We’ll deliver with 5 loaves of bread, 2 fishes – Ofori-Atta

Ken Budget March Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Thu, 2 Mar 2017 Source: starrfmonline.com

The Akufo-Addo government is ready to salvage the ailing Ghanaian economy with the scanty resources at its disposal, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has said.

Presenting the government’s maiden budget statement to Parliament Thursday March 2, 2017, he said the president believes in value for money because he knows more can be achieved with discipline.

Sounding Biblical, he said: “Mr. Speaker, I see our nation with this overwhelming election mandate as all having decided to withdraw in unison like Jesus to a remote place, Mr. Speaker, only to discover that we have five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed our 25 million plus fellow citizens.

“But herein lies the genius of the Ghanaian for we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

As you can see, Mr. Speaker, with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, President Akufo-Addo’s budget has tackled the five structural pillars of revenue, expenditure, earmarked funds, labour and our debt.”

He said among other things that he would clampdown on “inefficiencies and waste” in government spending” saying it will not be tolerated. He said the government will work to reduce the amount of government borrowing and the resulting crowding of the private sector.

The government, he said will shift the focus of the country’s economic management from taxation to production.

“Ghana is ready because the people are ready. In NPP, Ghanaians have a government that is ready to work,” he stated, adding “We must trigger a national sense of urgency to fix our deficits [and] that we can’t borrow our way out of our challenges.”

Re-echoing president Akufo-Addo’s claims that the Ghanaian economy is in tatters, Mr. Ofori-Atta said that; “let’s acknowledge that we inherited a struggling economy in which we are all responsible.”

The country’s debt stock, he said reached an average of 73% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as at the end of 2016. The rate of economic growth slowed in recent years he indicated with the growth rate in 2016 being as low as 6.3%.

As a result, he said: “The economic challenges we face requires deliberate steps and the backing of Ghanaians. Our goal is to build the most business-friendly economy in Africa.”

He promised to strike a balance between fiscal consolidation and growth.

Revenue administration, he said remains a challenge promising that the Akufo-Addo government will strengthen tax administration and broaden the tax base.

Read the full statement below

Source: starrfmonline.com
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