Parliament begin deliberation on 2021 budget in Ho

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Following the presentation of the 2021 budget, on Friday, March 12, 2021, Members of Parliament have kickstarted deliberations on the statement for the 2021 fiscal year.

According to the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the said deliberation began on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Volta regional capital, Ho.

“In Ho this morning, Parliament has started work on the 2021 budget. The detailed analysis will aid MPs in our debate, consideration and approval of the budget in the next two weeks. Godspeed to all Hon members,” the Ofoase Ayirebi Lawmaker said in a tweet.

The government will propose in the 2021 budget statement to introduce a Covid-19 health tax, increase the national health insurance tax by 1 percentage point, and increase the flat rate of value-added tax by 1 percentage point to support Covid-19-related expenditures.

“To provide the requisite resources to address these challenges and fund these activities, government is proposing the introduction of a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one percentage point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and a one percentage point increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditures related to Covid-19,” the budget statement presented by the leader of Government Business, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said among other things on Friday, March 12.

It added that “to leverage other resources to fight the pandemic, Government passed the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Act, (2020), Act 1013 in April 2020 to establish the Fund. As of 31st December 2020, the Fund had mobilised GH¢ 57,134,093.58 of which GH¢45,218,313.23 had been utilized.

“These resources complemented Government efforts in providing PPEs and medical supplies to COVID-19 selected institutions, distribution of food items to the aged, vulnerable, and needy persons; providing vehicles to selected Treatment Centres, National Public Health & Reference Laboratories, Testing Centres, and the COVID-19 Central Care Management Team. It also supported the construction of the National Infectious Disease Centre.”

Some other innovations in the budget also includes commencement of the construction of a multi–purpose judicial training institute in Accra this year.