Parliament approves GH¢6,370,355,925.82 supplementary estimate budget

PARLIAMENT has approved a request by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, for additional GH¢6,370,355,925.82 as supplementary estimate to support government expenditure for the 2019 fiscal year. 

Mr Ofori Atta moved the motion when he presented the mid-year review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government in Accra on Monday. 

By that, Mr Ofori Atta is seeking to amend the Appropriation Act, Act 984, which gave him the authority to expend GH¢78,771,833,602 from the Consolidated Fund and other public funds. 

The motion was seconded by the Chairman of the Finance Committee and New Patriotic Party member for New Juaben South, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, on Tuesday, paving the way for the debate ahead of the approval yesterday. 

The debate focused on sectors of the economy including finance, agriculture, education, communication, trade and industry, transportation among others. 

Whilst the Majority caucus was of the conviction that the mid-year review is the antidote to the prevailing economic atmosphere of the country, the Minority contended that it would deepen the economic woes of citizens. 

Though the debate was concluded on Tuesday, the approval was deferred to Wednesday when the House unanimously gave its blessing to the request by the Finance Minister. 

Mr Ofori Atta, presenting the mid-year review, increased five taxes and levies to enable government mobilise more money to finance planned programmes for the 2019 fiscal year. 

The increased taxes, he said, would service energy sector debts and improve service delivery.

They include a 21 per cent upward adjustment in the Road Fund Levy, the Energy Debt Recovery Levy and the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy.

Others are an increase of the Communication Service Tax (CST) tax to 9  per cent from 6 per cent and a raise of the Energy Sector Levies by 20 pesewas per litre for petrol and diesel and 8 pesewas per kilogramme for Liquified Petroleum Gas.

He, however, proposed the scrapping of the Luxury Vehicle Levy, introduced in 2018. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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