General News of Thursday, 12 March 2015
Source: Graphic Online
The Minister of Finance , Mr Seth Terkper, will present a fiscal statement to Parliament today. The statement has become necessary partly because of the dramatic fall in the price of oil on the international market.
The fall in the oil price means that the government is going to suffer a revenue shortfall of nearly $700 million, as against estimates in the 2015 Budget Statement, which was presented in Parliament in November 2014.
There is also speculation that the revised budget has become necessary as a result of the government’s programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The government’s programme with the IMF has made a number of recommendations some of which are expected to feature in the revised budget.
Mr Terkper was not immediately available for comment, but it was gathered that the statement would also result in significant cuts in government expenditure.
The minister is expected to announce some serious cuts in the government’s initial plan to spend some GH¢4,544 million this year.
The government, last year, budgeted with a crude oil price of $99 a barrel, which was expected to bring in about $2 billion to help it meet its revenue target of GH¢3,453 million.
Analysts predict that the areas that could see aggressive cuts will be subsidies on petroleum products and utility tariffs.
They predict also that initial budgets for some projects could be slashed to make up for the cut in government expenditure.