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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has requested for GHS27. 4 billion for the running of the country for the first three months of 2021.

He made the request in Parliament today, October 28, 2020.

The Finance Minister asked Parliament to approve “by resolution, the withdrawal of the sum of twenty-seven billion, four hundred and thirty-four million, one hundred and eighty thousand, five hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (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.”

Budget to be presented today

Ofori-Atta made the request when he presented the budget in Parliament. The presentation, known as Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation, has become a usual characteristic of election years to prevent transitional challenges in the smooth running of government for the first three months in the year after an election.

How much was requested for 2017 Q1?

Prior to the 2016 general elections, the then National Democratic Congress government requested for GHS10.9 billion to help finance “critical government expenditure” in the first quarter of 2017.

The amount was subsequently approved by Parliament.

We don’t expect tax hikes or new taxes in 2021 Q1 budget – GNCCI

Ahead of the Finance Minister’s presentation of the budget for the first quarter of 2021, different groups have been speaking about their expectations.

One of the groups looking forward to the budget is the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI).

The Chamber has said that it does not expect any pronouncements increasing existing taxes or introducing new ones, but it is rather upbeat about a possible reduction in taxes to help Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) find their feet from the impact of COVID-19.

The CEO of the Chamber, Mark Badu-Aboagye, in an interview with Citi Business News said, “Basically, we are not expecting a budget that will increase existing taxes or introduce new taxes because this is the time that we need to help businesses by coming up with activities that will stimulate the private sector, more especially the SMEs. So any new taxes will be detrimental to businesses and to the private sector. So the 2021 budget for the first quarter should look at how they can create a more conducive environment for businesses and providing all the necessary support that businesses will need to be able to come out of the difficulty that we are facing which is being brought about by the COVID-19.”

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