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General News

[ 2013-03-05 ]

Seth Terkper presents budget today
Finance and Economic Planning Minister Seth
Terkper will today, Tuesday, present the 2013
budget and economic policy statement of the
government to parliament.

The statement will review government's expenditure
and revenue generation in 2012 and the projections
for this year.

The budget is expected to give teeth various
policy initiatives outlined by President John
Mahama in his State of the Nation Address
delivered two weeks ago.

This year's budget will be the first to be read by
Mr Seth Terpker on behalf of President Mahama
after being appointed Minister of Finance and
Economic Planning.

It was to have been presented in November 2012, in
line with Article 179 of the constitution, but was
rescheduled because of the general elections held
in December 2012.

Although information on today's budget is sketchy,
indications are that the government will use it to
commit substantial resources into key priority
areas such as education, infrastructure, health,
job creation, private sector development and
social intervention mechanisms.

It is also expected to give an insight into
government's programmes that will help sustain
growth in the economy, stimulate growth in the
private sector, increase domestic revenue
generation and correct fiscal imbalances in the
system while providing a clearer picture of how
the government intends to manage the rising public
sector wage bill.

Already, public expectation of the budget is
divided, but the Executive Director of the Centre
for Policy Analysis (CEPA), Dr Joe Abbey says his
outfit would be looking out for a comprehensive
review of government's performance in 2012,
especially regarding the implementation of the
Single Spine Salary Structure, the dividends of
the payroll audit commissioned in 2011 and how the
government intended to manage the rising public
sector expenditure vis-a-vis revenue generation.

"I would also like to see how the government
intends to improve upon revenue generation while
reducing public sector expenditure," he added.

The reading of the budget normally starts with a
review of government's performance and the causes
thereof in the just-ended financial year. The
review is followed by forecasts for the year and
then concludes with sartorial outlooks and
resource allocations to the various sub-sectors
and ministries.

With the presentation of the 2013 budget coming on
the back of challenges in electricity generation
and water supply nationwide, indications are that
the Finance Minister will use the occasion to
commit some funds into the utility sub-sector as
part of a wider effort by government to improve
the livelihood of the populace.

The Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project,
which includes the commercialisation of the
country's gas resources in the Western Region, is
expected to receive keen attention as the
government attempts to drift from its traditional
dependence on hydro and thermal sources for power
to alternative ones, including natural gas.

Forecasts for key fiscal policies, such as
inflation, gross domestic product (GDP), budget
deficit and revenue mobilisation, will also
feature in the budget.

While the government is expected to announce new
and additional sources of income into the national
kitty, the business community expects it to cut
taxes in some areas to enable businesses to
compete and expand.

Source - Daily Graphic

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