Government has uncovered about GH�19,400,910 outstanding arrears to be paid to four metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
They are Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) with an outstanding arrears of GH�10,061,027, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) GH�6,761,166, Kwahu West Municipal Assembly GH�1,250,869 and Atwima Mponua Assembly GH�1,327,848.
Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said this on Wednesday when presenting the highlights of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2010 Fiscal Year to Parliament in Accra.
He said the huge arrears which were accumulated in 2008, by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government, threatened the execution of the 2009 Budget since most of the arrears were not detected and budgeted for during the preparation of the 2009 Budget.
The Finance Minister said a large proportion of these arrears arose from contracts that were in clear breach of the procurement law and pointed out that though the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government had managed to pay a sizeable proportion of the arrears, there were still outstanding arrears to be taken care of in the 2010 Budget.
"One of the burdens that this government has had to carry is huge judgment debts. It is the result of the failure of the NPP Government to honour contractual obligations and the flagrant disregard to pay even when judgments had been given by both local and foreign courts and arbitration panels," he said.
He said at the end of September this year, the outstanding judgment debts stood at GH�560 million.
Dr Duffuor said the fiscal deficit alone stood at GH�2.6 billion at the end of 2008 when the NPP left office as compared with GH�260 million registered at end 2000 when NDC left office.
He noted that by the end of September this year, arrears and unpaid bills in 2008 amounted to GH�1.7 billion, amounting to almost 22 per cent of GDP.
"Never in the country's history have we faced such a huge fiscal deficit in proportion to GDP. With regard to the significant increases in Government resources between 2005 and 2008, the huge deficit showed a serious failure of expenditure control," he said.
Dr Duffuor said government's target for reducing the budget deficit in 2009 was on track as a result of prudent economic management and "sound, well -crafted, purposeful policy-making and effective implementation."
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