Parliament to begin debate on 2023 budget today

The budget statement and economic policy for 2023 will be debated in Parliament today, Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

The budget delivered on Thursday, November 24, 2022, by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta focuses on the government’s strategies to repair and stabilise the macro economy, strengthen resilience, and encourage inclusive growth and value creation.

It covered a variety of topics, including an update on Ghana’s engagement with the IMF for a $3 billion support programme, climate change strategies, the YouStart initiative under the Ghana CARES Programme, year-to-year macro-fiscal performance of the economy, fiscal measures, and debt management strategies to ensure debt and fiscal sustainability, and promote growth.

Parts of the budget, particularly the freeze on public sector hiring, have been met with criticism, with stakeholders concerned about the consequences.

Presenting the 2023 budget statement, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the high food prices and pressures on the local currency validate the current focus of the GhanaCARES Programme.

Mr Ofori-Atta said an economic enclave project with a focus on providing support for the cultivation of up to 110,000 acres of land in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Savannah and Oti Regions was being pursued.

He added that this initiative would expand the production and productivity of rice, tomato, maize, vegetables and poultry and was being led and coordinated by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) in collaboration with other government institutions.

“Mr Speaker, consistent with the private sector-led approach, the programme will engage interested private sector actors to expand agricultural production and processing in the Asutuare-Tsopoli Economic Enclave area based on a Partnership Framework.”

“The same approach will be adopted for the lands secured in the Ashanti, Central, Savannah and Oti regions,” The Finance Minister stated.

Mr Ofori-Atta also revealed that the government had also initiated discussions with the Graphic Communication Group Limited to explore the feasibility of producing paper locally using the by-products of the cultivated rice in the Economic Enclave at Asutuare as raw material.

“It is envisaged that the imports of paper will be replaced, and more jobs created,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

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