Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin has said the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and his team cannot be accused by the Minority of mismanaging the economy.
He stated that the issues that are affecting the local economy are as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the ongoing warfare between Russia and Ukraine.
He noted that these two factors have affected every aspect of life.
Addressing the press in Parliament on Monday, July 25 after the Minority accused the Finance Minister of mismanaging the economy, the Effutu lawmaker said “should an NDC MP come to you and tell you that the difficult times that we are in is as a result of of mismanagement, obviously, it may be one of the numerous propaganda”.
“The world over, every government is complaining in one way or the other because Covid affected the supply chain, Covid affected industries, many companies shut down all over the world, we were all held as ‘prisoners’ in our homes because we needed to stay at home so that we will not escalate the spread of the Covid in our country.
“It affected production, the worst of it is that the current Russia-Ukraine war. Iron rods that are used by our private sector for construction come from Ukraine, obviously the supply chain is affected, obviously the cost of importing will not be the same as previous.
“Cement, the paper for bagging cement come from Russia. As we speak, companies that are involved in the manufacture of cement have difficulties in getting the requited quantities for bagging, it is affecting industry, flour, wheat, we know wheat come from Ukraine, quite a sizable percentage of world production of wheat come from Ukraine.
“Once there is this war, which is a force majeure, obviously you don’t expect things to be the way they were. So, for NDC to go to IMF when there was no such crisis to turn round and claim that they are better manager so the economy because we have to go to IMF now for sustainability, for fiscal support, for them to help us to balance our payment means Ken Ofori-Atta and his team are incompetent, in which to say this.”
The Minority described the 2022 mid-year budget review that was presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta as empty.
The opposition lawmakers say the Finance Minister missed an opportunity to address the key issues affecting the country, especially the public debt.
The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Member of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson said the presentation was “very empty. Everything in this country is not working yet the Minister responsible for Finance appeared before us and said nothing, he failed to address the very concerns of the ordinary Ghanaians.”
“Today, he comes here once again only to tell us that he has missed all the targets he set in the 2022 budget, every one of them, he could not achieve.
“Today, our public debt is in excess of 400billion cedis and yet the Minister in this document fails to talk about the public debt,” the Former Deputy Minister of Finance told journalists after the mid-year budget presentation in Parliament on Monday, July 25.
“We can do it, we have done it before,” he added.
The Finance Minister in the review announced that the Overall Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2021 grew strongly by 5.4 per cent compared to 0.5 percent recorded in 2020 and the revised 2021 annual target of 5.1 percent.
Presenting the budget in Parliament on Monday, July 25, he said, at the time of presenting the 2022 Budget in November last year, we
provided information on macroeconomic developments for the first nine months of the 2021 fiscal year.
“We now have received updated information through to end-December 2021, he said.
“Overall Real GDP for 2021 grew strongly by 5.4 percent compared to 0.5 percent recorded in 2020 and the revised 2021 annual target of 5.1 percent.”
“Non-oil GDP growth also increased to 6.9 percent compared to a growth of 1.0 percent recorded in 2020, and the revised 2021 target of 7.0 percent. The overall budget deficit of GH¢28,095 million (5.6% of GDP), against a deficit target of GH¢19,730 million (3.9% of GDP).”
“Primary balance for the period was a deficit of GH¢7,618 million (1.5% of GDP), against a deficit target of GH¢672 million (0.1% of GDP). Public-debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 76.6% at the end of 2021.”
Regarding the Macroeconomic Performance for half-year 2022, he said provisional Q1-2022 National Accounts Statistics published by Ghana
Statistical Service (GSS) in June 2022 shows that the overall real GDP growth for the first quarter of 2022 was 3.3 percent compared to 3.6 percent recorded in the same period Non-oil GDP for the first quarter of 2022 grew by 3.7 percent compared with the
Q1-2020 growth of 5.3 percent.
Regarding the revision to the 2022 Macroeconomic Framework, Mr Ofori-Atta said “as I have already indicated, the macroeconomic environment has significantly changed, prompting the revision of the macroeconomic framework.
“Furthermore, based on the developments for the first six months of 2022 and outlook for the rest of the year, we have accordingly revised the macro-fiscal targets for 2022 as follows: Overall GDP Growth rate of 3.7 percent down from 5.8 percent; Non-Oil GDP Growth rate of to 4.3 percent down from 5.9 percent, End period inflation of 28.5 percent up from 8 percent; The overall fiscal deficit of 6.6% of GDP down from 7.4%
“Primary surplus of 0.4% of GDP up from a surplus of 0.1% of GDP; and The Gross International Reserves of not less than 3 months import cover.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana