Parliament on Wednesday, July 29, approved the GH¢11.896 billion requested by the Finance Minister as supplementary estimate for the 2020 financial year.
This followed a three-day debate on the estimates presented to he House in the mid-year review budget last week.
Winding up the contributions to the motion, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Majority Leader and MP for Suame Constituency lauded the Government for putting in measures for economic progress within the three years of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) being in power.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu however said the mid-year review budget rather looked like a party manifesto, as the Finance Minister made projections into 2021 to 2023, when the political fate of the NPP was not yet known in the next December elections.
“Mr. Speaker, this mid-year review budget only comes to me as a manifesto pledge and promise and reflected the same COVID programme that the Minister stated.”
He said the Minority expected the Minister to have shifted from economic management to management of an emergency public health problem of COVID-19.
The Finance Minister in concluding listed a number of funds approved by Parliament for the management of COVID-19.
He said: “please allow me to restate what the GH¢11.8 billion supplementary estimates, which includes; an amount of GH¢1.84 billion that Parliament approved in March 2020 for emergency COVID related expenditures was requested for.
GH¢1.34 billion [will be used] for the implementation of the COVID-19 preparedness plan to be implemented by the Ministry of Health, the plan to focus on expanding laboratories to increase the network for functional laboratories for COVID-19 testing for improved database management and coordination.
“It will also creating isolation centres in all regions and districts, revitalizing the systems for tracking case confirmation and management among others, GH¢600 million to mobilise the construction for the Agenda 111 district hospitals, GH¢1.204 million for CAP 1 programme which includes; the GH¢600 million support for small businesses, relief for water during the first three months, support for frontline workers.”