The government of Ghana has announced 13 Cabinet directives to protect the public purse amid the country’s economic woes.
Ghana is currently going through one of its worst economic downturns in decades.
This has brought hardships upon the citizens who are persistently calling on the government to mitigate the situation.
Many have asserted that one major problem that has brought Ghana’s economy to its knees is the frivolous spending of scarce resources.
Prominent among these is the Minority in Parliament, who have constantly urged the government to cut down on its expenditure to stabilise the economy.
Former President Mahama also charged the government to reduce the annual cost of running government machinery to save the public purse.
He noted during his address on the economy that “the budget of the office of government machinery has ballooned over the last six years from a little over GH¢700 million to GH¢3.1 billion in 2022.
“Substantial savings of GH¢1 billion or more can be made by slashing the budget of the Office of Government Machinery,” he said.
Heeding the calls, the government has outlined some measures in the 2023 Budget and Economic Policy geared toward cutting expenditures.
Presenting the “Nkabom Budget” on Thursday, November 24, 2022, the Finance Minister said, “as a first step toward expenditure rationalisation, the Government has approved the following directives, which take effect from January 2023.”
Below are the measures:
1. All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs.
2. A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023.
3. Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles.
4. Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year
2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff.
5. As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities.
6. Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year.
7. Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities and clothing, etc.
8. A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for free zone, mining, oil and gas companies.
9. A hiring freeze for civil and public servants.
10. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023.
11. There shall be no hampers for 2022.
12. There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024.
13. All non-critical projects must be suspended for the 2023 Financial year.