Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has assured Parliament that government is adequately managing the finances of the country with sheer competence and discipline.
According to him, the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration has through its fiscal operations carried in the first half of the year has proven that they are better managers of the Ghanaian economy.
The minister, presenting the 2021 mid-year budget statement before Parliament on Thursday said, “We are managing the finances of the country with discipline and competence. The fiscal operations for the period January to June 2021 indicate that the overall budget deficit was GH¢22.32 billion, equivalent to 5.1%of GDP. The corresponding primary balance for the period was a deficit of GH¢7.3 billion, equivalent to 1.7% of GDP, against a target deficit of GH¢4,797 or 1.1% of GDP.”
“We will continue to pursue our fiscal consolidation agenda to ensure that we remain within the appropriation given by this House [Parliament],”, he explained.
Ken Ofori-Atta also assured Parliament that the country’s macroeconomic indicators were pointed in the right direction even the in wake of the increasing public debt levels amid the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We would like to note that notwithstanding our elevated debt levels as a result of COVID-19, our inflation rate is lower than it was in 2016, our interest rates are lower than they were in 2016, our exchange rate is more stable than it was in 2016, our foreign exchange reserves are much higher than they were in 2016, and we did not have to lay off any workers, nor cancel teacher and nursing training allowance”.
“Furthermore, we did not go to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) for a bailout programme, neither have we built an interchange for the price of three. This is because we have managed the economy much better than it was managed up to 2016. Let us not forget,”, Ken Ofori-Atta said.
The presentation of the mid-year budget by the finance minister is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and the Public Financial Management Act 921, which offers the opportunity to revise macroeconomic targets and provide a comprehensive economic outlook for the rest of the year.