Government is to seek parliamentary approval to finance its operations through Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation instead of a full budget for the first quarter of 2017.
Addressing the media after a stakeholders’ consultation workshop on the 2017 budget in Accra, Mr Forson said “in line with provisions in the constitution, because this year is an election year, the full budget will not be presented to Parliament in November. This is to allow whoever emerges as the winner of the 2016 elections and also the incoming Parliament to approve the budget they will be overseeing.”
As a result, government will seek Parliamentary approval for the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation for first quarter of 2017 only to be able to run the machinery of government during the first three months of 2017. That notwithstanding, we view this exercise as part of the ground work to collate issues and views to inform the next budget.
Mr Forson, who was confident of another term of office for President John Dramani Mahama said the budget input forum was therefore to collate views of stakeholders that would be considered before the full budget is presented by the new cabinet in 2017.
“A new cabinet would be formed and parliament in 2017 would then approve the 2017 budget of which they are going to over see,” he said.
He also reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that there are no budget overruns in 2016, being an election year.
“As we have indicated earlier, we are determined to sustain fiscal discipline while investing prudently in infrastructure and social development.
The stakeholder consultation forum was organised to solicit the inputs of various stakeholders on the 2017 budget and forms part of government’s commitment to improving the budget processes to enhance transparency and accountability.
He said to advance budget transparency, Ghana has signed on to the Open Budget Initiative which is an international movement promoting transparency and accountability in budget management, towards ensuring that citizens are best served through government budgets.
“We view the meeting as also very important because it provides as the opportunity to hear from you, the representatives of civil society across the length and breadth of this country. Your views presented here today will be incorporated in the draft budget proposals which will be presented to the incoming government,” the deputy Minister noted.
Mr Forson also urged stakeholders to use their various platforms to broadcast the need for people to desist from acts that may derail our envisaged peaceful, free and fair elections, come December 2016.