The 2018 Citizens’ Budget, a document prepared in eight different languages, has been launched at a Town Hall Meeting at Kasoa in the Central Region.


The launch took place on the theme: “Putting Ghana Back to Work.”


Presented in a simplified language, the document aims to make every Ghanaian understand the key public finance information and initiatives government intends to rollout.


In a statement read on his behalf, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the objective of the launch was to promote citizen’s understanding of the budget process and to crave their participation in the process of development.


Mr Ofori-Atta said government had kept faith with Ghanaians as it had delivered on things promised in the 2017 budget.


He cited the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy, restoration of the Teacher and Nursing Training allowances, sustenance of macroeconomic growth, abolishing of nuisance taxes and staying current with statutory obligations like NHIS, GETFUND, SSNIT and DACF as the promises delivered on.


Mr Ofori-Atta said government had laid the necessary foundations, which included the passage of enabling legislations to give legal backing to the policies and the establishment of the necessary administrative structures for job creation.


He identified the US$1 million for every constituency to combat poverty and improve the lives of rural dwellers and deprived communities, One District One Factory programme, Zongo Development Fund and the roll-out of the National Identification Scheme as some of the programmes requiring legislation.


He noted that the 2018 budget had a number of measures not only to create jobs for the youth but also to improve on the standard of living for all Ghanaians as well as achieve inclusive growth.


He said government would reduce electricity tariff in 2018; set up the Education Fund to enable voluntary contributions to support education; continue with the Planting for Food and Jobs programme; provide tax incentives for young entrepreneurs of age 35 and below and establish the Nation Builders Corp to create jobs.


In a welcome address, Michael Yaw Essuman Mensah, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Awutu-Senya East, expressed the hope that the budget would be understood by all.


Mr Mensah noted that the people of Kasoa were consulted before the drafting of the budget and was delighted that the Finance Ministry chose the Awutu-Senya East municipality for the launch of the 2018 Citizens’ Budget.


Officials of the Finance Ministry also took participants of the meeting through how government mobilized and distributed resources.


They touched on the need for citizens to be responsible and honour their tax obligations.


The officials also noted that government did better in revenue mobilization in 2017 than 2016, attributing it to improved economic conditions.


Source: ISD (Abu Mubarik)