Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will, later today, present what is being touted as one of the most anticipated budget statements in recent history.
Ahead of the 2022 budget statement, a cross-section of interest groups including several labor unions and business associations have been warning against the expected removal of port clearing discounts on some selected goods.
There is so much riding on this budget as it is a post-election one, a period that has always been austere as far as Ghana’s fiscal framework is concerned.
From all indications, today’s budget will not be different.
Ghanaians can expect an even stronger tightening of the belt because of the economic complications inflected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the most controversial expected policy interventions that have dominated discussions leading up to the budget is the removal of port clearing discounts on selected goods.
All items under the 32 categories currently enjoying port clearing discounts will no longer enjoy that special dispensation.
The Chief Executive of the Chamber of Pharmacy, Thony Ameka has warned prices of medicines will increase if the government goes ahead to scrap the 50% discounts.
Secretary of the Spare Parts Dealers Association at Abosey Okai in Accra, Eric Anti, also warns of similar consequences.
There have also been concerns about a likely significant increase in road tolls.
GPRTU spokesperson, Abass Imoro says they will oppose it if the Finance Minister makes it official.
One thing is clear with an ever-expanding budget deficit, post-covid economic malaise, and dwindling revenues, something will certainly give in the 2022 budget.
The question is what will give?