Mid-Year Budget Review presentation was a rehash of 2021 budget - IEA

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Tue, 3 Aug 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

• The IEA Director of Research said the just-ended mid-year budget review by the finance minister was similar to that presented for the year 2021.

• Dr Kwakye stated the impact of the pandemic should have caused some adjustments in the review

• He emphasized the need for government to widen the tax net to prevent shortage in revenue collection

The Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr John K. Kwakye, has said the Mid-Year Budget Review was basically a repeat of the 2021 budget that Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented before Parliament in November 2020.

Dr. Kwakye observed that very little was changed, reiterating that some aspects of the budget like revenue and expenditure which needed some adjustments remained the same despite the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

“Normally we expect that the Minister will go to Parliament and say ‘my revenue and expenditure estimates have changed’ because he presented the 2021 budget in November last year so after six months, you expect that things have changed in the economy, but he told Parliament he is not coming for money.”

The IEA Director of Research who averred that the presentation by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, was a “bit puzzling”, reiterated, for instance, that, the review did not contain macroeconomic and budget estimates for the medium-term so one can assume that they remain the same as in the 2021 Budget

Stating the likely repercussions, he said the 2021 budget and the mid-year review face the difficult task of responding to the health and economic impact of the pandemic if some changes like widening the country’s tax net for revenue mobilization are not made.

Speaking during a press conference organised by the Institute, Dr. Kwakye outlined some points which he said the finance ministry needs to work on. These include revenue performance, economic growth, employment policy, the budget deficit, debt and revenue allocation.

This, Dr Kwakye said, would help scale up efforts to increase revenue mobilization and plug out tax loopholes.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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