Parliament of Ghana has approved the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana.
This follows a majority voice vote on the motion for the approval of the budget statement which was moved by the Finance Minister, William Ken Ofori-Atta on behalf of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday, March 2, 2017 and seconded on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, by the Hon. Member for New Juaben South and Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah
The Minority NDC Caucus, however, abstained from the voice vote. They had earlier indicated that they will not be part in approving the 2017 budget because of moves by the government to spend the country’s oil revenue (Annual Budget Funding Amount) in funding the free SHS policy and the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Their decision was also influenced by the decision of the government to slash down the 7.5% District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) by 2.5%.
The House has for the past two weeks witnessed intense debate over the motion for the approval of the financial policy of the Government of Ghana, with the leadership of the House (Majority and Minority) rounding up the activities.
Finance Minister, William Ken Ofori-Atta in winding up remarks over the budget statement told the House that the debate has followed with keen interest the debate over the budget and found some of the issues raised interesting and underrating.
“The debate has been robust, revealing and may I humbly say very educational. It also clearly illustrates to me Mr. Speaker, the pulse of Members of this House and how our people in this country feel”.
He took the opportunity to address some of the raised by some Members during the debate.
“Mr. Speaker, with regards to the revenue target which is key to the success of this budget, Government is optimistic that the revenue projections in the budget are achievable notwithstanding the underperformance last year,” he noted.
According to him, if the Government is able to plug the leakages and loopholes in revenue administration as well as ensuring compliance, it should be able to achieve its revenue target in 2017.