Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has advanced a possible explanation for why his presentation of the mid-year budget review went smoothly without the usual booing and jeering, particularly from opposition Members of Parliament.
The minister presented the mid-year budget to lawmakers in late July 2021, with key takeaways including the decision not to ask for more money and not to impose new taxes.
Speaking on Asaase Radio’s August 5, 2021, Evening News, Ofori-Atta said the lack of heckling could be attributed to Ghana having a good economic year despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It must be that we are having a good year so far. But I think typically we go to Parliament and ask for a supplementary and once it did not require that, it then came to a conversation on the state of the economy and the nation and where we should be going as a people and I think that is very healthy.
“The issue is really in our forecasting and anticipating what we would need for the year and making sure that as finance minister, we stick to those numbers,” he added.
Touching on the decision by the government not to ask for more money, Ofori-Atta put it down to a laid down plan that his outfit was committed to respecting.
He said the government has by this move given “a lot of comfort and clarity and a sense of commitment … that it is a new era that has come in which finance ministers are going to try and work within the appropriation that the august house has given us.”
IDuring the budget review debate, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu stated that there was no money for the government to make any further demands, whereas the Ranking Member on Finance, Cassiel Ato-Forson, predicted that by the end of the year, despite not asking for more money in his mid-year review, the finance minister would by all means overrun his allocations.