Speaker Ask Finance Ministry To Provide Various Budget Estimates For Scrutiny

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye has ordered the Finance Ministry to quickly make available various budget estimates to the House for scrutiny.

The debate on the budget statementwas concluded yesterday but MPs this morning complained about the non-availability of the estimates for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to be considered before the passage of the appropriations bill.

The matter generated debate in the House before the Speaker gave the order.

Prof. Oquaye described the concern raised as “a genuine one.”

He stressed that “budget estimates must quickly follow the debate so that we can efficaciously do our jobs.”

“I want to emphatically say that those [estimates that are ready are sent to honourable Members of Parliament and distributed accordingly.”

“If the matter is not before this floor then the matter is not ready. If there is something ready, may the honourable persons run and place them in the face of this honourable house immediately.”

Content of budget

The Finance Minister in delivering the 2020 budget statement stressed a focus on fixing roads across the country in 2020 and beyond.

He also indicated, among others that the government will increase the tax-to-GDP ratio from 13 percent to 20 per cent in 2020.

This was after the government’s revenue target for July 2019 fell short by GHS 5 billion.

Although the government has missed its revenue targets over the years, it is still hopeful that it can generate GHS 67.1 billion in revenue in 2020.

The Finance Minister described this target as part of “radical policy and institutional reforms” towards raising the tax-to-GDP ratio over the medium term.

The government said there would be a focus on efficiency and base-broadening rather than imposing new taxes on people and businesses.

This is with a view to raising the domestic revenue towards achieving the Ghana Beyond Aid vision, the government explained.