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Fri, Dec

2018 Budget Has Huge Credibility - Finance Minister

Business & Economy

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has told Parliament that the 2018 ‘Adwuma’ budget has a huge credibility, giving hope to the nation and geared towards job and wealth creation.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has told Parliament that the 2018 ‘Adwuma’ budget has a huge credibility, giving hope to the nation and geared towards job and wealth creation.

 

According to Mr Ofori Atta, even though in 2016, not single a fiscal target was met, in the period of 2017, after the NPP had taken over the management of the economy, all the set targets were met.

"Mr. Speaker in November 2015, this House passed an Appropriation Act which set limits for which major fiscal targets like revenue, expenditures and financial were set. Mr. Speaker, it is sad to note that not a single fiscal target in 2016 was met or achieved. If you look at pages 43 and 46 of the 2017 mid-year review on the fiscal performance, you notice that every fiscal target in 2016 was disrespected, abandoned, and not achieved. Mr. Speaker not one target was honoured,” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta made these remarks yesterday when he appeared before Parliament to move a motion for the House to approve the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending December 31, 2018.

"Mr. Speaker, this budget spells out hope and a road map to jobs, a nation indeed putting itself back to work,” the finance Minister said.

Mr Ofori Atta disclosed that government would end its relationship with the International Monetary Fund by the close of the year.

He added that the 2018 budget is targeting 4.5% deficit, 8.9% inflation, primary balance of 1.6%, reserves of 3.5 months above and a GDP growth of 6.8%.

The finance minister told the House that his ministry was following due process in relation to the budget and would not go contrary to the Act as provided by Parliament.

The Finance Minister called on the Members of Parliament to embrace and engage 2018 with a spirit of courage, love, and discipline to move Ghana beyond aid.

"I invite the minority to join us in this exciting odyssey in 2018 in making an irreversible stop at Ghana beyond aid to fulfill the dream of the president," Ken Ofori-Atta said.

In defining the Ghana beyond aid, the Minister explained that it means a self-confident society, a middle income society, a globally and competitive modern economy and making Ghana the most business friendly economy in Africa.

According to the minister, the president's vision is to make Ghana the best economy in Africa and would continue to adopt the best economic policies to push the agenda.

Both the minority and the majority leaders concluded their submissions on the 2018 budget.

In his submission the Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, questioned the credibility of the budget, adding that government was funding the nurses and teachers trainees’ allowances with statutory funds.

"How sustainable is this programme?” he asked.

Mr Iddrissu argued that the economy was in financial distress with government owning contractors.

The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu, held that the budget was to create equal opportunity for all Ghanaians to improve their economic and social status.

He stated that the New Patriotic Party government are better economic managers of the country than the NDC.

He said this was evident in the number of policies put in place by the Akufo-Addo-led government. He described the 3.8% GDP performance in 2016 as the worst in the country's history for the last 16 years.

The majority leader also stressed that the Ghana Buffer Stock Company will employ a number of people to reduce unemployment in the country.

He added that redeveloping the railway sector as well as the artificial pollination programmes are all forms of job creation which the budget sought to create.

Parliament thereafter approved the 2018 budget.

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