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Business News of Thursday, 5 February 2004

Source: GNA

BUDGET: Govt outlines discretionary payments

Accra, Feb. 5, GNA - The Minister of Finance Yaw Osafo-Maafo on Thursday outlined Government's discretionary payments for the year while presenting this year's Budget to Parliament.
He said Personal Emoluments are estimated at 6,631.9 billion cedis, while expenditures in respect of Administration and Service are programmed at 2,734.3 billion cedis.
Total investments are also estimated at 3,725.7 billion cedis, out of which 2,492.2 billion cedis would be foreign-financed. He said Government had earmarked an amount of 392.0 billion cedis for utility price subsidies to ameliorate the adverse price effect on lifeline consumers.
Poverty reduction activities for the year would benefit from an additional allocation of 1,206.4 billion through the HIPC Relief.
He said the overall budget balance deficit equivalent to 1.7 per cent of GDP is projected for 2004, while the domestic primary balance is expected to yield a surplus equivalent to 1.7 per cent of GDP.
"Working within the budget framework elaborated above, we project to achieve a net domestic debt repayment of 1,732.2 billion cedis, equivalent to 2.2 per cent of GDP in 2004. This is in line with Government's objective to reduce domestic debt and free more resources to the private sector.