The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has appealed to the Minority in Parliament to support the passage of the revenue bills currently before the house in order to help the government secure the $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The bills, which include the Income Tax Amendment Bill, Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill, are expected to generate approximately GH¢4 billion per year to supplement domestic revenue.
Speaking to journalists, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated that there must be an agreement on the bills in order to help the economy recover.
“I am not too fixated on arguing with GUTA and AGI. We must find a very decent middle ground that allows us to close this gap for our collective good. To our colleagues in the Minority, I think it is clear that we need to work together to achieve a certain objective for the country. Sometimes we are whipped up but let’s look at the country’s interest at this point in time.”
“The world is ready to help us, China, the Paris Club and external creditors are all with us in a good place now and are looking at us to see if we can help ourselves. My appeal to those in government, Minority, economic groups is that, we must ensure that these revenue bills are passed to close this GH¢4 billion gap”, he said.
Approval of these outstanding revenue mobilization bills will facilitate the Board Approval for the $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme staff-level agreement.
As part of measures to meet the criteria set by the IMF to qualify for a bailout, the government has completed tariff adjustment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Publication of the Auditor-General’s Report on COVID-19 spending, and Onboarding of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and Road Fund on Ghana integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS).
The international and domestic bond markets are shut for the financing of government programmes, forcing the government to rely on Treasury Bills and concessional loans as the primary sources of financing for the 2023 fiscal year.
Therefore, consideration and approval of fiscal measures by Parliament are critical for recovery from the current economic crisis.