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Minority Wants 2018 Budget Withdrawn

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Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, Eric Opoku has called for the withdrawal of the 2018 budget and economic policy of government from Parliament.

He said the budget is full of inconsistencies, contradictions, mistakes, and very misleading, stating that Parliament may be doing a great disservice to the country if 2018 budget is not withdrawn for the corrections to be made.

Citing some of the misleading claims in the 2018 budget the Asunafo South Member of Parliament said mentioned the increase and decrease projections in cocoa production as a result of artificial pollination programme as captured by paragraph 413 of the budget statement as against a decline in production in paragraph 403.

He again pointed out that at page 183 of the 2018 budget, under “breakdown of projected ABFA Funding, “Unfortunately”, the acronyms and abbreviations section, indicates that ABFA stands for “ASSETS BASED FINANCE ASSOCIATION” as against the Petroleum Revenue Management Act definition of ABFA as Annual Budget Funding Amount.

Member of Parliament for Assin South, Ntim Fordjour on his side said Ghana’s agricultural sector in 2013 grew by 0.07%, 0.08% in 2014, 2.8% in 2015 and 3% in 2016 respectively but grown at the rate of 4.3% in 2017, the highest since the NPP government assumes the reigns of leadership of the country.

He also raised issues with paragraph 789 of 2018 annual budget which says that, the NPP Government has distributed one hundred thousand (100,000) metric tons of fertilizer in 2017 as against 121, 000 metric tons of fertilizer distributed in paragraph 388 and questioned how different numbers of tones of fertilizer can be distributed at the same time.

He also accused the government of making very scanty allocation of just 0.98% of the National budget to the Agriculture and Fisheries sector.

He noted that Ghana as a signatory to the Maputo Protocol under the Maputo declaration of 2010 is not oblivious of the fact that member countries in their quest to increase agriculture production, increase food security, increase income of farmers, 10% of their National budgets must be committed to agriculture.

According to him in the 2017 budget, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquaculture Development received a total 1.2% of the annual budget allocation but that allocation has been reduced to 0.98% in the 2018 budget.

This he noted cannot grow the agriculture sector as touted by the current government.

Source: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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