The Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has said that despite the unconcluded negotiations between Government of Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is expected to be factored into the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the presentation will be made to Parliament within the stipulated time frame. Mr Mensah-Bonsu said even though the Public Financial Management Act states that “The Minister shall, on behalf of the President, lay before Parliament not later than 15th November of each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Government or for that matter the annual budget for the ending financial year”, the Constitution allows the Minister to present the document before the end of November 30.
The Majority Leader disclosed this during a media encounter with members of the Parliamentary Press Corps on the agenda for the Third Meeting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu also disclosed that about 66 Bills, including four Private Members Bill, Seven Bills at Committee, 53 Instruments and 340 Papers, had been scheduled for presentation to the House, stressing that considering the short time for this particular meeting, priority would be given to certain businesses to be taken on the floor.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, in response to questions on the demand by over 80 Majority Members of Parliament for the removal of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, from office, was of the view that the demand is no longer from the NPP MPs, but from the entire Majority Caucus. He said a decision on the matter would be taken at the appropriate time.
He noted that the delay would also allow Cabinet to consider and make input into the programme to be agreed with the IMF before it is incorporated into the 2023 Budget.
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu, however, assured that the Budget will still be delivered during the current session before recess.
“I believe it is going to be quite difficult to submit to the 15 November deadline. I don’t know; I’m just conjecturing, that if you want to do a tidy work, maybe, you require some stakes to be able to do that.
“As you all do know, these are not normal times, and you want to do a tidy job in order to reposition the country … if the presentation of the 2023 Budget happens after 15 November, it will not breach the Constitution,” he said.