The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, is seeking various amounts totaling 4.3 trillion cedis to support good governance and civic responsibility, private sector competitiveness and human resource development.
The proposed expenditure is grouped under the three thematic areas of the second phase of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II).
Making the request in Parliament yesterday, Mr Baah-Wiredu said, “it is important that we take cognizance of the fact that the additional resources for which supplementary approval is being sought do not involve any additional taxes. These resources are purely grants, loans and taxes already collected.”
The presentation of the supplementary budget was nearly marred by the Minority group opposing the procedure for the presentation.
Despite the various interventions by the Speaker, members of the Minority group stood to their ground and continued to talk at the top of their voices just to attract the attention of the Speaker to the procedure of the presentation.
Notwithstanding the action of the Minority, the Finance Minister, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, continued with his presentation, while Mr J.H. Mensah, the Senior Minister, walked to the Minority to explain issues to them on the quiet before sanity prevailed in the House.
The Minister, in his presentation, stated that an amount of about 27.4 billion, which had accumulated from an earlier period when an announcement in the adjustment of petroleum prices was made prior to parliamentary approval in February 2005, was available for use as part of the additional revenue.
He said the country was also benefiting from an amount of about 5,002.9 billion cedis (547 million dollars) from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) over the next five years and said it would be used to support the government's programme to accelerate growth and poverty reduction in 22 selected districts.
Mr Baah-Wiredu further stated that an amount of about 311.0 billion cedis (34 million dollars) would be received and expanded from the account this year on some programmed activities in the agricultural sector.
He said the country was expected to receive debt relief from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, consisting of 200 million dollars (about 1,829.2 billion cedis) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 24 million dollars (about 219.5 billion cedis) from the World Bank and about 6 million dollars (about 54.9 billion cedis) from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Mr Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that as of today, the amount of 200 million dollars expected from the IMF has been deposited in Government Accounts at the Bank of Ghana. The relief expected from the World Bank and the AfDB is to be made available some time during the third quarter of 2006,” he declared.
The Minister said for the rest of the year, the government was expected to contract short term and long-term loans to the tune of about 144 million dollars (about 1,317.02 billion cedis) to support various government projects.
He said an amount of 859.7 billion cedis was expected to be contracted from local sources as short-term loans, while the balance of 457.3 billion cedis was a concessionary long-term loan expected to be contracted from the Deutsche Bank.