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General News
Parliament Approves Budgets for Education, Other Four Ministries 12/18/2011

Parliament yesterday approved budgetary allocations for five Government Ministries totaling GH¢4,289,418,706.00 for the 2012 fiscal year.
They are Education, Roads and Highways, Food and Agriculture, Justice, Lands and Natural Resources. The Ministry of Education had the highest amount of GH¢ 2,871,680,218.00. The Ministry of Roads and Highways had GH¢907,794,236.00; Ministry of Justice, GH¢29,721,217.00; Food and Agriculture Ministry, GH¢262,239,746.00 and Lands and Forestry receiving GH¢217,983,309.00. Ms Betty Mould Iddrissu, Minister for Education moved the motion for the approval of the Ministry of Education''s budget estimates and Mr Mathias Puozaa, Chairman of the Education Committee seconded. The Education Committee''s Report indicated that the Ministry''s 2012 budgetary requirement was GH¢4,678,210,556.00 compared to what was had been approved leaving a shortfall of GH¢1,806,530,338.00. The Report said the shortfall would adversely affect the implementation of the Ministry’s programmes and activities for 2012 since the Ministry’s budgetary requirement were based on costing of its programmes and activities.
The Committee recommended additional funding to the Ministry if resources become available in the course of the 2012 to enable it to implement its planned programmes and activities effectively.
The report also noted that if funds were released timely and used judiciously, there would be significant improvement in the development of the requisite human resources considered critical for poverty reduction and national development.
The amount made up of statutory Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) payment of GH¢545,440,050.00, and GH¢2,326,240,168 of discretionary allocations from Government of Ghana, annual budget funding amount, expected donor inflows and internally generated fund.
Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister for Roads and Highways, also moved for the approval of the sector''s budget and it was seconded by Mr Micheal Coffie Boampong, Chairman of the the sector''s Committee.
In a report for the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Committee expressed dissatisfaction with the ceiling of GH¢70,000,000.00 for assets against its request of GH¢1,111,233,920.00.
The Committee viewed that as inadequate and does not facilitate the acceleration of road infrastructure development the nation desires for economic growth and reduction of poverty.
The Committee, therefore, urged government to re-look at the Ministry''s request since the projected arrears for work done by the close of 2011 would be GH¢408.0 million for both government of Ghana and Road Fund financed projects.
The report said the Committee was not happy with the release by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on service expenditure in the sum of GH¢46,400.00 for Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA), representing nine percent of the approved budget, adding that it impeded projects supervision by the agencies and could lead to projects not conforming to design and specification requirements.
The Committee observed that the outfit was faced with outstanding payments to contractors, who had worked for the Ministry, the Ghana Highway Authority, the Department of Feeder Roads and the Department of Urban Roads.
It estimated that by the end December 2011, the government financed projects would be in arrears of GH¢210.00 million, whilst those under the funding of the Ghana Road Fund, would have an outstanding payment in the sum of GH¢198.0 million.
The Committee called on the Finance Ministry to source for funding to settle all the outstanding arrears to contractors and also recommended that the Ministry of Roads and Highways should speed modalities required by the Ghana Road Fund Board to support the National Youth Employment Programme.
Source: GNA

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