Business News of 2013-12-19

Parliament approves funds for Ogo

Parliament has approved an amount of Ghc16,829,806,546 as budget estimates for the services of Other Government Obligations for the 2014 financial year.

Deputy Minister of Finance, George Kweku Ricketts -Hagan, who moved the motion for approval, said the funds would be required by the government to discharge its obligations in respect of Pensions, Gratuities, Interest on Repayment of Domestic Debts, Interest on Repayment of External Debts and the District Assemblies Common Fund.

Other commitments includes Social Security, subsidies on petroleum products, National Health Fund (NHF), Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), Road Fund, Petroleum Related Fund, Lifeline consumers of Electricity, Tax expenditure as well as amortisation.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr James Avedzi who presented the report of the committee on the estimate said an estimated amount of Ghc3,692,028,414 has been earmarked for statutory funds while the DACF was expected to receive Ghc1,369,764,728 determined by 7.5 percent of non-oil tax revenue less VAT refunds on import.

The NHF according to him would receive an amount of Ghc926,610,508 made up of 2.5per cent VAT on goods and services and 2.5 per cent of estimated SSNIT contributions, adding that the GETFund was projected to receive the sum of Ghc739,447, 239 also made up of 16.6 per cent of total VAT receipts less VAT refunds.

"An estimated amount of Ghc226,732,850 to be collected as road fund levy in the petroleum price build up will be paid into Road Fund while the sum of Ghc5,731,045 collected as energy fund levy and exploration levy in the petroleum price build up is expected to paid as Petroleum -Related Funds," he said.

He said the committee was also informed that, outstanding payments into the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) amounted to Ghc151.1million while that of GETFund and DACF stood at Ghc240.3 million and Ghc695 million.

Winding up, George Kweku Ricketts -Hagan thanked members for their constructive criticisms and assured them of his ministry's determination to ensure that all outstanding payments would be released on time to ensure efficient functioning of the Funds.