Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta
Parliament on Friday approved by a resolution a request by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, for an amount of GH¢27,434,180,520 required out of the Consolidated Fund to meet expenditure on public services until the 2021 Annual Estimates were considered.
The Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation for January to March 2021 was laid in the House on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report pursuant to Article 180 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.
The Constitution provides in Article 180 that “where it appears to the President that the Appropriation Act in respect of any financial year will not come into operation by the beginning of that financial year, he may, with the prior approval of Parliament by a resolution, authorize the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Fund for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the government in respect of the period expiring three months from the beginning of the financial year or on the coming into operation of the Act, whichever is earlier.”
The anticipated expenditure includes GH¢7,708,960,148 for compensation of government employees; GH¢1,595,571,683 for use of goods and services; GH¢7,002,221,941 for interest payments; GH¢ 259,087,194 for subsidies; GH¢4,340,216,517 for grants to other government units; GH¢41,271,000 for social benefits; GH¢813,610,025 for other expenditure; and GH¢1,903,658,408 for capital expenditure.
The Finance Minister said GH¢350,000,000 would be used to clear arrears, while GH¢3,419,583,605 would be for amortization.
2021 First Quarter Projections
The government is projecting total revenue and grants for the first quarter of 2021 to be GH¢13,340,253,500 (equivalent to 3.0 per cent of GDP) and total tax revenue for the period of January to March 2021 is expected to amount to GH¢10,427,753,843 while non-tax revenue is expected to reach GH¢1,916,561,037.
Total expenditure for the first quarter of 2021 is projected at GH¢23,664,596,915, representing 5.3 per cent of GDP, and of this amount, capital expenditure for the period is estimated at GH¢ 1,903,658,408.
Also, total budget for the first quarter contains an overall deficit balance of GH¢ 10,674,343,415 representing 2.4 per cent of GDP; and this deficit is the excess of projected expenditure over revenue for the first quarter of 2021.
The committee observed that the Controller and Accountant General had been instructed to ensure that all ministries, departments and agencies operate strictly within the levels set in the expenditure in advance of appropriation, and under no circumstances should funds be wired from the compensation of employees to cover expenditure items for goods and services or capital expenditure except with prior approval from the Ministry of Finance.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House