The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is set to submit before Parliament a request from government for an Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation of GHS27.4 billion to cater for the first quarter of 2021.

This was captured in Parliament’s Order Paper for today, October 28, 2020.

The Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation, has become a usual characteristic of election years to prevent transitional challenges in the smooth running of government for the first three months in the year after an election.

In the Order Paper, the Minister of Finance is requesting that, “this Honourable House approves by resolution, the withdrawal of the sum of twenty-seven billion, four hundred and thirty-four million, one hundred and eighty thousand, five hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (GHS27,434,180,520.00) from the Consolidated Fund.”

“This is for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the government in respect of the period expiring three months from the beginning of the financial year or on the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act in respect of the 2021 financial year.”

Mr. Ofori-Atta’s request comes ahead of his presentation of a budget on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 to Parliament to cater for the first quarter of 2021.

Ahead of the presentation, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, served notice of intended heckling of the Minister if what he terms outstanding matters are not resolved.

The government in July this year presented a revised budget statement to Parliament for approval of an additional GHS11.8 billion to support its expenditure for the rest of the year 2020.

This was after government projections for the 2020 financial year were affected by the economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, the Finance Minister announced that government will require some GHS9.5 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which may move the 2020 budget deficit to over seven percent.

He also stated that this will be 2.5 percent of Ghana’s revised GDP, and there will be a “fiscal gap of GHS11.4 billion”.