The Finance Minister is expected to present the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government to Parliament on Wednesday (17 November)
The 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government will focus primarily on reducing unemployment and expanding on the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Finance has said.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has indicated that the 2022 Budget will be heavy on job creation and entrepreneurship.
Ofori-Atta has said the government is committed to putting in place those measures that will help deal with the unemployment situation in the country as well as recent challenges with the employment of fresh graduates for the public sector.
The 2022 Budget is also expected to focus heavily on fiscal consolidation, empowering the private sector to employ more and widening the tax net.
In a statement, the ministry said the Budget will also focus on import substitution, digitisation of the economy, skills development and entrepreneurship, among other points.
“In accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 constitution and Section 21 (3) of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921), the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will, on behalf of the president, lay before Parliament the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government on Wednesday 17 November 2021,” the ministry said.
“The Budget will primarily focus on expanding on the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as creating a climate-friendly entrepreneurial state to address unemployment and import substitution.
“Digitalisation of the economy, skills development and entrepreneurship will also feature prominently in the presentation,” it also said.
Benchmark value policy
Many are also expecting finality on the benchmark value policy after the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) backtracked on its earlier decision on reviewing the policy
in a letter forwarded to the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, signed by the commissioner-general, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, the GRA indicated that “it has been agreed that discount on some commodities currently being enjoyed should be reversed to achieve revenue effect. To this end, 15 November 2021, is, therefore, slated for the effective date for the implementation of the removal of the benchmark values on some selected items,” the statement noted.
“Yet to be approved”
But another letter signed by Florence Asante, assistant commissioner in charge of communication and public affairs, stated that the policy if accepted will be communicated in the 2022 Budget statement slated for Wednesday 17 November 2021.
“We wish to state that this document has not received policy approval for implementation. Such policy approval, when obtained will be communicated during the 2022 Budget Statement presentation scheduled for 17 November 2021,” the statement noted.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has been kicking against the 50% benchmark values on some imported goods since its introduction by the government in 2019, stating that the policy is collapsing local industries.
However, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), said there will be an increase in the price of general goods and services, should the policy be abolished.
All items under the 32 categories include sugar, noodles, palm oil, roofing sheets, toilet paper, facial tissue and towel, chocolates, Portland cement, clinker and mosquito coil.
Other items also include vehicles, ceramic tiles, aluminium products, cartons, textiles, fruit juices, among others.
Review road tolls
Meanwhile, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has called on the government to review the payment of road tolls in the country.
Godfrey Abulbire Adogma, the GPRTU general secretary, said Ghana should substitute paying of road tolls with a one-pesewa increment on the Energy Levy. This will provide more than enough to cover any losses from monies collected at various toll booths across the country.
“When you come to the issue of road tolls, even if the government decides to raise the current amount of GHC1 to GHC2, that wouldn’t be enough,” Adogma said.
“So, we have itemised all the reasons and the government could scrap all the toll booths and rather charge an amount per litre of fuel. That can be another measure to prevent revenue leakages,” he said.