Ministry of Finance launches 2018 citizen’s budget

The Ministry of Finance has launched the 2018 version of the Citizen’s Budget to help citizens understand government initiatives and policies stated in the budget.

The document, prepared with the citizens in mind, has been presented in a simplified language to make sure that every Ghanaian understood the key public finance information and initiatives government intended to rollout.

The 2018 budget statement is on the theme: “Putting Ghana Back to Work” and Citizen’s budget development was supported by the German Government (GIZ).

Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance, in a speech read on his behalf, said the objective of the launch was to promote the understanding of the budget process and to crave active participation in the process of development.

He said government had kept faith with Ghanaians and had achieved a number of things they promised such as restoring and sustaining the macro economic growth, implementation of the free SHS policy, restoring teacher and nurses training allowance among others.

Mr Ofori Atta said after achieving all these, the government was of the view that the year 2018 held a lot of prospects for every Ghanaian, hence the theme.

“In 2018 we will continue to implement the policy initiatives we began in the 2017 budget.

We have laid the necessary foundations, which include the passage of the enabling legislations, to give legal backing to the policies and the establishment of the necessary administrative structures,” he stated.

The Minister said full implementation of the policies would begin next year and this would create many jobs for the teaming unemployed youth.

He said government would implement a number of measures not only to create jobs for the youth but also to improve on the standard of living for all Ghanaians and to achieve inclusive growth.

This, he said, could be achieved with the $1 million for every constituency, the One District One Factory programme policies and through the reduction in electricity tariff among others.

These programmes according to the Finance Minister would empower the private sector to generate jobs and increase growth.

“As promised, we have already announced some tax cuts to reduce the burden of taxes for the private sector in order for them to step up their production and create more jobs,” he said.

He encouraged each and every Ghanaian to play their roles to ensure that this was achieved.

He commended the German Government through GIZ for having supported Ghana to achieve good financial governance.

He noted that the citizen’s budget that had been launched did not replace the main budget statement but only presented highlights in a simplified manner to the public.

He, therefore, urged the public to read the budget in their convenient language to help them follow the development process actively.

“This will enable you demand right answers concerning what government says it is going to do with the available resources, what has been done and the reasons for the expenditures by the end of the 2018 financial year.

“I urge you to provide us with constructive feedback on how we can improve the document in the coming years to ensure its relevance.”

The Citizens Budget has been translated into Ga, Twi, Ewe, Ga Dangbe, Gonja, Dagbaani, and Nzema aside the English language.

Source: GNA

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