Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, indicates that government has officially written to parliament on modifications that has been made to the 2022 budget.
According to the Minister, modifications have been made to four key issues out of the five raised by stakeholders including the Minority including Agyapa Royalties deal, tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, Anlo and Ketu South constituencies, Aker Energy transaction, as well as the benchmark values. However, the modifications exclude the electronic levy.
This was made known during a press briefing to throw more light on the 2022 Annual Budget Statement as part of the Ministry’s post budget sensitisation activities.
Detailing the modifications in response to the emerging concerns by all stakeholders, the Minister said: “with regards to Agyapa Royalties Ltd, we shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation. It is important to note that, any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes, and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework.”
Regarding the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in some of the coastal towns in the Volta Region, the Minster indicated that government is making the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GH¢10 million to complete the feasibility and engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected.
“We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 kilometre of coastline, including the 149 kilometres between Aflao and Prampram. Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crisis created by the tidal waves on the Keta coastline,” he said.
Relating to the Aker Energy transaction, Mr. Ofori-Atta said sections of the 2022 budget has been modified to reflect the resolution of Parliament.
“We shall amend paragraph 829 of the 2022 Budget on the acquisition of a stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum by GNPC, to reflect the resolution of Parliament dated July 6, 2021 that “the terms and conditions of the loan for the acquisition of the shares shall be brought to Parliament for consideration pursuant to article 181 of the Constitution,” he said.
On the benchmark values, the Minister noted that modifications are being made to avert any hardships to importers and consumers while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for our people.
“This administrative exercise which reviewed 43 out of 81-line items, has the objective to promote local manufacturing and the One District, One Factory (1D1F) policy, including the assembling of vehicles,” Mr. Ofori-Atta noted.
He added that “it is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles. From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted.”
He indicated that government would work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect the modifications in the 2022 Budget as is the usual practice, before the Appropriation Bill is passed.
However, any other concerns which may emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the Committees, as has been the tradition. “On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time,” the Minster said.