The Institute for Energy Security (IES) is calling on government to back off from the Ghana Heritage Fund.
It is rather urging government as a primary starting point to tighten the belt on the executive arm of government expenditure, and abort all needless expenditure relative to these moments.
“IES is very disgusted by the proposal by this current government judging from the fact that while in opposition it had vehemently opposed the utilization of monies from the Heritage Fund by the government at the time, due to the special place the fund occupies. After all, the notion underlying the Petroleum Revenue and Management Act is that “present generation must invest in, not consume for generations to come”, it said.
According to the energy think tank, the Heritage Fund as the name suggest, does not allow for any utilization under the present circumstance, and that no amendment in law is justified.”
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta tabled before Parliament Monday, 30 March 2020, a request for the amendment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to allow a withdrawal from the Ghana Heritage Fund to undertake emergency expenditures in periods of national emergencies.
But the energy think tank says “The IES is however concerned about the attempt to rob the future generation of the endowment once all the petroleum resources have been depleted; and as a result wishes to point out clearly to government that “the Heritage Fund as the name suggest, does not allow for any utilization under the present circumstance, and that no amendment in law is justified.”
Though saddened, the IES said it is not in the least surprised at government’s request to use monies from the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF).
“Not surprised in the sense that judging from the level of indiscipline in the energy sector when it comes to making especially financial and economic decisions, the IES sees government request to Parliament as only consolidating that level of indiscipline, and amassing huge debts which would eventually be borne by the ordinary Ghanaian”, it explained.
Further, “the IES vehemently oppose government decision to drain the only fund intended to provide endowment to support the development of the unborn generation when the petroleum reserves have been depleted. Any attempt to go close to the Heritage Fund would be seen as an assault on the well-being of future generations, a wholesale theft of the prospects of generations to come; and as a result would be met with stiff resistance.
“It must be stated that the GHF takes the least percentage in the distribution of the petroleum revenues to the various funds, including the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) which was established for such moments of shocks to the economy to balance the national budget.”
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