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Gov’t freezes public sector employment effective January 2023

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has announced a ban on employment for civil servants effective January 2023.

Presenting the 2023 Budget and Economic Policy to Parliament on Thursday, Mr. Ofori Atta also announced that the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles while the allocation of fuel coupons to political appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs have been reduced by 50%.

“Mr. Speaker, as the first step toward expenditure rationalization, the Government has approved the following directives which take effect from January 2023: All MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs;

“A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023; Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles;

“Only essential official foreign travel across government, including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff;

“As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities; Government sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries, and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year; Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities, and clothing, etc.

“A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for the free zone, mining, oil and gas companies; A hiring freeze for civil and public servants. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023; There shall be no hampers for 2022”.

The presentation of the budget is a constitutional exercise to be carried out by the Finance Minister on behalf of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“In accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) the Minister for Finance will, on behalf of the President, lay before Parliament the 2023 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government on Thursday, 24th November 2022,” a statement from the Finance Ministry announced.

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