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General News of Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Minority threatens vote of no confidence against Ofori-Atta

The opposition party in Parliament has promised to trigger a confidence vote against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, over what it says are high fiscal deficit figures.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs claim the Minister wants to deliberately manipulate government’s spending figures to stay within the accepted limit.

Per the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, a Finance Minister should not superintend a fiscal deficit which exceeds 5 percent lest he be censored.

Speaking to Joy FM’s Top Story Monday, Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, claims the only thing Mr Ofori-Atta is trying to avoid is the censorship, the reason he is manipulating the figures.

Mr Forson said the Minority MPs are going to reject the figures Mr Ofori-Atta will present when he appears in the House to present the 2020 budget statement on Wednesday.

“He should prepare because he has already exceeded that 5 per cent,” the Ajumako Enyan Essiam MP charged, adding they will invoke the law to boot him out of office.

What are the claims?

Mr Forson argues that the government has decided not to treat monies used in the banking sector clean up as expenditure has decided to treat monies gained from it as revenue.

This, the opposition legislator, who has served as a Deputy Finance Minister, describes as cosmetic accounting.

Finance Minister will present 'cooked up' figures on Nov 13 - Minority claims

He said the government must be consistent in its dealings with monies spent and gained from the clean-up otherwise it amounts to a manipulation of figures “just to look good.”



The mining companies

The Minority also claims to the government is prevailing upon mining companies in the country to undertake some development projects in their resident communities.

The government of Ghana would be expected to pay back these monies in issued bonds.

Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemana Konney has, however, disputed this.

According to him, there have been talks with the government but no decision has been reached and no official proposal has come to them.

The Minority MPs are, however, not convinced.

They believe the government is simply attempting to use the mining companies to raise revenue without recording it in their expenditure.

When this happens the expenditure looks good but the country’s debt increases on the blindside, Ato Forson explained.

He says their aside of the aisle would fight the Minister’s attempts and unless he meets their demands -- to classify the fiscal deficit properly -- on Wednesday, they would move to impeach him.