GH¢ 11. 8 billion supplementary budget has been requested by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta from Parliament to sponsor government’s expenditure for the rest of the year.
According to him, the tabled request is expected to help government finance various projects due to the revenue shortfalls and budget deficit created by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ken Ofori-Atta, addressing Parliament on Thursday, said “this Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review and its programmes draws us closer to our collective aspirations.”
“Whiles this pandemic requires us to exceed the limits imposed by the FRA, Act, 982, we have had to make these major expenditures to protect lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians and sustain businesses. We therefore request a supplementary Budget of GH¢ 11,896,477,566.00 to enable us continue this extraordinary task,” the finance minister requested.
Ken Ofori-Atta further announced a reduction in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from 9 to 6 percent. According to him, he believes, it will aid workers working remotely.
“In the short term, we will reduce the CST from 9% to 5% to reduce the cost of communication services to the consumer as more and more people work remotely and utilize online services.”
“We will count on the Telcos to match this reduction in the CST by reducing their tariffs. This is important for our youth, entrepreneurs and the burgeoning FINTEC industry.”
There were other interventions announced, which included an unprecedented GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obaatanpa Programme to transform and modernize Ghana in three and a half years, establishment of a GH¢ 2 billion Guarantee Facility to support all sectors of business and job retention, establishment of an Unemployment Insurance Scheme and others.
Also a review in GDP projections from 6.8 percent to 0.9 percent was announced by the Finance Minister.