Former Deputy Finance Minister, Casiel Ato Forson, has raised the alarm over what he says is the supposed spending of a humongous Ghc11.1billion on the country’s coronavirus response without, proper accounting by the Finance Ministry.
At a press conference following Ken Ofori-Atta’s presentation of the mid year budget review to Parliament, Mr. Ato Forson said the Minority is preparing to hold the Finance Minister to account.
“They have spent Ghc11.1billion on coronavirsu without accounting for it. From Monday we are ready to debate and subject it to scrutiny,” Mr. Ato Casiel said.
Among others, the Finance has said the government spent a whopping Ghc104.5million to provide food and stipend to vulnerable people within Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions during the two week partial lockdown.
The Ghc11.1billion that the government claims it has spent on coronavirus response is about four times more than the Ghc3.2billion that it says it has spent on its flagship program, Free SHS.
according to the mid year budget review presented to Parliament today by Ofori-Atta, the country’s debt has shot up to Ghc255billion. An additional Ghc30billion that they are seeking will further shoot the debt to Ghc285billion, Mr. Ato Casiel pointed out.
Meanwhile, he makes the point that the mid year budget review did not give the review of monies spent so far by government as was supposed to be the case, but that it rather presented manifesto promises by the government.
He points out that the presentation was mischievous, citing that the Minister has stated that government wants to cut down communication service tax from 9% to 5%. “Who increased it in the first place? John Mahama has said from January 2021 this tax will be abolished.”