Ghana projects GH¢72.4b total revenue and grants for 2021

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Total Revenue and grants for 2021 is projected to rise to GH¢72,452 million, equivalent to 16.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up from an outturn of GH¢55,132 million, equivalent to 14.3 per cent of GDP recorded in 2020.

The Domestic Revenue is estimated at GH¢70,987 million in 2021 and represents an annual growth of 31.7 per cent over the recorded outturn for 2020.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, who presented the 2021 Budget Statement to Parliament, said of the total Domestic Revenue and Non-oil Tax Revenue would constitute about 74 per cent, amounting to GH¢53,632 million.

This is equivalent to 12.4 per cent of GDP, reflecting the impact of expected improvements in tax compliance and reforms in revenue administration.

The theme for the 2020 Budget was: “Consolidation, Completion and Continuation,” subtitled “W0N YA WO HI33” Budget, to wit “we are moving forward”.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said government recognised that as a result of the impact of COVID-19, times were hard for many people, however, it was important that the Government rebuilt and strengthened public finances to provide the resources needed to protect lives and livelihoods, deliver critical government services, support the transformation of the economy, and ensure fiscal and debt sustainability.

“We have to do these ourselves as no one will do it for us,” he added.

He said rebuilding the country’s public finances required the implementation of some important fiscal measures to mobilise additional domestic revenue.

On tax administration, the Minister said in 2021 the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) would intensify audits and institute measures to recover all outstanding debts and enforce collections in the extractive industry.

He said a study of the downstream petroleum sector indicated there was still the challenge of under-reporting and evasion of taxes by some industry players.

The Minister said the GRA in conjunction with the relevant agencies would mount a campaign to deal with the unlawful acts.

On Gaming Policy, he said gaming had become a major income earner all across the globe and a significant source of government revenue.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the influx of online betting and automation of the once totally manual process had changed the character of revenue sources from that industry.

“It is estimated that Ghana loses over GH¢300 million annually in revenue due to leakages in the sector,” he said.

The Minister said the ministries of Finance and the Interior would co-supervise the gaming industry and would soon consult with stakeholders to formulate a comprehensive policy to improve revenue mobilisation from that source.

For COVID-19 support, he said government in 2020 outlined a number of initiatives to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the populace.

Some sectors of the economy and sections of the population, however, continued to suffer the devastating consequences of the disease, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said.

He said the government was, therefore, rolling out the additional reliefs for different sections of the population, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic.

The reliefs include tax rebate, tax stamps and vehicle income tax.

He said beneficiaries of the reliefs would have to be registered with the GRA and must have fulfilled their first quarter tax obligations.

The Minister said for resource allocation for 2021, the total Expenditure (including clearance of arrears) was projected at GH¢113,750 million, equivalent to 26.2 per cent of GDP for 2021.

“This represents a growth of 13.7 per cent above the outturn of GH¢100,052 million recorded in 2020,” he said.

Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu said wages and salaries were projected to amount to GH¢25,799 million and constituted 22.7 per cent of the total expenditure (including arrears clearance) for 2021.

As a percentage of GDP, the wage bill is projected to be 5.9 per cent in 2021 compared to the 6.5 per cent recorded in 2020.

The use of Goods and Services is also projected at GH¢5,967 million or 1.4 per cent of GDP, representing 5.2 per cent of the projected total expenditure (including arrears clearance).

He said the interest payments were projected at GH¢35,864 million, equivalent to 8.3 per cent of GDP in 2021, and of the amount, domestic interest payments would constitute about 79.1 per cent, amounting to GH¢28,368 million.

Transfers to Statutory Funds as well as all other earmarked funds are estimated at GH¢18,081 million (4.2 per cent of GDP), representing 52.2 per cent growth over the recorded outturn for 2020.

Capital Expenditure is projected at GH¢11,423 million (2.6 per cent of GDP) in 2021, a decline of 5.5 per cent over the 2020 outturn and of this amount, Domestic Financed Capital Expenditure is estimated at GH¢3,310 million (0.8 per cent of GDP).

An amount of GH¢8,112 million had been estimated for Foreign Financed Capital Expenditure and that would be funded by a combination of Project Grants and Loans, the Minister said.

Source: GNA

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