The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, is expected to present to Parliament next week Wednesday, October 28, 2020, an Advanced Budget; covering government spending for the first quarter of 2021.
The expected presentation, known as Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation is a standard practice rolled out in election years to prevent transitional challenges in the smooth running of government for the first three months in the year after elections.
This was made known by the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Friday, October 23, 2020, when he briefed Parliament on its activities in the coming week.
“The Finance Minister will present to the House on Wednesday 98, 2020, an Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation that is for January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021. The House is also expected to consider the report by the Finance Committee and take the consequential parliamentary actions.
“As recommended during the previous presentation statements, the House is programmed to sit on Monday, October 26, 2020, and be extended beyond 2 pm.”
The presentation of an advance appropriation follows from the fact that there is not going to be a conventional budget presentation in November as is associated with election years.
The government in July this year presented a revised budget statement to Parliament for approval of an additional GHS11.8 billion to support the government’s expenditure for the rest of the year 2020.
This was because the government projections for the 2020 financial year were affected by the economic implications of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, the Finance Minister announced that the government will require some GHS9.5 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which may move the 2020 budget deficit to over seven percent.
He also stated that this will be 2.5 percent of Ghana’s revised GDP, and there will be a “fiscal gap of GHS11.4 billion.”