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16.12.2004 Business & Finance

Parliament approves government expenditure for next three months

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Accra, Dec. 16, GNA - Parliament on Thursday approved over six trillion, nine hundred and fifteen billion cedis (6, 915, 575, 000, 000. 00) in response to government's request for the withdrawal of money from the consolidated fund for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on business from January to March 2005. The House gave approval after it had adopted the Finance Committee's report on the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation (Vote on Account), 2005.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Yaw Osafo Maafo, as part of his duties and in pursuant of Article 180 of the Constitution, in the month of December, sends a request to the House to approve by resolution, the withdrawal of monies for the purpose of meeting government expenditure in respect of the first three months of the financial year.

The Committee said it had taken note of the assurance by the Ministry of Finance that the Controller and Accountant General would ensure that all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) operated "strictly within the levels set in the provisional estimates." The report said the Committee was informed that the figure presented in the Vote on Accounts represented about 25 per cent of the total budgetary figure for the financial year 2005 for all the items. In supporting the motion, Mr Steve Akorlie, NDC-Ho East, suggested that budget statements for the following year should be prepared in December to cover January to December, a full year, instead of the usual way of preparing the government financial expenditure and statements in March of the new year.

According to him, this is to avoid the situation in which provisional estimates on government's expenditure for the first months of the new year had to be brought before the house for approval.

Mr Osafo Maafo said the suggestion was in order, however, data collection was a major problem if budget statements were to be presented early enough since information was needed from all sectors of the economy a couple of months before the end of the year.

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