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Parliament Approves GH¢3.6b Mini Budget

The Appropriation Bill for the Supplementary Estimates of GH¢6,370,355,925.82 will be passed today when Parliament is expected to rise for its long recess.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday presented the mid-year review of the 2019 Budget Statement of the government and subsequently requested a supplementary budget of GH¢6.3 billion to take care of some exigencies, especially in the energy and transport sectors.

He said there was the urgent need for the supplementary estimates to address the growing legacy debt in the energy sector which was galloping as interests accumulate, as well as the need to pay some road contractors and to fund some important roads in the country.

Parliament unanimously approved of the supplementary estimates on Wednesday after heated debate by the Majority and the Minority on the mid-year review and the supplementary estimates.

Rounding off the debate on the estimates on Wednesday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, called on the government to publish the report of the audit conducted on all cocoa road contracts that were awarded under the Mahama administration, but halted after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government took over power in January, 2017.

He said the NPP must be careful with the way it has been cancelling or terminating road contracts awarded under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government so that the nation does not suffer from huge judgement debts.

The Minority leader also questioned what the government has been using the Road Fund for. He expressed regrets that with the existence of the Road Fund, government is still indebted to many road contractors in the country. He, therefore, urged the government to quickly pay arrears of contractors who find themselves in serious financial difficulties.

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