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Sharing the 2016 Gh₵50 Billion National Cake

By Dominic Hlordzi

Figure: The pie chart on top of the Chamber of Parliament as shown in the infogram presents the budgetary allocations by percentage to the various priority areas.

Each Ghanaian may receive from the State a little about one thousand eight hundred Ghana Cedis if the 0 Billion Ghana Cedis budgeted for 2016 is shared amount the estimated 27million citizens. The over Fifty Billion Ghana Cedis as captured in the 2015 Appropriation Bill ratified by the Ghanaian Legislature will cater for the implementation of key sector programmes and projects in the economy, i.e Ministries, Departments, Commissions and Agencies. The Lawmakers on a certificate of urgency authorized government as demanded by the Constitution to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund and other Sources of Funds for the purposes of financing all government operations during the 2016 financial year. Below is the graphical representation of the key areas receiving the allocations.

Taking a cursory view of the allocation, it is clear that Compensation for employees: which translates into the payment of wages and salaries, pensions, gratuities and social security is leading the pack as the area where greater part of the 50 Billion will be devoted to. A whopping fourteen billion (actual figure-14,023,994,590) representing about 28 percent of the yet to be raised revenue will go into payment of compensations.

Interest payments on both domestic and external loans estimated at 10.4Billion Ghana Cedis will account for 21percent of the entire budget for the year. 50 Million Ghana Cedis has been voted for Subsidies on petroleum products. This according to the Finance Minister Seth Terkper will be used to cushion fisher folks in the provision of premix-fuel as well as residual fuel for industrial use. Capital Expenditure to be financed through Domestic and foreign means has been estimated at 5.4 Billion Ghana Cedis. The paltry nature of the money voted for capital expenditure is an omen of what will happen in the year regarding certain projects.

 Other areas such as Amortization, Tax Refund Vote, Non Road Arrears, Social Benefits, Grants to other Government Units (Statutory Funds) and use of Goods and Services have been factored into the kitty for attention in the election year.

 The government is expected to generate the resources for the running of the State through the collection of taxes and several other sources including the controversially approved one Billion Dollar Sovereign Bond which according to the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper is part of initiatives by government to provide cheaper and long term resources for financing the 2016 budget.

As captured in the report of the Finance Committee of Parliament and presented on the Floor of Parliament by the Chairman of the Committee James Avedzi, government is by the passage of the Appropriation Bill enjoined not to exceed the 50 Billion Ghana Cedis budgetary allocations. Barring any unforeseen appetite to over spend in an election year, it is expected that government will leave up to its pledge of not going beyond the approved Appropriation so as to cut down on the annual budget deficit. 

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