Article 179 (8) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) enjoin the government to present a Budget Statement and Economic Policy and its Mid-Year Review to Parliament annually.
On March 12, the Government’s 2021 Budget Statement was delivered to Parliament and the Mid-Year Review was done yesterday.
Mid-Year Budget Review is essentially meant to provide the economic and fiscal performance of the economy for the first half of the year and so yesterday’s presentation gave the performance for the first half of 2021 and provided an update on the implementation of key programmes, including strategies by the government to create employment for Ghanaians in general and the youth in particular.
Unlike previous reviews, this year’s did not introduce taxes for additional revenue as the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the revenue performance was somewhat okay.
Though any formal discussion of the review is yet to take place, remarks bordering on informal assessments started coming from some members of the Majority and Minority in Parliament as well as others immediately after its presentation yesterday.
Today, radio, television, some newspapers and other media sources are also giving their perspectives.
The truth is that some of the remarks made yesterday and ongoing ones, as expected, were and are still partisan and so can be described as biased,
The Ghanaian Times, therefore, expects discussions from the experts who can digest, critique and explain the mid-year budget in simple terms for the ordinary man to have some understanding of it.
As the Finance Minister said at a point, the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged certain economic activities and killed countless livelihoods, thereby making people lose jobs.
Therefore, the Ghanaian Times wishes the Government would uphold its plans of creating opportunities to revive businesses for the citizenry to get jobs.
It is good that additional taxes have not been introduced but what does that mean to the ordinary man so much concerned with bread and butter issues.
Times are hard for the citizenry as transport fares have risen and prices of essential goods skyrocketing.
To the layman, the most important thing is for him to have some breathing space in catering for self and family.
Therefore, the government’s avowed programme to create more than one million jobs for the youth in the next two- and-a- half- years through entrepreneurship must be prioritised.
Plans to support women, as pointed out by the Finance Minister, are highly laudable and must not fail.
Due to their low level of education and lack of employable skills, most Ghanaian women are into petty trading and so were truly disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through lesser earnings and savings, and in some cases none at all.
Besides, most of them are single parents, making them smart under the slightest economic wreckage.
It is good news that the economy is said to be on a rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, through economic initiatives and stimulus packages provided by the government for businesses.
It is the belief of the Ghanaian Times that when all the programmes, plans and strategies are sustained, life would be a little comfortable for the Ghanaian.