The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is expected to present the Government’s 2019 Budget Statement and Fiscal Policy to the House of Legislature on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
Ahead of this, Government has already indicated it will self-finance the 2020 polls while ensuring that there are no overruns.
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its August 2019 report predicted an election year budget overrun of about 5.5%.
But the IMF upon completion of its Article 4 Consultations warned Government against any such overruns in 2020.
The 2019 Budget and Fiscal Policy was delivered under the headline; a Stronger Economy For Jobs and Prosperity.
In a commentary piece, PWC’s Vish Ashiagbor, said the Budget was to provide the impetus for a dynamic economy through accelerated economic growth, modernized agriculture and industrialization.
And that it was also to provide protection for the vulnerable to create jobs and prosperity for the Ghanaian people.
This broad objective probably reflected in the provisions for Education and Health under the Budget.
A total of 12.878 million Ghana cedis was allocated to education; a 39% increment from the 9,259 million Ghana cedis allocation in 2018.
This increment was to help cater for Government’s flagship Free Senior High School Policy as it had been re-allocated from the Office of Government Machinery to the Education Ministry.
This was also to cater for a planned education infrastructure expenditure.
For instance, 50 collapsing basic and second cycle school structures were to be rehabilitated and Senior High Schools in 42 Districts were to be upgraded to model schools.
Construction of 20 state of the art TVET centers was to be commenced within the period under review, while 34 Technical Vocational Institutes were to be retooled and upgraded; among other initiatives.
In the health sector, a total allocation of 6.038million Ghana cedis was made; increased by 37% from GH¢4,422 million in 2018 and forming 8% of the total planned expenditure basket.
A number of infrastructural projects were to be seen under this budget; including the construction of 15 CHPS Compounds in 5 Regions, the commencement of construction works on one District Hospital and five Polyclinics in the Western Region, and the upgrading of the Hohoe Municipal Hospital to a Regional Hospital.
A critical evaluation of government projects is yet to be carried out to see the full impact of the 2019 Budget on the lives of the Ghanaian people.
This notwithstanding, expectations are higher as Ken Ofori Atta steps into Parliament on Wednesday to deliver yet another Budget Statement. Will your expectations be met?