Government has presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill for the state’s 2019 expenditure to Parliament.
The supplementary appropriation is estimated at over GHS6.37 billion and was used in settling debts in the energy sector.
This rose the government’s total expenditure for 2019 to GHS85 billion.
The Bill was laid in line with Article 179 clause 9 of the constitution which says:
“…in the case of a financial year, a supplementary estimate has been approved by Parliament in accordance with clause (8) of this article, a supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced into Parliament in the financial year next following the financial year to which the estimates relate, providing for the appropriation of the sum so approved for the purposes specified in that estimate.”
Remarking on the laying of the Bill on Eyewitness News, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, noted that this was a follow up to the request made from the Finance Minister in the 2019 mid-year review.
“That was when we needed to pay for the take-or-pay considerations that were coming up mostly in our budget,” he explained.
Ghana pays a number of Independent Power Producers for power supplied including those not consumed under a take-or-pay agreement.
The Finance Minister noted that such arrangements cost the country nearly $500 million every year, noting that the government will ensure that all of such contracts are renegotiated in the interest of the country.
The energy sector contingent liabilities with respect to take-or-pay contract obligations with Independent Power Producers was estimated at GHS5.1 billion.
Citi Business News’ analysis of the mid-year budget review showed that more than GHS6.15 billion, representing 96.6 percent of the supplementary budget, was to be used to pay debts.
The analysis revealed that government’s provision for amortisation, which is the process of reducing or paying off debt with regular payments, in the 2019 budget, shot up to GHS10.53 billion from the planned GHS5.33 billion.