Business News of Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2015 budget likely to be reviewed next month

Finance Minister Seth Terkper is likely to turn to Parliament in April to seek approval to revise the 2015 budget estimates.

This possibility has come about due to a $700 million decline in government's revenue from the slump in crude oil prices on the international market.

The review of the budget estimates will result in significant cuts in government expenditure. Government will have to spend less than the GH¢44 billion it was hoping to do.

Some analysts say there are likely to be aggressive cuts in subsidies, which means for the most part of 2015 consumers of petroleum products, for instance, would be required to pay for the full cost of the commodity.

Also, initial budgets for some projects will be slashed to make up for the new figures in the revised budget.

However, the Finance Minister would have to deal with a legal hurdle before seeking approval of the legislators in Parliament House.

This because the laws of Ghana permits the minister to present a Supplementary Budget to Parliament for consideration when new revenues come in, but not a 'Revised Budget' - or one that cuts spending.

Government last year prepared the 2015 budget when crude oil prices stood at $99 a barrel.

Government was hoping to make about $1.2 billion by the end of the year to enable it to meet a revenue target of GH¢34 billion.