|Kenneth Ofori-Atta ( Minister Of Finannce )|
Parliament last Friday passed the Appropriation Bill, 2017, which has given the Minister of Finance the authority to withdraw money not exceeding GH¢64,116,793,031 from the Consolidated Fund and other funds for the running of the country up to December 31, 2017.
The passage of the Appropriation Bill, 2017 became imperative following Parliament’s approval of various sums as budget estimates for ministries, departments and agencies.
The Bill was presented and read the first time in the House last Friday by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta. It was subsequently referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.
After consideration, the Finance Committee presented its report to Parliament the same day and indicated that the Bill was of urgent nature and must be taken through all the stages of passage in one day in accordance with Article 106 (3) of the Constitution and Standing Orders of Parliament.
Subsequently, the Bill went through the second reading, the consideration stage and third reading.
The Appropriation Bill, 2017 repealed the Appropriation Act, 2015, which authorised the withdrawal of money for the 2016 expenditure. It again repealed the Memorandum on the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation (Vote on Account), 2017.
The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said out of the GH¢64,116,793,031 estimated expenditure in 2017, GH¢38,517,390,216 would constitute payments of other government obligations while the rest would cover discretionary payments.
He said the committee observed that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would be permitted to retain and use GH¢2,204,808,044 of IGF during the 2017 financial year.
Out of the total appropriation of GH¢64,116,793,031, budget estimates for compensation of employees was GH¢16,005,515,552; wages and salaries, GH¢14,047,426,509; interest payments, GH¢13,940,521,981; amortisation, GH¢5,979,440,714; subsidies on petroleum products, GH¢50,000,000; grants to other government units, GH¢9,930,834,660; capital expenditure, GH¢7,127,711,771, and social benefits, GH¢241,183,170.