Parliament passes Appropriation Bill 2022
Parliament on Thursday passed the Appropriation Bill, 2022, under a certificate of urgency giving government the go ahead to spend GH¢227.80 billion from the Consolidated Fund and other public funds for the 2023 fiscal year.
The Appropriations Bill is the summation of all estimates of the government’s planned expenditure for the fiscal year.
The passage of the Bill was after a marathon all night session of the House, during which revenue Amendment Bills were passed under a certificate of urgency such as the Value Added Tax (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2022 and the approval of budgetary estimates for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The 2022 Appropriation Bill, when assented to by the President, becomes the Appropriation Act, 2022, and it will come into force on January 1, 2023.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, moved the Motion of the approval of the 2022 Appropriation Bill.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, who seconded the Motion, said the Committee, had to make some changes in the original sum of the total budget to reflect changes that had taken place during debates on the various estimates.
Following the amendments, the Chairman recommended to the House to pass the Appropriation Bill into law in accordance with the Constitution and to serve the purpose for which they were doing this.
Contributing to the debate on the floor of Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, said the Appropriation Amount had been revised downward for three reasons.
He said that the first reason was that an allocation that was supposed to go to the Development Initiative Secretariat had been to be cut and subsequently the resolutions in the House reflected that.
Secondly, he said the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Office of government Machinery Budget was accordingly cut, adding it was part of the reason why the amount was coming down.
“And lastly, Mr Speaker, the budget of GH¢80.00 million that was supposed to go to the Ministry of Tourism for the purposes of the National Cathedral, had to be cut. Mr Speaker, and because it was cut, you will need to reallocate it or take it from Appropriation.” Dr Forson said.
“Mr Speaker, it was important for us to take it from Appropriation for a reason that you will require a resolution of Parliament before you can allocate this money.”
Dr Forson said, however, the Ministry of Finance had indicated that it was in their intention to allocate it to Ministry of Communication and Digitization and Roads and Highway.
He said the allocation for Roads and Communication had already been taken and that the allocation in the budget was down by GH¢80.00 million.
He said apart from that, the contingency vote in the original budget reflecting GHS1.40 billion had been reduced to GH¢533.00 million.
He noted that this was particularly so because the contingency vote, part of it was allocated to the Audit service, some to the Judiciary and Parliament.
He said after those allocations, the Committee still felt that the amount allocated for contingency was too high, so the Committee unanimously agreed that amount should be reduced further.
He said the Committee directed the Ministry to move the amount set aside for wage negotiations to the General Government Service allocation.
Dr Forson said all these measures led to the reduction of the original total budget estimate of the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government.