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Minority vows to reject 2021 budget over under declared deficit

The minority in parliament has served notice of a possible rejection of President Akufo-Addo’s 2021 budget over what it terms deceptive reporting of the 2020 deficit figures.

According to the caucus, the budget statement sought to blame COVID-19 for what it calls the abysmal performance of the economy in the 2020 fiscal year in particular.

It says it believes that the “mismanagement and uncontrolled expenditure and sheer lack of prudence accounted for the poor performance of the economy and not just COVID-19.”

Addressing the media today March 18, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu argued that government is hiding a number of expenditures including the cost of the banking sector clean-up, and a facility taken from Fidelity Bank to pay contractors.

The Tamale South MP also rejected levies imposed on Ghanaians in the budget arguing they will exacerbate the Covid induced hardships.

The NDC MPs are therefore asking government to effect the needed amendments in the figures before approval of the budget.

In a statement issued in this regard, the minority in a number of demands noted that “for the 2019 fiscal year Government reported a fiscal deficit of 4.8% of GDP. Whilst at the same time as confirmed by the IMF in their April 2020 staff report a fiscal deficit of 7.5% of GDP.”

“This means an amount of about GHS8.2billion was concealed from our expenditure framework.”

The statement went on “we demand that the fiscal deficit including arrears for the year 2020 be corrected in the budget statement to reflect the actual figure of 17.5% of GDP. Fiscal deficit for the year 2020 of 13.8% of GDP as stated by the Ministry of Finance excludes an amount of GHS6.2 billion being what Government refers to as Energy sector payments.”

It added, “we demand the inclusion of the Energy sector payments of GHS6.2 billion in the fiscal tables to reflect in the corresponding fiscal deficit.”

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh

 

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