Clearance of areas in 2017 budget estimated at GH¢56.5b

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance on Thursday said a total expenditure including provision made for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments in 2017 is estimated at GH¢56.5 billion.  

This is equivalent to 27.8 per cent of GDP.

Mr Ofori-Atta said this when delivering the maiden budget statement of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Parliament for the 2017 fiscal year.  

According to him the expenditure for this year represents a 21.0 per cent increase over the provisional outturn for 2016. 

He stated that of this amount, GH¢3.7 billion, was equivalent to 1.8 per cent of GDP and 6.6 per cent of total expenditure would be used for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments. 

“Provision has been made for the clearance of 20 per cent of the outstanding claims from previous years, while we await the outcome of a special forensic audit of these outstanding claims,” he added.

The Finance Minister also said Compensation of Employees, which comprises wages and salaries, allowances, pensions, gratuities and social security contributions by Government on behalf of its employees is estimated at GH¢16.0 billion (7.9 per cent of GDP). 

“Of this amount, GH¢14.0 billion, equivalent to 6.9 per cent of GDP and 40.4 per cent of total tax revenue is estimated for the payment of wages, salaries and allowances,“ he stated. 

He said that the expenditure on Goods and Services was estimated at GH¢3.4 billion; representing 1.7 per cent of GDP and

Total Interest Payment estimated at GHc¢13.9 billion, representing 24.6 per cent of total expenditure, which was equivalent to6.8 per cent of GDP. 

He added that of this amount, domestic interest payment constituted 80.5 per cent of the total Interests Payment and amounted to GH¢12.9 million.

“The existing legislation that has underpinned the estimation of Grants to other Government units over the years is being reviewed to break the cycle of rigidities in the Budget. 

“Consequently, Grants to other Government units, comprising statutory payments into the National Health Insurance Fund, Ghana Education Trust Fund, the District Assemblies Common Fund, Road Fund, Energy Fund, transfer to the Ghana National Petroleum Company.

“Retention of internally-generated funds by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other earmarked Funds has been constrained to a ceiling of 25 per cent of tax revenues and would amount to GH¢8.7 billion”, he explained.

Mr Ofori-Atta said in addition to the significant tax incentives granted in this year’s Budget, an amount of GH¢241.2 million had been budgeted in Social Benefits to assist lifeline consumers of electricity and transfers for social protection.

According to him, the total amount of GH¢7.0 billion has been allocated for capital expenditure. Of this amount, 38.1 per cent will be financed from domestic sources and the remaining from foreign sources.

Source: GNA

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