2023 Budget: Parliament races against time to approve budget …as Minority threatens to reject some tax handles, allocations

The second phase of the approv­al process of the 2023 budget statement and economic policy of government commences today as Parliament races against time to approve the document before it goes on recess.

With the House scheduled to go on recess on Wednesday December 21, the lawmakers would be expected to approve or disapprove the estimates of all government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in a marathon of eight sittings.

In view of this, the estimates of some MDAs were on Friday presented and referred to the relevant committees for consideration and report to the plenary.

The House would also consider the amendment of existing tax Acts like the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act and the Electronic Transfer Levy Act among others.

The approval process would be climaxed with the passage of the Appropriation Bill to give the Finance Minister the power to withdraw money from the consolidated fund and other public funds.

The Minority, having hinted of kicking against the amendment of the controversial E-Levy to remove the threshold, the increment in VAT by 2.5 per cent, allocation of GH¢80 million to the construction of the National Cathedral, the stakes would be high when the Committees present their report on the estimates and the proposed amendments.

Should push come to shove, the slim numerical advantage the Majority has -138 – over the Minority -136- would prove key in pushing the controversial policies of government over the line.

Having stayed away from the censure vote leading to the failure of same, the Majority would need all their members if it were to thwart the efforts of the Minority, who comes into this phase of the approval process as a wounded lion, to reject the tax policies and some allocations.

The Ghanaian Times sources, however, indicate that beleaguered Member for Dome/Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, is currently out of the jurisdiction; reducing the Majority Caucus’ number to 137.

Ms Safo has been absent from parliament for all but one day during this meeting which commenced on October 25.


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