Cedi stabilisation not artificial - Ofori-Atta
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has dismissed assertions that the stabilisation of the cedi against major currencies especially the US dollar is artificial.
According to him, government has been consistent in tackling the variables of revenue and expenditure. He made these remarks when he addressed the press at the State House on Wednesday, 12 April.
“I think in the end it really depends on us as a people in terms of the confidence we have to be able to be more productive as a people. We as a government, the president is quite clear we should work extremely hard and look at all the indices that create stability and that’s what we are tackling,” he stated, adding: “I’m not sure that there is any issue of artificiality in this because all we have done has been consistently tackling the variables of revenue, expenditure. Capping the earmarked funds was important because it gave us fiscal space and I guess we have to work with labour unions to get some good stability and as we focus on the debt and the debt continues to come down we should be able to sustain it.”
He noted that his ministry was only obeying directives from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to get the economy back on track.
“We’ve been working hard since we came. The president was clear that we should be in a hurry and we should create the environment in which the private sector will be able to perform and there will be more predictability in the way in which the economy runs and how people will plan,” he added.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that the budget was aimed at putting the economy back on track, saying: “The budget clearly indicated what I term a preferential option for the poor, at the same time a private sector-led growth. So by abolishing those taxes and creating the tax relief, clearly I think it created economic freedom for people to feel energised and for the entrepreneurial spirit of Ghanaians to come out. So I know with that energy we began to see a pickup in productivity.”
He expressed confidence in the economy due to policies already put in place by government. “The Bank of Ghana went on to reduce the interest rate by 200 basis points and that’s a good indicator of where things are going and then we are also quite blessed with the relationships and networks we have to be able to reduce some of our debt to about $2billion, and I think that kind of cemented the fact that the momentum is building. There is both domestic and international confidence in what we are doing and my suspicion is that we also do administrative things to tighten our sources of foreign exchange,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.