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Business News of Thursday, 5 February 2004

Source: GNA

BUDGET: Total receipts for 2004 24,853 billion cedis

Accra, Feb. 5, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo on Thursday said resource mobilization for the year would come from the total receipts for 2004 that is estimated at 24,853 billion cedis, the contribution from tax revenue projected at 16,854.8 billion cedis and the non-tax revenue, which is estimated at 517.0 billion Cedis.

He said foreign grants disbursements are projected at 3,053.8 billion cedis, of which HIPC assistance from multilateral development partners stands at 995.1 billion Cedis. This, he said, was in addition to the traditional programme grants estimated at 1,188.0 billion cedis, and project grants of 870.7 billion Cedis.

Mr Osafo-Maafo these when he presented Government's budgetary statement to Parliament.

He said revenue from other receipts is estimated at 4,427.3 billion Cedis, which include divestiture receipts of 426.8 billion cedis, project loans of 1,621.5 billion cedis and programme loans of 980.0 billion cedis.

Mr Osafo-Maafo stated that the total receipts includes exceptional financing of 2,950.7 billion cedis, comprising traditional debt rescheduling of 1,472.4 billion cedis and HIPC relief of 512.9 billion cedis from non-multilateral development partners.

"A gap of 965.4 billion cedis is included in the exceptional financing for which we will call upon our development partners to provide additional concessional programme funding", he said. On resource allocation, the Finance Minister said total payments were estimated at 24,853.0 billion cedis, made up of statutory payments of 9,870.5 billion cedis and discretionary payments of 14,982.5 billion cedis.

He said the statutory payments include external debt service of 3,658.8 billon cedis on accrual basis, out of which 972.1 billion cedis was earmarked for external interest payments.

Mr Osafo-Maafo stated that domestic interest payments are estimated at 2,456.5 billion cedis, including accrued interest payments for the restructured Tema Oil Refinery debt that was taken over by Government. He said that for 2004, the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) is projected to receive 787.2 billion cedis, while an estimated amount of 810.5 billion cedis would be transferred to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).

The Minister said that Government would remain current on all transfers to the GETFund and the DACF, and would pay the 97 billion cedis due under the medium-term plan for eliminating arrears to those statutory Funds.

He said that transfers to households, which included pensions, gratuities and social security payments on behalf of workers have been programmed at 1,475.3 billion cedis.

Mr Osafo-Maafo indicated that an amount of 420.4 billion cedis had been allocated to the National Health Fund under transfers, to support the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He said an amount of 607.7 billion cedis had also been earmarked for the Road Fund, while other petroleum-related funds would receive 74.6 billion cedis.

Personal emoluments, he said, 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 will be foreign-financed", he said. Mr Osafo-Maafo said Government had earmarked an amount of 392.0 billion cedis for utility price subsidies to ameliorate the adverse price effect on lifeline consumers.

He said that poverty reduction activities for the year would benefit from an additional allocation of 1,206.4 billion cedis through the HIPC Relief.