The Minister of Finance will on Wednesday, November 19, present to Parliament the budget statement and economic policy for the government for 2015.
Alfred Kwame Agbesi, Deputy Majority Leader who informed the House, urged the Legislators to avail themselves on the said date.
Government is expected to announce some major austerity measures for 2015 following demands from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Government has struggled to achieve most of its targets for 2014 including key macro-economic indicators like inflation and growth rate while still battling to keep the budget deficit under control.
Government had projected that inflation would be kept at about 9.5 percent by the middle of 2014 but the latest figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) showsinflation for the month of October has sky-rocketed to 16.9%.
The IMF has already projected that growth will decelerate to 4 ½ percent, from the 7.1 percent in 2013, and 2014 will end with an average inflation of around 15 percent.
Even though government and the IMF are wrapping up on a definite IMF bailout programme for Ghana, the Fund has already hinted that the programme willtarget some key areas of the economy, which may force government to totally scrap fuel subsidy some tax exemptions certain companies and sectors are enjoying.
Meanwhile, an Economist and Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Godfred Bokpin has warned government against presenting an unrealistic budget.
According to him, government’s targets in the 2014 budget were “dead on arrival,” and that it was almost certain it would miss all the targets.
‘’Government’s mid-year review of the budget was expected;…Two months into the budget [2014 budget] life we knew that those targets were not realistic; government wasn’t going to achieve those targets. Is as though one could say that they were dead on arrival,’’ he noted.
In a Business Statement read on Friday in Parliament, the Deputy Majority Leader, who is also the MP for Ashaiman, said a post-budget workshop is being organized to involve all Members to ensure that Members are adequately prepared to evaluate and debate the Budget.
The Ministers responsible for Food and Agriculture, Gender and Children, Justice and Attorney General, Trade and Industry, Education, Roads Highways will be in the House, to answer question related to their sectors.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Roads and Highways, was in the House and answered questions related to the sector.