The budget, termed Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation, will cover the period January 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021.

The Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation is a standard practice rolled out in election years to prevent transitional challenges in the smooth running of government for the first three months in the year after elections.

The government, in July this year, requested Parliament to approve an additional GHS11.8 billion to support the government’s expenditure for the rest of the year 2020.

Pulse.com.gh presents to its readers' highlights of the Finance Minister's statement to the House.

  1. Approval of GHC27.4bn for gov't expenditure

Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta has asked Parliament to approve GHC27. 4 billion for the country’s first-quarter expenditure in 2021.

Tabling the request before the legislature, Mr. Ofori-Atta implored the house to approve, by resolution, “the withdrawal of the sum of GHS27,434,180,520.00 from the Consolidated Fund.”

“This is for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the government in respect of the period expiring three months from the beginning of the financial year or on the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act in respect of the 2021 financial year”, he said.

2. Finance Ministry got Parliament to pass 50 Bills within four years

Mr. Ofori-Atta also revealed that his ministry managed to produce 50 Bills since 2017 which were all passed into law by Parliament.

“Together with this Parliament, the Ministry of Finance alone has passed more than 50 Bills into law in the last four years. I, and all of the team at the Ministry of Finance, humbly thank you, Mr. Speaker and Honourable members,” he said.

3. Fiscal deficit for Q1 2021 projected to be GHC 10.7bn

Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta asserted that the projected fiscal deficit for the first quarter of 2021 is GHC 10.7 billion.

This, according to him, is a result of projected total revenue and grants reaching GHC 13.3 billion with total expenditure also reaching GHC 24 billion for Q1 2021.

“Projected total revenue and grants for the first quarter is expected to be GHC 13.3 billion and expenditure including clearance of arrears is also projected to be GHC 24 billion, resulting in a projected fiscal deficit of GHC 10.7 billion for the period,” he noted.

4. Government requests Parliament to approve$3bn sovereign bond in Q1 2021

The Government of Ghana (GoG) has requested Parliamentary approval for the issuance of a $3 billion Sovereign Bond next year.

The issuance of the $3 billion Sovereign Bond according to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, will likely be increased to $5 billion if market conditions prove to be favourable.

“We plan to source funds from the international capital market which will comprise the issuance of sovereign bonds of $3 billion with the option to increase it to $5 billion should market conditions prove favourable,” said the Finance Minister in his presentation of the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation Budget to Parliament on Wednesday, October 28.

5. Ghana has exited HIPC for good

According to Mr Ofori-Atta, contrary to false publications in the media, Ghana successfully exited the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund years ago, insisting that episode is behind us.

Presenting the budget for the first quarter of 2021, Mr Ofori-Atta told Parliament that: “In 2001, Ghana had no choice but to swallow her pride and to sign up to the HIPC initiative. A legacy left by the outgoing NDC government”.

“President Akufo-Addo’s government took Ghana out of the IMF programme in record time," he added.