Following the long awaited Mid-Year Budget Review presented in Ghana's 8th Parliament today (July 29, 2021) by Ken Ofori-Atta, several Ghanaians, particularly members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have raised mixed reactions and concerns about it.
This budget is a very imperative document to every citizen in the country, looking at the current harship is swallowing many businesses and informal sector workers. It is also very critical, so far as the recovery and growth of the economy is concerned. The Finance Minisiter, Ken Ofori-Atta emphatically declared that "they are managing the economy with discipline and competence" amidst the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the country's debt rate now stands at 77.1% (from December 2020 to June 2021). This however, cannot be linked to any other factor than the pandemic.
It is somehow surprising why he did not present any supplementary budget as part of his presentation. Obviously, the country is hardly hit by the pandemic; hence, the Government probably does not want to put extreme pressure on Ghanaians and the economy specifically. Working within the proposed budget clearly indicates that there will be no provisions for payment of extra taxes by Ghanaians, but more policies are being put in place to prevent revenue leakages.
In reaction to the budget review, the Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu has clearly told the members of the NDC not to escalate their submissions on the budget review, but keep it precise and straightforward because the document does not need any further debate. He cautioned them to comment on it, but not to turn the whole thing into a debate.
For him, he thinks there is obviously nothing wrong with the budget, as opposed to what most members of the main opposition party claim.
However, the Minority leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu totally disagrees. He debunked the Majority Leader's claimed, and brilliantly shown him the right path to follow. He told him that they are going to set a very debating atmosphere in parliament concerning the budget, so everyone should be prepared.
He also boldly told Hon. Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu that, per his demeanor and composure, he is not happy with the budget. "You yourself you are not happy with the budget," he said.
Whether a room will be created for them to debate on it, or their submissions will be made in the form of comments, will be determined by Right Honourable Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Nhyiaso Constituency and Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Stephen Amoah has already started the debate, indicating that the negative posture put forward by Members of the NDC concerning the just presented budget shows an intellectual dishonesty.
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