Given the impact COVID-19 has had on all sectors of the economy, tomorrow‘s presentation of the mid-year budget will by far be the most anticipated budget review by individual citizens and the business community.
The following highlights what the general populace may expect in the mid-year budget review with Ken Ofori-Atta.
Mid-year Budget review and the Business community
The business community especially those in the tourism and travel sector as well as the hospitality sector which includes hotels and restaurants will be looking forward to know the pragmatic steps the government has laid down and implemented to revive the ailing sectors. Travel bans are still being enforced, social gathering protocols of up to a 100 are also being enforced making it difficult for businesses in such sectors as the hospitality to stay in business. Jobs have been lost as a result.
Mid-year budget review and schools
Let’s not forget our schools which are still closed but only have final year students in schools to complete their examination. Teachers in the public sectors are still receiving their salaries while those in the private sector have either seized payment of salaries to teachers and non-teaching staff or cut down significantly on their salaries. Teaching and non-teaching staff, especially in the private sector will be looking forward to schools reopening and other incentives to help them survive in this challenging times.
Many countries across the globe are still battling with significant rise in COVID-19 cases and as such have closed down their borders to international trade. This has impacted negatively on those in the import-export business. Businesses in this sector will be looking out for how the government plans to reopen its own borders and the kind of incentives they will receive to salvage losses.
Individual citizens will be looking forward to stimulus packages that can help them start a business or improve upon their current businesses.
Though the business community and individual citizens are facing worse economic times, so is the government with revenue mobilization at an all-time low.
May 2020 Fiscal Development Report indicated a more than 82 percent shortfall in revenue from the oil sector. GH¢1.9billion was the projected revenue to be gained from the oil sector in the first quarter, but only GH¢331million was realized.
In addition, with border closures and movement restrictions, international trade activities came to a halt and thus affected import revenue. Import duty fell well over 34 percent below the targeted budget.
The Finance Minister will be expected to show how funds received was used diligently in alleviating the economic impacts of the coronavirus. According to the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Finance Minister will take the opportunity to explain how the government intends to reimburse the ₵1.2 billion, an equivalent of $219 million it took from the Contingency Fund to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
Also, Ken Ofori Atta will be expected to explain how the $1 billion credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was used to provide relief packages to Ghanaians.