.1 percent of GDP. The expected grants constitute 4.8 percent to the estimated total revenue and grants for 2015.
Also, total expenditure, including provision made for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments in 2015 was estimated at GH¢41,422.0 million, equivalent to 30.5 percent of GDP.
However, he said based on the revenue and expenditure estimates, the scrapped 2015 budget would have resulted in an overall budget deficit of GH¢8,815.9 million, equivalent to 6.5 percent of GDP.
He added that the deficit would have been financed from both domestic and foreign sources, adding that Net Domestic Financing is estimated at GH¢7,560.1 million, equivalent to 5.6 percent of GDP.
The Finance Minister said financing from foreign sources are estimated at GH¢1,255.8 million, equivalent to 0.9 percent of GDP.
New Budget repercussions
The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament stated that the presentation of a reviewed budget would have serious repercussions for investment and the growth of the country’s economy.
Presenting the true state of the nation during a press conference recently, the Minority said, ‘The state of the economy is in such shambolic state. Casting aside a budget which has been approved only two months back and introducing a new budget means that the John Mahama-led government is incapable of planning for even one year. This is how deep Ghana has descended into an abyss.’
It would be recalled that while closing the debate on the 2015 Budget for the Minority, the Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated that the nation should expect a reviewed budget because of the funding gaps, overestimations and incorrect projections in the 2015 Budget.
Minority Leader said government’s unrestrained borrowing from local banks had led to the crowding out of local businesses, with the attendant problems of high unemployment, among others.
By Cephas Larbi
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