Advanced budget a step in the right direction – Economist

An Economist, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie, says the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s plans for the first quarter of 2021 is a step in the right direction.

Reacting after the budget presentation on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020, he said, “In a nutshell, he [Ofori-Atta] has indicated exactly what my expectations were. Clearly, whatever has been presented today is not quite different from what is in their manifesto so it’s a step in the right direction.”

Ken Ofori-Atta requested for GHS27.4 billion for the running of the country for the first three months of 2021.

He asked Parliament to approve “by resolution, the withdrawal of the sum of GHS27,434,180,520.00 from the Consolidated Fund for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government in respect of the period expiring three months from the beginning of the financial year or on the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act in respect of the 2021 financial year.”

On the back of this, Dr. Sarkodie insisted that the figure is enough to cover for the expenditure for the first quarter of next year saying that, “Once you’re not touching so much on the capital expenditure but you’re concentrating on the recurrent expenditure in order to run government machinery, it should be enough for government to run for the first three months.”

He added, “I think the Minister was very careful in mentioning the capital expenditure and that government is just going to devote GHS1.9 billion. So not much attention was paid to the capital expenditure and rightly so because you are just talking about transitional period. So I’m sure the remaining three quarters would place much emphasis on capital expenditure so this should be adequate.”

Sovereign bond
The Minister of Finance also sought Parliament’s approval to continue to raise funds from the international capital market to fund the 2021 budget and liability management.

According to him, the funds will comprise the issuance of sovereign bonds of US$3 billion with the option to increase it to US$5 billion should market conditions prove favourable.


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