Govt engages stakeholders on 2023 budget

The government through the Ministry of Finance has engaged with stakeholders on the 2023 budget and economic statement expected to be presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in November this year. 

The engagement which took place in Accra on Friday, forms part of measures by the Ministry aimed at deepening citizen participation in the budgeting process and to ensure that the nation achieves inclusive growth and national cohesion on its policies and programmes. The engagement also afforded stakeholders the opportunity to make their inputs into the 2023 budget. 

Speaking at the engagement, the Deputy Finance Minister in charge of Wealth Creation, Dr John AmpontuahKumah indicated that such engagements had become very crucial considering the current economic turbulence being experienced both locally and globally. 

Our economy, just as many other developing and emerging economies, is still managing the pressures posed by the current global and domestic challenges such as revenue underperforming, increasing debt service as a result of growing interest payments, credit ratings downgrades and rising cost of compensation payments, among several others and considering the fact that Ghana is not expected to return to the International Capital Market, (a major financing source in recent times to augment domestic financing), anytime soon, the financing challenges currently being faced by Government is likely to persist,” he said.  

The Deputy Minister however added that he was confident that all current policies and strategies being implemented and explored by the government would help address the economic challenges.

According to him the government had set various focus areas in the short to medium term in order to accelerate the economic recovery of the nation. 

“As we make our submissions and propose recommendation for preparation of the 2023 budget, let us be guided by the focus areas of government for the ensuing fiscal year and the medium-term:  which is to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability, ensure durable and inclusive growth and promote social protection; maximise revenue mobilisation efforts by widening the tax net, enforcing compliance measures and vigorously pursuing the digitalisation agenda to minimise revenue leakages and introduce efficiency measures in the use of public funds by reducing duplication of functions among covered entities and reducing waste,” he said. 

He added that government would always welcome suggestions, recommendations and proposals that would enrich the 2023 budget. 

“As a government, we believe in the culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency and accountability and therefore these engagements enrich the budgeting process and moves us a step closer to achieving these principles. In fact, there are several engagements that have and continue to take place in different forms and with diverse stakeholders at various stages of the budgeting process. Therefore, let me assure you that these engagements are taken with the utmost seriousness that it deserves.”

The engagement was attended by representatives from SEND-Ghana, Associationof Ghanaian Industries, Makola Women Association, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches Association and several other civil society organisations, trade groups, academia who made inputs into the 2023 budget. 

Presentations centered on proposed revenue options to be considered by government, reforms on social protection programmes, how government can reduce waste in the public sector, security, education, digitalization and several others. 

In conclusion Dr Kumah called on stakeholders to support the 2023 budget and economic statement when presented and indicated that submissions that fell within the focus areas of government would be incorporated. 

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