Ghanaian press zooms in on approval of Appropriation Bill, 2022 by Parliament, others

The approval of the Appropriation Bill, 2022 by Parliament to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money necessary to…

The approval of the Appropriation Bill, 2022 by Parliament to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money necessary to meet the government expenditure for the 2023 financial year is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that the Parliament has approved the Appropriation Bill, 2022, to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money necessary to meet the government expenditure for the 2023 financial year.

The bill will allow the Minister of Finance to take a total of GH¢227.8 billion from the Consolidated Fund and other public fund and for related matters.

The bill was considered by the House under a certificate of urgency and was approved on Thursday dawn after members had spent all night debating.

Per a memorandum accompanying the Bill, the government is to expend GH¢45.5 billion to pay wages and salaries, GH¢39.26 billion for pensions, GH¢1.85 billion for gratuities, and GH¢3.95 billion for social security.

A total of GH¢8.57 billion will be spent on use of goods and services, GH¢3.70 billion on annual budget funding amount (use of goods and services), GH¢52 billion on interest payments, comprising GH¢31.29 billion to be expended on domestic debt and GH¢21.25 billion on external debt.

The government is to also spend GH¢350.54 million on subsidies on petroleum products.

The newspaper says that the Ghana cedi has regained more than 61 per cent of its value against some of the country’s major foreign trading currencies, particularly the United States dollar.

The currency had lost up to 54 per cent of its value at the end of November, making it one of the worst performing currencies in the world.

Being largely an import driven country, the battered Ghana cedi heavily impacted inflation rate and exacerbated the cost of living and drastically increased the operational costs of business across board.

However, as at the end of Friday, December 16, the average interbank rates used by the commercial banks for transactions and published by the Bank of Ghana saw the local currency advertised at GH¢7.99 (buying) and GH¢8.0 (selling) for one US dollar for instance.

The buying and selling rate of one British pound was GH¢9.72 and GH¢9.73 respectively.

For the Euro, the buying and selling rates were GH¢8.48 and GH¢8.49 respectively.

The development has caused many to heave a deep sigh of relief as it is likely to restore hope and confidence in the economy while allowing for proper planning.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has attributed the cedis’ recent gains to a new set of monetary measures it has instituted.

According to the Director of Financial Markets at the BoG, Stephen Opata, the cedi’s performance could be linked to the BoG’s decision to restrict foreign exchange support to some essential commodities such as petroleum products, as well as medical and pharmaceutical products.

He added that the cedi’s gains could also be attributed to the prudent management of liquidity in the financial system.

The Graphic also reports that economy recorded a slower growth of 2.9 per cent between July and September this year, compared with the same period last year, provisional data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) have shown.

In the same period last year, the growth in the real value of goods and services as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 6.5 per cent, compared with the same period in 2020, the data indicated.

The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, who presented the quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report in Accra yesterday, indicated that the economy was now worth more than GH¢44.29 billion when measured in constant prices (real GDP), compared to the GH¢43.10 billion economic worth last year.

He said the report showed that non-oil GDP for the third quarter of the year grew by 3.6 per cent, as against the 8.2 per cent growth recorded in the same period in 2021.

While real GDP compares changes in the prices of goods and services to the base year of 2013, GDP at current or purchaser’s value measures the prices as they pertain in the market currently at the time of evaluation.

Consequently, the GSS put the GDP at current prices at the third quarter of the year to be GH¢149.87 billion, compared to GH¢112.49 billion in the same period last year.

The Statistical Service estimated non-oil GDP (GDP without Oil and Gas) at current prices to be GH¢139.98 billion in the third quarter of this year, compared to GH¢106.99 billion in the third quarter last year.

The growth was driven by gains in three sub-sectors, which expanded by more than 10 percentage points in quarter three.

They are information and communication which grew by 18.4 per cent; mining and quarrying, which grew by 14.9 per cent, and education, which went up by 10.2 per cent.

However, nine other sub-sectors dragged the economic growth for the quarter under review.

The Ghanaian Times says that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mustapha Ussif, has disclosed that Ghana spent an estimated $5.1 million at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The amount is $3 million less than the $8.1 million that was budgeted for the tournament.

Otto Addo’s team exited the com­petition at the group stage following defeats to Portugal and Uruguay.

The team missed out on a winning bonus despite the 3-2 victory against South Korea in the second group game.

According to the Member of Parliament, the ministry’s prudent management of resources and negotiation of a qualification bonus resulted in the saved funds.

On the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, December 21, 2022, Mu­stapha Ussif said: “Our estimated ­budget at the group stage was $8.1million.

“Out of this estimated budget, Mr. Speaker, our total expenditure for the group stage participation amounted to $5,171, 840.

“These expenditures covered appearance free, per diem, flight arrangements, medicals, equipment logistics, and hospitality.”

“Mr Speaker the reason for the surplus of $3 million after our exit from the group stage is the result of the ministry’s prudent manage­ment of resources as well as the ministry’s decision to negotiate on qualification bonus for the next round instead of paying winning bonuses per match.”

“What this means is that in spite of our Black Stars defeating South Korea in our second group match we did not pay any winning bonus for that game.”

Ghana will get a total of $10.5 million from FIFA for participating in the 2022 World Cup.

$1.5 million has already been disbursed by the world’s football governing body for the preparation of the senior national team.

The remaining $9 million from FIFA is the prize money for exiting the group stage.