The overall budget balance for the first four months of the year (January to April) showed a deficit of 2,416.1 billion (2.2 per cent of GDP) compared with a deficit of 1,386.8 billion (1.4 per cent of GDP) in the corresponding period of 2005.

Presenting the 2006 Supplementary Budget to Parliament on Thursday, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Baah-Wiredu said the domestic primary balance also recorded a deficit of 1,803.6 billion (1.6 per cent of GDP) compared with a surplus of 995.4 billion (1.0 per cent of GDP) in the same period of 2005.

"In consequence, therefore, the full implementation of the Budget started from January 1, 2006, a marked departure from previous years, where full implementation started after the passage of the Appropriations Act towards the end of March within the fiscal year.

"It is expected that as the year progresses and revenue inflows pick up and external resource inflows are disbursed, the trend will be reversed to the normal path of the Budget outturn as elaborated in the 2006 Budget.

of 2006 indicated that total receipts amounted to 11,962.2 billion, against the outturn of 9,020.1 billion registered for the same period during 2005.

Total revenue for the period under review was 6,637.8 billion, 6.4 per cent higher than the programmed amount of 6,238.7 billion and an increase of 2.2 per cent over the outturn for the same period in 2005.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the performance of tax revenue, however, showed a 2.5 per cent increase over the performance for the corresponding period in 2005.

Direct taxes, which comprised personal, self-employed, companies and others such as airport tax and the National Reconstruction Levy amounted to 1,802.6 billion, about 0.9 per cent lower than the outturn for the same period last year.

Indirect taxes for the period under review amounted to 3,163.6 billion showing about 9.0 per cent increase over the outturn for the corresponding period in 2005.

"The under performance is due to the fact that for the period under review there has not been any receipts from cocoa export duties. It is important to note that for the same period last year a total amount of 180.7 billion had been received as cocoa duties."

Mr Baah-Wiredu said receipts for National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) amounted to 365.7 billion showing a 6.9 per cent increase over the outturn for the same period in 2005.

Non-Tax Revenue for January to April amounted to 150.4 billion; 45.0 billion higher than the programmed target. The outturn, however, is 14.5 per cent lower than the outturn for 2005.

The Minister said total grant disbursement for the period under review amounted to 1,781.3 billion, reflecting a 41 per cent increase over the outturn for the same period in 2005.

Multilateral Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Assistance saw an 82.4 per cent increase over the 2005 level for the same period, while programme grants recorded about 160 per cent increase over the outturn for the same period in 2005.

Total loans amounted to 79.7 billion, implying a lower outturn of 46.3 per cent, compared to that for the same period in 2005. Project loans was below the programmed target, by 455.6 billion, while no disbursements had been made for programme loans.

On payments, Mr Baah-Wiredu said the provisional actual outturn for total payments for the first four months of the year 2006, comprising of statutory and discretionary payments was 11,962.2 billion.

This outturn compares to 9,020.1 billion for the corresponding period in 2005. Total statutory payments, which included interest payments, amortization, and transfers to households amounted to 3,089.2 billion, 28.3 per cent lower than the programme target for the year.

External Debt Service for the period under review amounted to 989.5 billion. The principal component of the external debt due was 715.4 billion, representing a 3.6 per cent decrease over the outturn for same period in 2005.

Domestic interest payments, including interests on TOR bonds, amounted to 554.9 billion, indicating a 28.6 billion decrease over the outturn of 777.2 billion recorded for the same period in 2005.

This is as a result of the reduction in the stock of maturing treasury bills, and low interest rates resulting from the net repayment of domestic debt recorded in 2005.

The Road Fund and other Petroleum-Related Funds received a total of 378.8 billion, of which the Road Fund received 368.9 billion, 33.9 per cent increase over the outturn for the same period in 2005.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said payments for wages and salaries during the period amounted to 2,920.0 billion, compared to 2,209.1 billion for the same period in 2005.

He said HIPC-financed Expenditure amounted to 698.9 billion, compared to 549.5 billion expended on HIPC-related projects and programmes during the same period in 2005.

The outturn for the HIPC-financed expenditure was higher than the programmed amount of 348.3 billion as a result of higher than programmed inflows that materialised during the period.

Development Goals, it was expected that growth in the economy would enable a faster and fuller implementation of the programmes and activities that would make Ghana to achieve those goals.

He said by the end of the first quarter of the year, Government had released about 424 billion including 19 billion for domestic debt payments, out of the expected total HIPC debt relief of 2,277.5 billion for 2006.

This is cache, read story here