Accra, Dec.13, GNA - Government had earmarked 16.644 trillion cedis for its financial obligations for the 2006 fiscal year. The obligations include statutory payments including external debt, pensions, gratuities and Social Security and other obligations, including strategic oil stocks, payment on inflation indexed bonds amongst others. Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP) moved for the approval of the package that is nearly half of the sum total of the 2006 budget. Statutory payments amounted to 13.933 trillion while other government obligations took 2.165 trillion from the public purse.
According to a report of the Committee on Finance, the assumptions for 2006 on pensions were based on an annual increase of about 15 per cent. "Gratuities are also based on 2005 projected out turn with an increase of 15 per cent." It said the projection for the National Health Fund (NHF) was based on the expected yields from the National Health Insurance Scheme Levy of 2 and a half per cent of total expenditure on goods and service plus two and half per cent of SSNIT contribution.
A total of 1.513 trillion is to transferred into the NHF. On the Road fund, which is attracting 1.068 trillion, the committee said its projection was based on calculations from the petroleum price-build-up formula from the Ministry of Energy on the assumption of levy of 600 cedis per litre. External debt due for repayment amounted to 4.537 trillion while the domestic debt amounted to 2.426 trillion. The District Assemblies' Common Fund attracted 1.204 trillion while a sum of 1.386 trillion would be paid into the Education Trust Fund.