Finance Minister moves parliament to approve 2016 Budget
Accra, Nov. 13, GNA – Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Friday on the authority of President John Dramani Mahama, moved Parliament to approve the Financial Policy of the Government for the year ending December 31, 2016.
Presenting the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the year 2016 in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Terkper noted that under the leadership of President Mahama, the Government has been working tirelessly to transform the economy.
The 2016 Budget is on the general theme: “Consolidating Progress towards a Brighter Medium Term”.
“We are focused on improving the well-being of Ghanaians by honouring the pledges made to the good people of Ghana in the 2012 Manifesto of the National Democratic Congress,” he said.
Mr Terkper said notwithstanding the major shocks to the economy in the last three years, Government remained steadfast in pursuing the economic vision of leading the country through a transformational agenda to consolidate our middle Income Country (MIC) Status.
He noted that the shocks include disruption in gas supply for two-and-a-half years and the simultaneous fall in cocoa, gold and crude oil prices.
He said: “We have also remained resolute in our commitment to correcting the major budget overruns which occurred at the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
“We are implementing several programmes to secure the bright medium term prospects for the economy, notably through substantial investments in the oil and gas sector, among others.
Mr Terkper said for the first time in decades, Government and its social partners, notably Organised Labour and the Ghana Employers Association led by their Secretary-General and President, respectively, concluded in September, the national minimum wage and public sector wage negotiations for the 2016 fiscal year, ahead of the Budget.
He said the essence of this remarkable achievement was to avoid any compensation related slippages or overruns that could compromise our fiscal consolidation programme.
It is also to shift focus of the Single Spine Pay Policy to aspects of productivity, in the context of the Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms related to payroll and human resource management.
“Mr. Speaker, permit me, on behalf of the President and the Government, to express our profound appreciation to this august House for its cooperation and support in the management of the economy.
“The House demonstrated true partnership in the discharge of its legislative, and oversight functions, including admitting several critical and urgent statements on this floor,” Mr Terkper noted.
The Finance Minister revealed that Government over the medium term would build a sustainable, prosperous and equitable society, in line with social democratic agenda.
He said the government’s vision is anchored on the thematic areas of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) II, 2014-2017 and, particularly, on the Government’s priority.
It focuses on putting people first; building a strong and resilient economy; expanding infrastructure; and ensuring Transparent and Accountable Governance.
He noted that in determination to transform the economy, “we draw lessons from past experiences of our country’s economic journey including some paradoxes.”
The Finance Minister said despite numerous and unexpected setbacks, the country has experienced positive growth over the last 30 years. – GNA