PARLIAMENT on Friday by resolution approved GH¢2.2 billion as provisional estimates for the first quarter of 2009.
The amount is for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry out the services of government prior to coming into operation of the Appropriation Act in respect of the 2009 financial year, in accordance with Article 180 of the 1992 Constitution.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, moved for the adoption of the resolution to approve the estimates.
The amount is made of statutory payments amounting to GH¢635.8 million and discretionary payments of GH¢1.5 billion.
The figure represents about 25 per cent of the total budgetary figure for the financial year 2009 for all items.
Presenting the report of the Finance Committee on the expenditure in advance of appropriation, Nii Adu Daku Mante, chairman of the Select Committee on Finance, said the expenditure was prepared in accordance with Article 180 of the 1992 constitution because it appeared to the President that the Appropriation Act in respect of next year will not come into operation by the beginning of the financial year.
He said the committee was also informed that it would give the incoming administration the opportunity to make input into the 2009 budget.
Giving a background, Nii Mante quoted Article 180 of the 1992 constitution that states that “where it appears that the Appropriation Act in respect of any financial year will not come into operation by the beginning of that year, the minister may, with approval of Parliament by a resolution, authorise the withdrawal of money from the consolidated fund to meet government expenditure.”
He said pursuant to this provision, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning acting on the authority of the President and before the end of the year and the beginning of the next financial year, requested the house to approve by resolution the estimates.