We’ve lowered the rate of debt accumulation-Ofori-Atta
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has argued that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has lowered the rate of debt accumulation, re-profiled our debt, and, implemented a number of structural reforms in a transparent manner for efficient and effective management of public debt.
This he noted has been achieved through their quest to stabilize the economy.
The current administration he said have paid GH¢12 billion in excess energy capacity charges which we inherited in 2017, and have kept the lights on; ii. settled substantial part of the GH¢11 billion outstanding arrears bequeathed to us; iii. abolished 17 unproductive taxes to boost the productivity of the private sector and iv. spent GH¢ 21.6 billion to clean-up a collapsing financial sector and protected 4.6 million depositors and 81,700 investors.
Delivering the 2021 first-quarter budget he said: ”That is the competent governance, hard work and God’s hand that has delivered us.
Mr. Speaker, for fair-minded observers, the above economic indicators are clear evidence of the sharp and stark difference between a competent Akufo-Addo-led Government and others.
Mr. Speaker, these gains have not been at the expense of our promise to improve the welfare of fellow Ghanaians.
In fact, the issue of welfare is very dear to President Akufo-Addo and his government. For this reason, we invested in excess of GH¢15.7 billion on key flagship programmes.
Mr. Speaker, these flagship programmes have created the platform for real economic transformation; strengthening human capital through enhancing access to health care, education and skills development, modernizing agriculture and industry, delivering infrastructure across the country – including a revitalised railway sub-sector – and creating jobs.
We have remained faithful with our budgets; Asempa in 2017, Edwuma in 2018, Mpuntuo in 2019 and the prescient Nkosuo and Nkabom budget of Covid 19 2020.”
He added: ”Mr. Speaker, the robustness of our macro-economic fundamentals and the efficacy of Government’s COVIDmitigation measures have been borne out by recent indicators.
According to the Bank of Ghana’s surveys in August 2020,consumer confidence is bouncing back strongly and is currently above pre-COVID-19 lockdown levels. Business confidence has also increased, although below pre-lockdown levels. About 95 percent of businesses surveyed showed strong optimism, reflecting the improving macroeconomic conditions, stability in the exchange rate, lower input prices, moderation in lending rates, and positive industry prospects.
Accordingly, the projected GDP growth rate 2020 reported in July has been revised from 0.9 percent to 1.9 percent to reflect these dynamics. As the Bank of Ghana stated ‘the green shoots of rebound in economic activity’ are already with us. We must be thankful to God for these encouraging developments. This and other assessments provoke a degree of optimism and reveals that the swift, bold, and effective measures implemented by Government have been key in quickening the pace of economic recovery. This is the competent leadership we promised under President Akufo-Addo. Indeed, the President’s decisive and compassionate leadership in these challenging times have been internationally acknowledged and
has added to our reputation as the Black Star of Africa.
Mr. Speaker, our efforts to protect lives and preserve livelihoods, coupled with the impact of the pandemic on revenues and expenditures resulted in a fiscal deficit of 11.4% of GDP. As already indicated in the presentation to this august House in July, we have a well-thought-out Ghana Cares Obaatanpa plan and strategy to return this economy to a more sustainable fiscal path in the medium-term.
Mr. Speaker the 2020 Fiscal Framework which increased the fiscal deficit from 4.7 percent of GDP to 11.4 percent in the 2020 Mid-Year Review.”