Thu, Dec

ken ofori-atta

    • Numerous economic problems facing the country include expansion in education at all levels, infrastructure, agriculture, health and other essential facilities needed for the overall growth of the economy.

    Written By DR. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako - The mid-year budget review came up with new measures to raise an additional 1.35 billion Ghana Cedis in an attempt to meet the fiscal deficit target by the end of the year and pave the way for a successful exit from the IMF programme.

    • ... the increment is to aimed at creating a viable technology ecosystem to among other things identify and combat cybercrime.

    Government has announced an increment in the communication service tax from 6 per cent to 9 per cent.

    • A number of concerns raised by the CSOs included registration of the entity in a tax haven, transparency, how the values were arrived at and what the country stood to benefit from the Agyapa Royalty transaction.

    The Ministry of Finance has debunked claims that the Agyapa Royalties transaction has been suspended.

    • “If this House grants us this request, the projected petroleum revenue for 2019 will amount to US$1.1 billion,” he stated.

    The Ministry of Finance has proposed to Parliament to allow it to exclude gas revenues to the tune of US$181.80 million from the projected petroleum revenues for 2019, while it devises ways of getting the Volta River Authority (VRA) to pay for the gas supplied it by Ghana Gas.

    • So, you find that we spend billions to build roads and highways that are washed away within months or develop major potholes or do not have requisite markings, traffic signage etc; and essentially become death traps.

    Today, as Ghana’s Finance Minister reads the national budget, as usual, most of us citizens will be focused on three main things- How much is being spent? On what? and Who’s Paying which tax?

  • Written By Colin Essamuah - It has been three very eventful weeks since I last appeared here. We have since then had to digest five important speeches, four of them by President Akufo-Addo, and the fifth being the budget statement by Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta.

    • Instead, those who earn income above GH¢20,000 will now be subject to a tax rate of 30 per cent.

    People who earn GH¢10,000 and above will no longer be subject to the additional personal income tax that was introduced in July this year.

    • The 2019 estimate is also 27 per cent higher than 2018 projected.

    The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has requested Parliament’s approval for the government to spend a total of GH¢73.4 billion in 2019.

    • It said the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta-Atta, to change the 2.5 per cent Health Insurance Fund Levy (HIFL) and the 2.5 per cent Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) levy on VAT into a flat levy would increase the tax liabilities of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

    The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of increasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) through the ‘back door.’

    • Total interest paid for $3b bond = 551.25 + 975 + 2774.50=$4301m or $4.3b Is this why we had the kenkey party? Oh Ghana!! Am I missing something? I just don’t get this.

    Ghanaians have been tricked to believe that the government has won a golden chance raffle of $3b and for which reason, a mighty Kenkey Party at the forecourt of the Ministry of Finance was justified.

    • He said it was not healthy for Ghanaians to repeat the statement that the cedi was the cheapest on the continent, adding that “the truth of the matter is to look at the fundamentals.”

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has given an assurance that the cedi will begin to appreciate against the major currencies within the next two weeks. “The reversal will occur and it is going to be pretty stable,” Mr Ofori-Atta stated.

  • The Minority in Parliament has stated that findings by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta over US$ 2.25 million bond vindicate the minority’s position that the bond issuance was fraught with irregularities and did not comply with Ghanaian law.

    • Additionally, Mr Ofori-Atta stated that the government transferred an amount of GH¢50.2 million to 400,000 beneficiaries under the the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme.

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed that dry food packs and hot cooked meals distributed by the government to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic cost GH¢54.3 million.

    • “Brothers and sisters, the disease has been with us just for about two months, but the devastation it has caused to our economy and social lives, it will take years to restore,” he pointed out.

    As the coronavirus pandemic rages, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on Friday called on the government to quickly develop and implement a holistic economic response strategy to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

    • The foreign component was GH¢138.5 billion, equivalent to 35.9 per cent of GDP while the domestic share was GH¢135.3 billion, representing 35.1 per cent of GDP.

    Ghana's debts reached an all-time high in September this year on the back of increased borrowing to make up for shortfalls in revenues and fund rising expenditures.

  • Mr Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance, has said the country’s macroeconomic indicators are pointing to the right direction, attributing these successes to the various strategies put in place to ensure fiscal stability and growth.

  • In April 2017, I wrote in the Daily Graphic, inter alia: “Long before the rest of Ghana knew Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, I knew him. Years before the business community named him Ghana’s Most Respected CEO, I had, in an article in the Weekly Spectator, put him forth as a businessman who wore his integrity on his chest, like a badge, in a marketplace populated by the corrupt and the crooked.”

    • “We, therefore, consider the decision to be premature and call for its reversal,” the ministry said in the release ...

    The Ministry of Finance says the European Commission used a “flawed” and “premature” methodology to add Ghana to its list of countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.

    • The Ministry, therefore, assures the general public and the investor community that Ghana would continue to work with relevant institutions to redeem its nation and bolster its image as a stable nation in Africa.

    Ghana has questioned the credibility of the methodology and the process used by the European Commission to add the country to its list of countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.

    • The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has indicated that one of the taxes that would be adjusted during the Mid-Year Review is the luxury tax on vehicles in response to stakeholders’ concerns.

    In accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, Act 921, the Finance Minister is mandated to present a Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the Budget to Parliament, not later than the 31st of July of each financial year.

    • He said his request was meant to allow lawmakers and Ghanaians to discuss whether or not the country should spend a portion of the fund to close the fiscal gap due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, households and the economy.

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has said his proposal for Parliament to amend the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to allow the government tap into the Ghana Heritage Fund is to trigger a national debate on the use of the fund.

    • The 2017 Budget, first under the ruling government, was tagged as the “Asempa Budget”, the 2018 Budget was termed as the “Edwuma Budget” and the 2019 Budget is being touted as the “Anyidaso Budget”, which literally means hope.

    The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, arrived in Parliament at exactly 1037 hours with his Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to present the 2019 Budget, which is expected to promote infrastructural development, offer more relief and inspire hope among Ghanaians.

    • He urged Ghanaians to stop badmouthing and browbeating the current exertions of the Cedi, and to stop repeating after others that it is the cheapest on the continent.

    Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has refrained into the melodious chorus surrounding the recovery of the embattled national currency, the Cedi, whose stock continue to take hard-hits from the ever-hard-hitting United Kingdom Pounds Sterling and the United States Dollar.

  • Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta off to U.S for Post-Covid-19 Health Check

    • Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister delivering 2019 mid-year budget review in Parliament announced GH¢2.75 billion had been saved through ...

    Anti-graft agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs) have petitioned the Finance Minister for further and better particulars on the over GH¢2bn reportedly saved through the review of sole-sourced and restrictive tendering contracts.

    • But, in the presentation of the review in Parliament Thursday, Mr Ofori-Atta, whose appearance in the House had initially been met with some heckling by the Minority, ended up “silencing” the Minority by not raising VAT but introducing new measures to raise an additional GH¢1.35 billion in a bid to meet the fiscal deficit target of 4.5 per cent by...

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, swerved many Ghanaians Thursday when, contrary to expectations that the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate would be increased in the mid-year budget review, the review rather focused on other taxes to ensure that the government stayed on course with the year-end target of the 2018 budget.

    • The programme is expected to outline how fiscal expansion can assist specific sectors of the economy to achieve a rebound and measures to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic on the economy and governance.

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has been charged to develop a pragmatic economic recovery programme as soon as possible to facilitate a rebound of the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Ms Safo had said her office "exists to advise the President on procurement policies and strategies" and so it did not have the locus to answer the question.

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, is to appear before Parliament to answer a question on the procurement processes by which the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) awarded a contract worth GH¢28.8 million to Dextro Impex for the supply of 1,800 vehicles.

    • CHRAJ, whilst clearing Mr. Ofori-Atta of any conflict of interest claims, also said the Finance Minister failed to declare Databank as an asset to the Attorney General.

    The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, will be dragging the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to court, over its handling of the conflict of interest petition in relation to the $2.25 billion bond issue.

  • Parliament last Friday passed the Appropriation Bill, 2017, which has given the Minister of Finance the authority to withdraw money not exceeding GH¢64,116,793,031 from the Consolidated Fund and other funds for the running of the country up to December 31, 2017.

  • The Government is to provide four core textbooks for all first year students when the Free Senior High School (SHS) takes off next September, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, announced on Monday.

  • The planned free senior high school (SHS) programme scheduled to take off from September 2017 will be financed from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

    • Mr. Speaker, I am performing this statutory function in accordance with Article 179 (8) of the 1992 Constitution and Standing Order 143 of this august House ...

    Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament, today the 29th July, 2019 on the authority of His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I beg to move that this august House approves the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review and Supplementary Estimates to the 2019 Budget.

    • Mr Ken Ofori-Atta requested Parliament’s approval for the government to spend a total of GH¢73.4 billion in 2019.

    The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday, 15 November 2018, presented the 2019 Budget and Economic Policy in Parliament in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 constitution.

    • “After recovering from Covid-19 last December, Mr. Ofori-Atta has had medical complications, which doctors advise, require further interventions not currently available in Ghana,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

    Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is traveling to the U.S. for “a special medical review” that will delay a parliament hearing expected to confirm his reappointment to his post.

    • “This is bridge financing against the Eurobond,” he said, adding that the bond sale may take two or three months to be finalized.

    Ghana is in talks with Standard Chartered Plc and Standard Bank Group Limited for a bridge loan of $750 million and will repay the facility with the proceeds of a Eurobond sale, reports Bloomberg.

  • Before touching on the substantive issue, let me remind readers of few past events and precedents we can use as pointers in discussing this serious national issue. Precedents are used in our courts during trial of cases and guide our judges when settling on their final ruling, examples are given by our teachers to help us understand topics they teach in the classroom and in our normal day to day activities, the clever ones guide their step by their past failures and successes.

    • Last year, the cedi depreciated 12.9 percent, 15.7 percent and 11.2 percent against the dollar, pound and euro respectively.

    Ghana’s total public debt stood at GH₵214.9 billion as of November 2019.

    • It is also considering an upward review of the Communication Service Tax (CST), the Value-Added Tax (VAT), the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) and pension contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) from either the employer or employee side.

    After revenue collections fell below projection in the first quarter of the year, the government is now setting its eyes on GH¢2.9 billion in extra revenue to help fund priority expenditures and keep the deficit within target.

  • The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday presented the 2017 budget statement to Parliament with the assurance of building a business-friendly and people-centred economy, which would transmit into job creation and prosperity for Ghanaians.

    He said the Government would strike the right balance between consolidation and growth by making credible policy choices that would create the fiscal space and growth enhancing initiatives.

    Presenting the maiden financial statement of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government on the floor of Parliament, Mr Ofor-Atta said the nation had high expectations of the Government.

    Therefore, he said, it would work tirelessly to send Ghana beyond aid and put the country on the right pedestal to realise its birth-right as the shining star of Africa.

    ‘‘We shall protect the public purse by guaranteeing value for money in all public transactions, exercising prudence and discipline in fiscal management to deliver on the aspirations of the Ghanaian people,’’ he stated.

    The Finance Minister said it would not tolerate wastage in public spending and ensure strict enforcement of all public laws and regulations for effective debt management to ensure debt sustainability and accountability of the State resources.

    He said the Government inherited a very challenging economy encapsulated in high government borrowing, high debt stock and rising interest payment and expenditure overruns.

    Other fiscal challenges included accumulated arrears caused by excessive sole-sourcing, inflated costs of projects, lack of fiscal policies and weak commitment to controls, revenue under performance caused by revenue loopholes and tax exemptions, slowdown in economic growth caused by energy challenges and lack of enabling environment for the private sector, which severely limited fiscal space and undermined the prioritisation of all government policies

    He said, in spite of these herculean challenges, the Government’s budget would provide a clear road map in moving the country to a fully-fledged middle income economy and clear policy direction, actions and strategies of the President’s vision of hope, job creation and wealth creation as well as a robust economy that would support a thriving private sector.

    In this regard, he said, the Government would work towards avoiding high expenditure overruns and corruption, high wage bills, low revenue collection, rigidity of fiscal structure caused by high earmarking of tax revenue and high debt service payments.

    He gave the assurance that the Government would collaborate with the workforce to build a shared partnership to enhance training and improve productivity.

    He expressed optimism that the Government would fix macro-economic fundamentals and, therefore, called for the support of all Ghanaians in turning the economic fortunes of the country for the better.

    In spite of intermittent heckling by members of the Minority side, Mr Ofori-Atta presented the financial statement of the Government though at point the Speaker threatened to suspend sitting if the disruption continued.

    Mr ofori-Atta thanked the House for approving his nomination as the Minister of Finance and assured that he would work with the Legislature with candour and respect in realising the government’s vision.


    Source: GNA


    • However, in his presentation yesterday, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “We have noted suggestions from the general public on the implementation of this tax. As a listening government,...

    The government has withdrawn the Luxury Vehicle Tax which was introduced last year.

  • Parliament has given approval to the government to issue $2.5 billion bonds to refinance maturing external bond and expensive domestic cedi denominated debt.

    • For example, he said, in one instance the government managed to save the taxpayer GH¢90million through negotiations, and in another case, it negotiated a savings of GH¢130 million on ...

    The government has paid judgement debts totalling GH¢283 million to individuals and companies between 2017 and 2019, according to the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta.

    • The governor said the preliminary estimates showed that it would cost around GH¢700 million to clean up the MFIs.

    The government has secured the funds that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) requested to be able to clean up the operations of Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and make them more solid to be able to support economic growth meaningfully, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed.

  • The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the last review of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Ghana, signifying the conclusion of the four-year support programme.

    • This is the fourth time in a row that Ghana has remained on the infamous list of high risk of debt distress.

    he International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern about Ghana’s current status as a country at high risk of debt distress – a reference to countries where debt sustainability analyses (DSAs) show protracted breach of debt and debt service thresholds.

    • It will be the biggest loan facility received from the IMF in Ghana’s 63-year-old history with the Bretton Woods institution.

    The $1 billion interest-free loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be transferred into Ghana’s account on Friday.

    • But in his second State of the Nation Address to Parliament Friday, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Economic Management Team led by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, of which Mr Ofori-Atta is part, has caused the world to take notice of Ghana’s economic strides.

    President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta as a national asset. The President’s statement comes on the back of calls by the Minority in Parliament for Mr Ofori-Atta to either resign or be sacked over a report by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) which cited him for breaches of the law, guidelines and processes in the $2.25-billion bond issuance.

    • How could one be made to pay between 150-300% of the value he purchased a car for abroad with embedded tax components like NHIL, EXIM, and other dubious levies?

    Dear Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta,  

    I'm an NPP sympathizer. I voted for the party because I believed the party sincerely meant a #CHANGE of direction and cared enough about the plight of Ghanaians.

  • Kenya's Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two petitions to overturn the country's October 26 presidential election re-run, validating the poll victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    • The Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) accused the government of increasing taxes against its earlier position to move from taxation to post-production taxation.

    The Minority in Parliament has said the mid-year budget review the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presented to Parliament is empty and hopeless and will worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
    It said the increase in the Energy Sector Levy and the Communication Tax would result in increases in the prices of food items, transportation fares and communication charges.

    • “The time for reckoning has come and nobody should push me. I repeat: nobody should push me. They should tell their people, who they wrongly briefed to be telling lies about me, ...

    Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has disclosed that the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta visited his home when he was compiling his report on the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal.

    • “True, it may be that there have to be changes in the way we are administering it. I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgorno and leave him or her there and drive away and not pay for anything while I can pay for ten people,” Mr Ofori Atta said.

    The Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has asked the public to disregard the recent assertion by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta that those who can afford school fees for their wards under the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy should be allowed to do so.

  • Dear Mr Minister,

    It is no doubt that your government is doing everything conceivable to stimulate growth in every sector of the economy. Apparently, one of such stimulus packages is the tax reforms (tax cuts), introduced at the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year.

    • GAT, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) backed by the government, was incorporated in December 2018 to raise up to GH¢2 billion and invest in five indigenous banks.

    Parliament Thursday approved the issuance of a Sovereign Guarantee of up to GH₵2 billion in favour of Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) Limited.

  • Written By Colin Essamuah -I was last here two weeks ago, and as they say, a week is truly a long time in politics. So many very important landmarks and things have happened in these two weeks as to fill a couple of good-sized books.

  • The public debt stock has risen from GH¢122.6 billion in December 2016 to GH¢142.5 billion in December 2017.

  • The public sector wage bill continues to be the biggest threat to government expenditure, as a recent analysis by the GRAPHIC BUSINESS (GB) revealed that wages and salaries for public sector employees consume almost half of all taxes collected every year.

    • The minister, in his mid-year budget review presentation to Parliament, proposed additional 35 per cent band to be included in the graduated Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system to essentially increase the tax burden...

    Written By Hayford Amankwah - The recent announcement by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, about the proposed tax changes has sent shivers down the spines of many Ghanaians.

    • In his mid-year review statement to Parliament on Monday, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta spent a long time explaining to us how we got into the huge energy debts that are ...

    I have always felt and said that Economists are a breed apart. Every time you hear or read a budget statement by a Minister of Finance, you get even more convinced that economists are a special breed.

    • With the approval of the legislators for its implementation, vehicles with engine capacity of 2950 to 3549 Cubic Centimetres were required to pay a levy of GH¢1,000, while those with engines between 3,550 to 4049 cubic centimetres would pay GH¢1,500.

    Six groups will on Tuesday, February 19 demonstrate against the luxurious vehicle tax by driving their vehicles to the premises of the Ministry of Finance, Parliament House and the Golden Jubilee House.

  • Written By Colin Essamuah - Wednesday, November 15, two days ago, was budget 2018 day as we all sat glued to either our radios, mobile phones or television sets, to listen carefully to our Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, deliver the President’s proposed financial statement for the next financial year beginning January 1, 2018.

    • Many Ghanaians are, however, not comfortable with the imposition of new taxes, especially in the straitened socioeconomic circumstances prevailing in the wake of the pandemic. Leading members of the Minority are ...

    Written Raymond Tuvi - The 2021 budget and fiscal policy statement of government was passed by Parliament after a heated debate. In news commentary, Raymond Tuvi, a Media and Development Consultant analyses the economic policies outlined.

  • Written By Justice Sai - The details of the report on what has come to be known invariably as the #KenBond saga would show that CHRAJ is not a ‘rundown’ institution as we often are made to believe. It really did a thorough job investigating this rather complex complaint; and did so within a relatively short period. However, there seems to be a fundamental problem with its decision, particularly the one in relation to the allegation of a breach of the conflict of interest rules. The problem is that its final decision is at war with the evidence on record.

    • The interest may be personal or impersonal, but it is still ‘personal’.

    In the first part of this note, I said I would do a series of notes showing how CHRAJ’s decision on the Bond Saga complaint against the Minister of Finance fails to reflect the evidence it has on record.

    • On successes chalked up, one point two million students enrolled under the free SHS; while more than 97 graduates were employed under the NABCO programme and 307 ambulances procured for distribution across the country, ....

    Section 28 of Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2016, Act 921 mandates the Finance Minister to prepare and submit to Parliament a mid-year fiscal policy review, not later than 31st JULY of each financial year and in line with PFMA 2016, this ritual was performed on Thursday 23rd July 2020 by the Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

    • The Finance Minister, therefore, proposed to the World Bank and IMF to establish an inclusive team of willing collaborators and private sector to create a new era that would “make our future greater than the past”.

    The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has proposed the design of what he describes as “a new global financial architecture” that will help institute a new global public good and rebuild growth across the world.

    • Carlos Vicente, Senior Financial Sector Specialist and Co-Author, said addressing vulnerabilities in the financial sector was urgent and would require additional expenditure of GH¢5.5 billion to solve all challenges related to microfinance institutions, savings and loans among others.

    Ghana’s economy is projected to grow by 7.5 per cent in 2019 from the 6.3 recorded last year, a study by the World Bank has stated.

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