Be realistic in attempt to reduce fiscal deficit – Terkper to govt

Former Finance Minister, Mr Seth Terkper has asked the government to face the reality in its attempt to lower the fiscal deficit.

He asked the government to do more in introducing prudent fiscal policies to ensure that the objective is achieved.

Speaking at the fourth edition of the Media General’s Economic Dialogue series on Thursday April 1, Mr Tekrper said “We probably need to do more and growth will come. But we must be realistic. My analysis of the government’s own data suggests that we are going to be shrinking the deficit but if you add up arrears then your deficit remains above 10 per cent.”

Meanwhile a senior policy advisor at the Finance Ministry Dr Nii Ashong said the government prioritized saving lives of the people against the coronavirus pandemic.

He said at the same event that “We are where we are because of history. Revenues have not gown enough.

“We have a lot of revenues earmarked, about 35 per cent, the extra 65 per cent not enough so you have got to borrow to take care of the other projects.

“Lowering the deficits while people die out of covid-19 not the best so you will do whatever it is to protect lives and property. When the dust settles something have to give.”

Vice President of Imani Africa Mr Bright Simons also noted that Ghana’s debt servicing is catastrophic.

Speaking during the event he said “debt service situation is bad, it is catastrophic.”

His comment was corroborated by Dr Nii Noi Ashong, who then suggested that “So, we will need to reduce the stock. So what Bright is talking about, the Zero coupon for instance, you can use it to reduce the stock so that interest payment will be reduced.”

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The 2021 budget statement presented to parliament by leader of government business Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the total debt rose from 122billion in 2019 to 291.6billion as at the end of December 2020.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana


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