Minority demands supplementary estimates on CAP cash
The Minority in Parliament is demanding for clarity and transparency in the request of the Finance Minister to have the House authorise and amount of 1.2 billion for the Poverty Alleviation Programme in the face of the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Ranking Member on the Finance Committee Hon. Atto Forson after meeting with the committee members said the Minority have concerns to raise on the Minister’s request because there is no breakdown cost for all of the items listed by the Finance Minister.
According to him, although the Finance Minister requested for Ghc280million Ghana cedis for which would be used for food packages and hotmeals, he was not able to give the committee details of the unit cost for each pack.
The legislator said it would be proper for the Minister to further breakdown the cost for each of the items and allocations made in the document presented to the House.
Ghanaians will recall that in the president’s last address to the public on Sunday 5th April 2020, he emphatically stated that, in the next three months customers of the Ghana Water Company will not pay bills for April, May and June.
For this purpose, the government will allocate an amount of Ghc200million to cover the cost of water and sanitation.
But the Minority says it is not convinced because the Ghc200 million allocated for water is not detailed and there is no break down of cost as to how much that is going to Ghana water, community water, tanker drivers and even hospitals.
Moreover, the Ministry requested parliament to allow them to use money from the contingency fund to take care of the taxes the president is going to waive for the health workers.
He said the 80million cedis that will be used as 50% of allowance promised by the president to the Frontline health workers was also not equally detailed.
Mr. Ato Forson called on the government to define who qualifies as a frontline health worker.
He also wants all health workers to be included and not only government workers as planned.
The Minority said as far as they were concerned, the figures given, are only headline numbers and composite numbers, and for that matter, they demand that a supplementary estimate should be brought before the august house for proper analysis.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has presented to Parliament the policy document on the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), seeking approval to spend ¢1.2 billion.
The Minister in his presentation said an amount of GH¢280 million will go into food packages and hotmeals while GH¢40 million to the National Buffer Stock Company.
An additional GH¢200 million will be used to cater for bills on water and sanitation, GH¢241 will cover tax waiver for health personnel.
According to him, GH¢80 million will be spent on the allowance for health staff, GH¢2 million will be used to cover transportation for health workers GH¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to businesses.
By: Philomina Kuntu Blankson