The Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government and Supplementary Estimate for the 2022 financial year in Parliament has been postponed to July 25, 2022.
The review is in pursuance of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
The Majority Leader and the Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, last Thursday, July 7, 2022 announced that the review was expected in Parliament on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
He said this when he presented the Business Statement for the eighth week beginning Tuesday, July 12, 2022 and ending on Friday, July 15, 2022 to the House.
But on Tuesday morning, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that due to the meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) currently ongoing, which involves the Minister of Finance and his team, the review has been postponed two weeks further.
It cannot be held next week because the Speaker of Parliament has also indicated that he will not be available hence the postponement to July 25, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs explained.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame, has therefore, urged his colleagues to make themselves available for the presentation.
In view of the high cost of living, including food and transportation in the country, it is the expectation of the honourable members of the House that the Finance Minister will use the opportunity to announce some relief measures the government is putting in place to cushion Ghanaians.
The public sector compensation/wage will take the centre stage of his presentation, given that workers are demanding a 20-per-cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) at a time when the government has initiated discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.
Mr Ofori-Atta is expected to give an update on the state of the economy with particular reference to what led to the decision to seek support from the IMF to help revitalise the economy.
He will also give a sneak peek into the government’s Enhanced Economic Programme which is being used as a template to earn support from the IMF.
This is to help provide direction on how the government on its own intended to address the high debt challenges, mounting expenditures and sluggish revenue growth.
It will enable the public to appreciate that form of support that the government expects from the IMF, given the challenges the government will enumerate.
Aside from the presentation of the Mid-Year Review Budget, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Business Committee had scheduled seven Ministers of State to respond to questions during the week.
They are the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah; Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal; Minister of Railways Development, John-Peter Amewu; Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah and Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery.
Some of the questions are national in character while others are constituency specifics.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, is to answer 10 questions related to rural telephony projects and mobile network connectivity to rural communities.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Amoako-Attah, will answer 20 questions which is the highest, followed by the Education Minister, Dr Adutwum who is to answer 15 questions.
Aside from the Ministers of State who are to respond to the total of 55 questions for the week, three other Ministers have been scheduled to brief the House on matters of national importance.
They are the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; the Minister of National Security, Mr Kan-Dapaah, and the Minister for the Interior, Mr Dery.
On Tuesday, July 12, the Minister for the Interior, Mr Dery, and officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) will come to the House to brief members on the challenges the authority is facing with regard to the printing and issuance of Ghana cards to the citizenry.
Dr Akoto is to brief the House on the compensation packages by the government to poultry farmers who were impacted by the outbreak of the highly pathogenic influenza in 2021, probably on Tuesday, July 12 while the Minister of National Security may also brief the House in a close-door meeting on the same day.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also Chairman of the Business Committee of Parliament, announced that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the House was expected to adjourn sine die on Thursday, July 28, 2022.
He explained that the early adjournment of the House was to enable the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, and some members of leadership of the House to participate in a statutory international meeting slated for between the last week of the month of July and first week of August 2022.