Ghana’s debt passes GHS300bn

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Data released by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Ghana’s total public debt stock indicate that the debt stock has crossed GHS 300billion.

The 2021 budget statement pegged the debt at GHS291.6 billion. However, the central bank’s latest figures indicate a sharp increase in the debt by GHS13billion, representing 4 per cent.

It is recalled that soon after the 2021 budget statement was read, analsysts expressed fears that the debt stock would increase.

Dr Lord Mensah, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, said a critical analysis of the budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year shows that Ghana’s debt situation has gone beyond the 76 per cent to record 85 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday March 27 in relation to the vetting of Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori Atta, Dr Lord Mensah said “If you go through the interest payment that we are supposed to  have , the financing gap we have created  out of the budget  is about 41billion and over  which we are going to finance  and then in the same budget it was stated  that our debt stock was around  240 plus billion.

“If you put all these together and then you relate it to our GDP which is about  440plus billion , you will realize that we are heading towards about 85 per cent  for more than the 76 per cent that has been put out.

“If you look at the budget we are hitting around 85 per cent. If you look at the recent statement that came from the World Bank they are projecting our debt by 2023 to be about 81 per cent of our GDP. I was not surprised.”

Regarding the new taxes that have been introduced in the budget, he told host of the show Abena Tabi that “If you underreport and in the end you turn around and tell them to pay something it will be difficult to explain that to them.

“So, reporting and fully reporting discourse is very important. When it comes to public service there is nothing like mandatory disclosure and then disclosure that you can hold on.

“ For me, the more information you give out to the public the better it is for them to understand you when you are going out with your fiscal policies by introducing taxes. I think we should better in reporting.

“But I understand where the Finance Minister  is coming from because , these are information that when it get out there  people will be saying even our debt level  is now 80 to 85 per cent  but implicitly  if you take the budget critically  and you analyze , you will realize that  the debt that we have in there  as expected by end of the year  is even more than 85 per cent of our GDP.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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