2023 Budget will be presented within time frame – Majority Leader

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has assured that government would present the 2023 budget statement and economic policy within the constitutionally allowed time frame. 

He admitted that though negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a balance of payment support may delay the presentation of the budget beyond the time allowed in the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), the ministry of finance was working round to meet the constitutional timeline. 

“As you do know, discussions are ongoing with regards to our negotiations with the IMF. The conclusions shall have to be factored into the budget. 

“The PFMA requires the minister of finance to present the budget before or on   November 15. That is what the statute provides and it is for a good reason. 

However, when he is unable to comply with the PFMA and it goes beyond that, to maybe November 24, he would not have breached the Constitution,” he told the House in Accra yesterday when he presented the business statement for the coming week.”

He was responding to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who wanted to know when the finance minister would be presenting the budget to the House in line with Article 197(1) of the 1992 Constitution. 

“The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament at least one month before the end of the financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Government of Ghana for the following financial year,” the constitution provides.

Mr Iddrisu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale South said it was important that the majority leader updated the House on preparations for the budget presentation. 

He said the House needed the update so that it is not “stampeded into a three-week period to approve whatever the finance minister brings. We need adequate time to scrutinise the budget.

“If you do not have one, let us know because you are waiting for IMF before you can have a budget.”

But the Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said progress has been made in putting the document together for the scrutiny of the House. 

“Considerable progress is being made and when everything settles, it would be delivered. Because it is a document from the President, he would have to look at it, do some considerations with his ministers before it gets to us. 

“I know the minister is working hard to ensure that they come within time. I had an engagement with him yesterday [Thursday] and by close of day today [Friday], a definite date should be arrived at.” 

Given the pressures, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Suame MP hinted that all things being equal, the budget would be presented “possibly November 24, which is certainly not beyond the 30th.”


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