MPs Attend Post-Budget Workshop In Ho

Members of Parliament (MPs) are attending a post-budget workshop in Ho in the Volta Region to help them have a deeper appreciation of the 2021 budget statement and economic policy of the government.
The three-day event, which is being organised by Parliament, will enable the 275 legislators to be more informed of the budget statement and economic policy to contribute meaningfully to the debate on it in Parliament which begins tomorrow.

Also in attendance at the workshop are committee clerks, research officers and members of the Parliamentary Press Corps.

Resource persons include experts from civil society organisations and academia.

The 2021 budget statement and economic policy was presented to Parliament by the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the interim Minister of Finance, on March 12, 2021, in accordance with a constitutional provision and Order 140 (1) and (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.


The Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, expressed the hope that at the end of the workshop, the MPs would be equipped with the necessary knowledge to adequately discharge their responsibility of ascertaining the extent to which the budget would address the challenges of their constituents and the collective interests, needs and aspirations of the citizenry before voting to approve it in Parliament.

He said the debate on the budget would signal the values that MPs stood for, what they cherished and the direction they wanted the country to pursue.

According to him, the ability to meet the aspirations of people as MPs within the framework of the national development policy, while contributing to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the AU’s Agenda 2063, depended largely on how effective they performed their duties, including their oversight functions over the Executive.

The Speaker urged the MPs to engage in thought-provoking deliberations and take home lessons that would enrich debate on and discussion of the budget at the plenary.


Pre Order Ghana Year Book 2021
Mr. Bagbin said post-budget workshop platforms provided better understanding of the national budget which enabled MPs to arrive at bi-partisan recommendations in some areas of the annual budget and economic policy statement.

“Consultations prior to House debates and passage of the Appropriation Act had always resulted in shared learnings between Parliament, on the one hand, and the Executive, on the other.

“They shed light on relevant information Parliament needed to effectively debate the budget and recommend changes that help achieve the objective of the budgets. I hope this workshop will produce the same, if not better, outcomes,” he added.

Making reference to the second Global Parliamentary Report 2017, the Speaker reminded MPs that performing their financial control functions effectively helped to ensure that appropriate resources were provided to implement government programmes, identify unintended or negative effects of government policy and actions, as well as monitor the meeting of national and international commitments.

“When we perform our oversight and financial control roles sufficiently, the impact is felt throughout society, as resources are distributed more fairly, and services such as education and health care are delivered more effectively and efficiently.

“Honourable members, at the end of the day, after all have been said and done, it is left to your conscience and integrity to do what is right and in the interest of the country and our people,” he said.

Fiscal consolidation

The Majority Leader, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the government was determined to make gains towards fiscal consolidation and debt sustainability, while pursuing revenue enhancing measures and structural reforms to improve efficiency in public sector delivery.

He said while the government might, in the medium term, continue to borrow, what legislators needed to assess was the effectiveness of the borrowing and how the funds were supporting the country’s development agenda.

“Are we in a position to default or not to default? This is a critical question that should engage our attention,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu added.

For his part, the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, said even though Ghana had enacted the Public Financial Management Act and had a policy to ensure the continuation of outstanding public projects initiated by previous government, much needed to be done to stop the practice where incumbent governments abandoned old projects.

He also expressed concern over the practice where projects were initiated without complementary budgetary allocation or funding.

Mr. Iddrisu said it was time Parliament said no to such a practice by insisting that a project should not commence unless it was supported by adequate funding from initiation to completion.