Accra, 2nd August, 2023 -The Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Eva Esselba Mends, has reiterated the need for the Ministry to have regular engagements with the media to provide updates on the macro-fiscal developments of Ghana’s economy.
According to the Chief Director, the Ministry’s ability to provide clarity on the content of the Budget Statement to the media goes a long way to ensure balanced and accurate reportage on the Budget statement.
She made these remarks at a media technical briefing session on the 2023 Mid-Year Budget Review, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The media present were members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), Parliamentary Press Corps, Public Affairs of Parliament, selected Senior Editors, and other invited journalists.
Resource persons from the Ministry took the journalists through Overview of Mid-Year Budget Review, Macro Fiscal and progress towards IMF Review, and Debt Operations.
Dr. Alex Amankwah-Poku, Head, Budget Development and Reform of the Budget Division at the Ministry of Finance in his presentation on the overview of the document indicated that, the Budget Statement was drafted after engagements with relevant stakeholders for inputs consideration. He spoke briefly on the contents of the budget and encouraged the Journalists to visit the Ministry’s website to familiarize themselves with the Mid-Year Budget Statement.
Dr. Alhassan Iddrisu, Director Economic Strategy and Research Division also at the Ministry explained the tenets of the macro-fiscal targets and the International Monetary Fund programme.
He detailed progress made by the government since its engagement with the Fund, as stated in the Mid-Year Budget statement, and reiterated the Minister of Finance's assertion that "government is turning the corner."
Mr. Samuel Arkhurst, Director, Treasury and Debt Management Division updated the journalists on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
The leadership of the Media groups commended the Ministry for regarding them as key stakeholders whose support was essential on post budget communication. This, they noted, had equipped them to appreciate debates on the floor of parliament and also reflects positively in their budget stories.
The Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday, 31st July, 2023, on behalf of the President of the Republic, presented to Parliament, a review of the 2023 Budget themed “Restoring and sustaining Macroeconomic Stability and Resilience Through Inclusive Growth and Value Creation” (Nkabom Budget).
Presentation of Mid-Year Budget review falls on the back of Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921). The Act enjoins the Minister of Finance to not later than the 31st of July of each financial year, prepare and submit to Parliament a mid-year fiscal policy review. After the inception of this Act, with the exception of the year 2020, the Ministry of Finance had not asked for supplementary budget, as enshrined in Section 28 (e) (i) of the PFM law.
The Peculiarity of this year’s budget review centred on two updates; Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) and the three-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme under which Ghana received the first tranche of US$3 billion Extended Credit Facility with the IMF, with six additional tranches expected over the next three years. End.