Budget estimates is deceptive – Minority
The Minority spokesperson on Finance, Ato Forson says government’s allocation of funds to the various Ministries Department Agencies (MDAs) particularly the Office of the President is deceptive and believes there is more to it than meet the eye.
According to the Finance Committee report on the 2017 Annual Budget Estimates, the Office of the Government machinery has been allocated Ghc1.5billion.
Out of the amount, the report further indicates that Gh?992m has been allocated to finance social intervention programmes.
These programmes include One-district-One-factory (Ghc433m), Small Business Development (Ghc104m), Agric Inputs(Ghc66m), One Village One Dam(Ghc89m), Water for all projects(Ghc44m), Sanitation projects(Ghc44m), Zongo Development Fund(Ghc208m.)
It is these allocations to the various social intervention programmes that Hon. Ato Forson is raising red flags.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament to state their position on the estimates, he said that there was a contradiction of what is contained in the NPP manifesto as against the estimates.
“They have allocated an amount of Ghc992m, they claim it is equivalent to US$1m for each constituency. What we are saying is that, even if you decide to take the end period exchange rate of 4.184 charitable enough.
As at December 2016,the exchange rate to the dollar was 4.181 so if we to pick that one and multiply it by US$275m, it does not give you Ghc992m, it gives you in excess of Ghc1billion, so what we are saying is that clearly the budget statement says one thing and when you go to the estimates you see another thing.”
He also maintained that there is a clear departure in the budget statement that says that aside the US$1m, they will be allocating some monies for the purposes of 1district 1 factory, Zongo Development Fund among other interventions.
“They will be using the same amount of money to finance the Zongo Development Fund, so it is not a stand-alone. It is coming from their infrastructure projects, the US$1m per constituency which is not even enough, they are also taking part of that money for the purposes of 1district 1 factory and is a paltry Ghc433m.”
The former deputy Finance Minister wondered how many districts would benefit from it.
Furthermore, the Minority also disclosed that they will continue to offer constructive criticisms to government in order to keep them on their toes.