I won’t be surprised if 2023 budget is not approved – Dr. Baah
The 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government could still be rejected despite its reading by embattled Finance Minister Kenneth Nana Yaw Kuntunkununku Ofori-Atta last Thursday 24th October, 2022, that’s the position of Political scientist Dr. Richard Amoako Baah.
The political watcher said on Kumasi-based Ultimate 106.9 FM, after hearing the Minister on the budget, there is only one conclusion: the hardship is going to be more and does not spell out hope for Ghanaians.
“E-levy is a gimmick, give with the left hand and take with the right hand, that is it, you are even worse now. The budget has been read, it’s yet to be approved, that is the thing and that is what is important, most likely it would not be approved. This is the reason why people were saying Ofori-Atta should not read the budget nor draw up the budget, the person who is going to take over is supposed to”
“You see this budget is not an ordinary budget that one man should draw it up…no it should be a committee of interested parties, opponents and all of that. Because we have to draw a budget that is tough, raise money and at the same time don’t kill us. The way he has done it is just about killed us’, he warned
Hardship is not good, I won’t be surprised if it’s not approved and so let’s wait and see what they do”, he added
There was rancor ahead of the budget presentation with some majority MP’s threatening to boycott parliament if the finance minister was allowed to read.
They were later whipped in line by their party after National Executives put out a press statement and later met them.
However Dr. Baah maintains the NPP MPs who said they were against the finance minister presenting the budget but later made a U-Turn have lost credibility.
“The 98 MP’s I don’t know what to say about them, these people have lost all credibility because you are living in a country, that is danger with the economy, this is the time you stand by your country and not by your party, you waited for people to meet you to change you position, where the elders when all this nonsense was going on? They didn’t listen to anybody, when he created new regions did he tell the elders? All the bad things going on the elders didn’t hear it, things that has brought us to this end, then didn’t hear anything”
“Why have the elders not said anything about too many ministers, reckless spending , reckless borrowing where were they, they didn’t know economics, things like these are unacceptable they shouldn’t get themselves involved in it , it means you have become part of the problem”. He bemoaned
Below are the measures:
1. All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs.
2. A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023.
3. Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles.
4. Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff.
5. As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities.
6. Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year.
7. Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities and clothing, etc.
8. A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for free zone, mining, oil and gas companies.
9. A hiring freeze for civil and public servants.
10. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023.
11. There shall be no hampers for 2022.
12. There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024.
13. All non-critical projects must be suspended for the 2023 Financial year.