- The Finance Minister presented the mid-year review of the 2017 Budget Statement today
- A former Deputy Minister of Finance has described the review as moving from a ‘Good News’ budget to a ‘Bad News’ budget
Cassiel Ato Forson, the former Deputy Minister of Finance, has mocked the mid-year Budget Statement review that was presented to parliament on Monday.
The review which was brought before the House by the current Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Attah aimed to highlight the progress so far by the government and which of the economic decisions that were listed in the Statement have already been rolled out.
Mr. Ofori-Attah during his address stated the economy the Akufo-Addo administration was met with, was facing numerous challenges.
According to him, the John Mahama administration had left them a ‘weak’ economy which he (Ofori-Attah) said will now undergo the necessary transformation and recovery under the Akufo-Addo government.
“Mr Speaker, we inherited a weak economy characterised by high fiscal deficit, 9.3 percent of GDP on a cash basis against the then-target of five per cent on cash basis.
A primary deficit of 1.4 percent of GDP against a target surplus of 1.2 per cent, a high debt-to-GDP ratio of 73 percent of GDP, high inflation of 15.4 per cent, low credit to the private sector, high interest rate, 91 per cent treasury bill rate at 16.4 per cent, weak domestic revenue mobilisation, low external reserves of 2.8 months of import cover, policy reversals including some unconstrained expenditure, seven billion of our standing commitments and undischarged obligations and weak economic growth of 3.5 per cent – the lowest in 15 years,” Mr. Ofori-Attah stated.
In a report by Class FM, Mr. Ato Forson however, debunked these statements, saying by the Finance Minister’s words, the ‘Asempa Budget’ was being turned into the ‘Asemboni Budget.’
“I say this because this is bad news for this country. You will notice that non-tax revenues as projected, the programme was that from Q1 to Q2 the outturn will be 2.7 billion, Mr Speaker the out turn is now 2.1 billion, this is a cut. Clearly what this means is that there is a shortfall of almost GHS 600 million,” Mr. Ato Forson said during the review address.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister has revealed that government plans to provide over 500,000 jobs to unemployed youth engaged in the galamsey activity.
The minister said these jobs will be centered in the oil palm plantation sector, as part of measures to drive the illegal mining menace away from communities most damaged by the act.
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