2022 BUDGET: PARLIAMENT PASSES APPROPRIATION BILL …GIVES GOV’T GREENLIGHT TO SPEND GH¢145 BILLION

Parliament on Friday passed the Appropriation Bill, 2021, under a certificate of urgency giving the government the authority to spend not more than GH¢145,472,347,866 from the Consolidated Fund and other public funds for the 2022 fiscal year.

The passage of the Bill follows the marathon approval of budget estimates for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Friday night. 

Now an Act, it repeals the Appropriation Act, 2021 (Act 1069) which authorised the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Fund and other public funds for the implementation of the Budget for the 2021 financial year. 

Per the Appropriation, MDAs are permitted to retain and use an amount of GH¢8,318,614,084 of Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) for the 2022 fiscal year. 

According to the Finance Committee’s report on the Bill which was approved by the House, GH¢80,869,525,482 would be expected to go into payments of other government obligations “whilst the rest would cover discretionary payments.”   

Moving the motion for the passage of the Bill, a Deputy Minister of Finance, and MP for Atiwa East, Abena Osei Asare, said it was important the Bill was taken in one day considering time constraints. 

The Bill, she said, was critical to government to carry out its obligations for the year under review. 

The Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, seconding the motion said by the appropriation, government was seeking to differ from the total expenditure of GH¢137 billion as contained in the 2021 budget statement.

The Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam lawmaker said the amount of GH¢7.9 billion for amortisation and GH¢1.9 billion for arrears clearance which when added to the GH¢137 billion would total government expenditure and gives the total appropriation captured in the Bill. 

“Mr Speaker, we have to understand that appropriation is only the summation of all the estimates that the House has; it does not mean that we have approved any revenue item.

“The Ministry of Finance is being given the permission to spend up to the amount that we are approving here today and if the ministry exceeds the appropriation, the Public Financial Management Act has sanctions that the Minister of Finance will have to face.

“Mr Speaker, let me put on record that the approval of the appropriation does not mean we have approved the Electronic Transaction Levy (E- Levy) or any other tax measure. “It is only the approval of expenditure to the tune of GH₵145.5 billion,” he added.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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