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Fri, Dec

ECONOMY ON RIGHT PATH - Finance Minister

Business & Economy

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, presenting the governments’ mid-year budget review, yesterday told Parliament that the economy was on track.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, presenting the governments’ mid-year budget review, yesterday told Parliament that the economy was on track.

 

This, he said, was the result of major macroeconomic indicators trending in the right direction.

Mr Ofori Atta disclosed that interest rate had seen great improvement, just as the foreign exchange market had also seen much stability in the first six months of the NPP administration.

“Mr. Speaker, to put the performance of the economy in the first half of 2017 into perspective, it will be useful to remind ourselves of the macroeconomic targets we set for ourselves for the 2017 fiscal year based on the overall macroeconomic objectives of government,” he said.

The Finance Minister stated some of the growth the sectors chalked as 5.7% in the services, 3% in the Agriculture whiles at the industry level recorded 1.5%.

He added that as part of measures to curtail the leakages associated with revenue collection at the ports, strict policing at the county's ports by the custom officials had improved revenue to the state to appreciable rate.

He assured the House that in spite of the gains made at the ports, the monitoring exercise would not relent on its efforts in tackling leakages at the ports.

The Finance Minister further assured that the social interventions the government was embarking on, such as the School Feeding programme and the Free Senior High school policy, would be sustained to improve the lives of school going children.

On ‘Planting for food and jobs’ policy, the finance minister said over 185, 970, 00 farmers had been registered to be enrolled on the programme to administer mechanized farming system in agricultural production.

He added that the selection of farmers from all the ten regions of the country in the exercise was to increase production of food and also create jobs at the local level.

The finance minister revealed that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire jointly produce 60% of world's cocoa, and are in talks to facilitate a strategy to determine a new producer price for cocoa.

He stressed that in an attempt to increase cocoa production in the next four years to 1 million metric tonnes, the government had subsidized fertilizer to farmers to GHC50.00.

Mr Ofori Atta told the House that a total of GHC 149,000,000 had been budgeted as allowances for teachers in the 2017.

On energy, he outlined government's quest to add 250 megawatts of power to the national grid to facilitate efficiency in the production sector of the economy.

He said his ministry was tackling a huge arrears in the energy sector by streamlining energy sector of the legacy debt.

The Finance Minister promised the House that the government would protect the public purse by ensuring prudent economic measures at all front.

He was optimistic that in spite of the difficulties the government inherited from the previous administration, it would sustain the gains made in macroeconomic stability and instill more confidence in the economy for both domestic and international investors.

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