Finance Minister to present policy statement on COVID-19 fight in parliament

The Finance Minister will on Wednesday, April 8, present a policy statement in Parliament on government’s measures to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic as the House resumes sitting.

This was announced by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, in a statement.

The Speaker also recalled MPs after the suspension of proceedings few days ago.

Parliament’s Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo, says the Finance Minister’s address will also facilitate the transaction of any other urgent business of Parliament.

“The Finance Minister is scheduled to present a Policy Statement to the House in accordance with Standing Order 70 (2) on matters relating to government measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease as well as facilitate the transaction of any urgent business,” the statement noted.

Following President Akufo-Addo’s directive for an economic impact assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country, the Finance Minister announced that the cumulative effect of the pandemic will cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion.

The President also announced a GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to be funded from the Ghana Stabilization Fund.

He has also asked for the support of Parliament to amend the relevant laws to lower the cap of the Stabilization Fund from US$300 million to US$100 million to enable the government use the excess funds to bridge the gap created by the economic impact of the pandemic.

There’s also a request to amend the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to use portions of the Ghana Heritage Fund to help the fight against the virus.

A new budget is to be presented in Parliament by July this year according to the Finance Minister.

Currently, Ghana has recorded 287 cases with 5 deaths and 3 recoveries in six out of the country’s sixteen regions.