Finance Minister poised to read budget Thursday

All things been equal, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, will present the government’s 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy on Thursday, November 24.

The budget reading which was supposed to have been read on Tuesday, November 15, was post­poned due to the government’s ongoing negotiations with the Inter­national Monetary Fund (IMF).

However, there had been some grievances within the majority caucus in Parliament as to who to present it.

According to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante Akyem North, Andy Appiah-Kubi, who doubles as spokesperson for the aggrieved ruling New Patriotic Party MPs, the 98 MPs would boycott the budget reading should Mr Ofori-At­ta be the one to present it.

“We have gone back to (our de­mand for the President to) sack him now and therefore should the bud­get be presented under the stamp of the Finance Minister, we would not participate because as far as we are concerned we are never going to do business with him.

Mr Appiah-Kubi explained further that, “if we are not going to do business with him, he does not participate in any process from the Presidency to the House. We will not participate in deliberations too.”

He added that they would only participate in the budget presenta­tion and appropriation if someone else from government is appointed to present the budget.

The 98 MPs of the New Patri­otic Party (NPP) have reacted to the Finance Minister’s decision to present the 2023 budget despite their demand that he should resign or be sacked.

According to the lawmakers, they would stick to their decision to boycott the budget presentation and other Finance Ministry-related business if Ken Ofori-Atta is not sacked.

Last Friday, Mr Ofori-Atta in an interview with JoyNews confirmed that he will present the 2023 budget on Thursday, despite the request by the NPP MPs.

He further stated that he had not been officially informed about the threat of the 98 NPP MPs.

Reacting to this, the MP for Asante Akim North, who is the spokesperson for the group, said the Minister’s response to their concerns is unfortunate.

Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi further noted that the Majority Group has lost confidence in the Minister.

He added that Mr Ofori-Atta should have resigned long ago.

“I give him the benefit of decision whether or not he has heard, but we are also resolute. So if he hasn’t heard, in the course of time, he will hear. So let’s wait for him to come to the point of hearing.

“As I continue to say, we are not probing him on legalities, we are probing him on politics and currently, we’ve lost inter­est in him,” he explained.

— myjoyonline

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