The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta characteristically arrayed in his trademark white Kaftan on Wednesday November 17, 2021 presented the 2022 Budget Statement and Government’s Economic Policy in Parliament.
He also submitted to the august House the 2021 Annual Report on the Petroleum Funds, in accordance with Section 48 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), (as amended) and the 2021 Report on the Utilization of the African Union Levies in accordance with Section 7 of the African Union Import Levies Act, 2017 (Act 952).
Regarding Resource Allocation for 2022, the Finance Minister said Total Expenditure (including clearance of Arrears) is projected at GH¢137.5 billion, equivalent to 27.4 percent of GDP and the 2022 estimate represents a growth of 23.2 percent above the projected outturn of GH¢111.6 billion, equivalent to 25.3 percent of GDP for 2021.
The Budget Statement which is focused on solving the rising unemployment rate in the country is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) on the authority of H.E. President Akufo-Addo.
Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana requires that, at least one month before the end of the financial year, the President causes to be prepared and presented to Parliament a budget for the following year.
The Minister indicated that the Budget will be the propelling tool to catapult the country into a prosperous future by creating a careful realignment and rebalancing of the country’s needs, wants, and aspirations as a nation to ensure sustained recovery and transformation to a Ghana Beyond Aid.
According to him, the broad vision of Government includes creating a robust economy that supports a thriving private sector aimed at strengthening the economy with a focus on jobs and skills training for the youth to address the growing unemployment in the country.
The Minister stated that the Government will continue to stabilize the economy, expand the coverage of its digitization agenda, develop its human capital and embark on business regulatory reforms aimed at accelerating infrastructural development.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic had brought the country to a tipping point and Government at both national and regional levels had to push towards re-orienting the national status quo and becoming agents for transformation and social change.
Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that Government has extensively engaged and built partnerships of trust to implement the policies presented in the Budget, thus, demonstrating the commitment of the Akufo-Addo led administration to continue tackling the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and the fiscal impact on the debt sustainability efforts.
He emphasized that the Budget Statement dubbed, ‘Agyenkwa’ Budget is aimed at strengthening the economy despite the Covid-19 menace and is focussed on jobs creation and skills training for the youth as well as entrepreneurship to address the growing unemployment in the country.
The Finance Minister indicated Government’s commitment to bold and credible revenue and expenditure measures to achieve a new and more sustainable macro-fiscal balance, embark on a path of fiscal consolidation to ensure access to International Capital Markets and to empower the Private Sector to expand and create jobs
He said an unprecedented, historic and comprehensive Ten Billion Ghana Cedis initiative has been earmarked to improve access to finance, skills and promote entrepreneurship amongst the youth while Government will continue the implementation of its flagship programmes to improve the living standards of our people
The Budget, according to him, similarly combines a strategic investments through the “Obaatan Pa” programme to revitalise and transform the structure of our economy and initiatives to advance digitalisation to boost efficiency in our transactions.
Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu in a brief comment lamented that the country is hot and decried what he termed as the mismanagement of country’s economy and the unsustainable debt hole the Akufo-Addo-led Government has plunged the country into.
The Majority Leader and Minister Parliamentary Affairs on the other hand indicated that government has captured the concerns of many in the Budget Statement for the 2022 fiscal year and refuted the assertion that that it is a propaganda Budget.