Ghana’s Parliament has granted the request of the Minister for Finance to withdraw the sum of 10,999,108,191 Ghana Cedis from the Consolidated Fund and other Public Funds for the next Government to finance critical expenditure in the first quarter of 2017.
The purpose of the request is to enable the government withdraw monies from the Consolidated Fund to meet its urgent and statutory expenses for the first quarter of 2017 pending the approval of an Appropriation Act for the 2017 financial year.
The request is also in line with Article 180 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 3 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
The Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper explained that the request has become necessary due to the tight election calendar which has made it difficult to come out with an Appropriation Act before the end of the year.
The next Government is expected to spend 3,881,345,637 Ghana Cedis on Compensation of Employees, 164,220,432 on Goods and Services, 1,251,883,521 on Capital Expenditure and 1,889,870,741 Cedis on Interest Payment respectively.
The Grants to Other Government Units of the expenditure category will have 2,368,676,114 Ghana Cedis while the Non-Road Arrears will have 518,456,296. The rest of the expenditure categories that the Government will spend on are the Tax Refunds, which will have 151,078,450 Ghana Cedis while Amortisation will have 773,577,000 Cedis.
Prior to the approval of the request, the chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, James A. Klutse, in presenting the Report of the Finance Committee on Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation, January to March, 2017, informed the House that the Minister for Finance explained to the Committee that the aforementioned ‘provision is to cater for estimates of the first quarter expenditure on essential and other statutory payments. All non-core expenses will therefore be deferred to the second quarter of 2017.’
Pursuant to Article 180 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the Minister for Finance acting on the authority of His Excellency, the President, requested the House to approve an Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation for the period 1st January to 31st March, 2017 to authorise the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Fund and other public funds to support the running of the State for the first quarter of the 2017 financial year.
This request is as a result of the passage of the Appropriation Act for the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy. This is due to the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
In line with precedent and best practices and in accordance with Article 180, which states 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, authorise the withdrawal of moneys 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 Minister for Finance presented an Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation in the sum of 10,999,108,191 Ghana Cedis to the House for consideration.