General News Fri, 30 Jul 2021

Ofori-Atta didn't ask for, but will take more money eventually - Ato-Forson

• Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta did not ask for more money or announce new taxes in his mid-year budget review

• He told Parliament that government planned to stay within its appropriation

• But ranking member on Finance says, Ofori-Atta will eventually take more

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament on Thursday, July 29, that government will not request more money in the mid-year budget review nor will it impose new taxes on Ghanaians as part of a resolve to stay within their appropriation.

But ranking member on Finance in Parlaiment, Cassiel Ato Forson, maintains that it is easier said than done for a Minister who typically overruns his budget.

GhanaWeb monitored comments Ato Forson made when he spoke on Joy FM's 'Top Story' program on Thursday whiles analysing Ofori-Atta's mid-year budget presentation delivered before the lawmaking chamber.

"The Minister may not have asked for more money but I can assure you that by the end of the year, he will take more.

"I say this because, for instance in the year 2020, as part of the supplementary appropriations, what he asked for, he ended up taking more than what was approved for him, so for me; this doesn't excite me.

According to Ato-Forson not asking for more now is not proof that the Minister won't take more, stressing that he sees all the figures as presented to Parliament and the signs are clear on the wall.

"Him not asking for money does not mean he will not take more, he is clearly going to take more. I sit in Parliament, I see the expenditures and how they are going and I can see a possible expenditure overrun.

"If you can check from the Auditor-General's report, almost every single MDA exceeded what was approved for them by Parliament. We are yet to go into the details and I am sure very soon Parliament will start coming out with sanctions.

He furthered: "Yes he can say it, that I am not coming for money, but I can assure you, by six months down the line, around Fenruary - March, the full numbers will be out and you won't be surprised that he has exceeded the amount."

“We are staying within the 2021 Appropriation,” the Minister told Parliament as he moved a motion to the House for the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2021 Financial Year.

He said: “Respectfully, Mr. Speaker, let me repeat. I am not here today to ask for more money. I have not come to ask for more taxes. I have come to update the House on the performance of the economy for the first half-year of 2021 and our plans for the unexpired term of the year, consistent with section 28 of the PFM Act.”

Presentation of the a mid-year review of the annual budget is in accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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