By Benjamin Mensah/Christopher Arko, GNA
Accra, Nov. 16, GNA – The 2020 Post Budget
Workshop for Members of Parliament opened in Accra on Saturday for a meaningful
debate and analysis of the policy underpinnings of the Budget.
For the first time in many years the
post-budget workshop is being at the premises of Parliament; the D.F. Annan
Auditorium, to save the nation the cost of having to travel outside Accra with
a huge budget, especially as the Government embarks on fiscal discipline.
It is on the theme: “Consolidating the Gains
for Growth, Jobs and Prosperity for All,” same as the 2020 Budget Statement and
Economic Policy of the Government.
Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of
Parliament, said: “I am happy that we’re not traveling outside Accra, and come
back with a budget of …. GHC 1.7 million.”
He said such were the things that prevented
Members of Parliament and other staff to enjoy better privileges, including
housing and vehicles.
The post budget workshop is a budgetary
affair, which involved opportunity cost on how best to maximise the use of
resources in terms of the benefits.
Prof Oquaye called on members to engage in
meaningful deliberations and make all necessary documents available to the
House to enrich discussions.
“It is important to develop this politics of
issues,” the Speaker said, and urged the legislators not to give room to
politics of vituperations.
The workshop would tackle topics such as;
“Policy Underpinnings of the 2020 Budget”, “Overview of the 2020 Budget – Macro
Economic and Fiscal Management”, and “What to Consider in Analysing the 2020
Also to be considered are: “Planning and
Delivery on Infrastructure,” “Revenue Mobilisation,” “Workers’ Perspective of
the 2020 Budget,” and “The 2020 Budget and the Energy Sector.”
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance,
said Ghana’s economy still faced some structural ‘headwinds’ despite its
positive outlook for 2020.
“We still have some structural headwinds in
terms of the wages, interest and revenue to deal with as the economy grows,” he
Mr Ofori-Atta said the two main challenges
the nation continued to face was the energy sector IPP payments, and the
financial sector clean-up, which were being done to ensure value for money.
The Government had targeted 6.8 per cent of
GDP, non-oil growth of 4.6 per cent, inflation of eight per cent and overall
deficit of four per cent.
He gave the assurance that the Government
was committed to ensuring that there was no budgetary overruns or overspending
in the 2020 Election year.
Majority Leader and Minister of
Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, said the MPs had a duty to
thoroughly scrutinise the Budget devoid of political differences and find
common grounds on technical matters germane to its content.
He, however, wondered why there were only 55
of the 275 members present when the programme had long started.
Mr Mensah Bonsu urged the MPs to critically
examine issues for well-informed contributions, rather than propaganda, when
the debate on the 2020 Budget starts on Monday.
He said the debate would be about the
principles of the budget, and urged members to discuss that rather than the
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, said
the Finance Minister must to brief the House on how much money government had
pumped into cleaning the financial sector.
He suggested that subsequent budgets should
indicate Ghana’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
He called on the Government to stick to its
pledge of avoiding budget overruns next year.