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Business News Tue, 30 Jul 2019

Ghana may seek ‘bail out’ in less than two years after exit from IMF – Ato Forson

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Former Deputy Minister for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson has predicted that with the current fiscal challenges the country Ghana will seek a “bailout” from IMF less than two years after the exit.

Speaking at a press conference in response to the mid-year budget review, the minority spokesperson on Finance expressed shock at the swollen public debt.

He projects that government’s debt will reach GH¢220billion by the close of the 2019 fiscal year.

He said “Surprisingly government has cosmetically posted a positive primary balance for two consecutive years at the time when the public debt has ballooned to GH¢204 billion. This has clearly exposed this cosmetic approach to fiscal accounting”.

“We project that based on government’s appetite for borrowing and the current trend, our public debt will reach GH¢220 billion the close of the 2019 fiscal year, representing about 62% of GDP. This would mean that in three years, president Akufo-Addo would have added GHC100 billion to public debt.”

This, according to the minority, only represents what has been added since 2017.

“President Akufo-Addo has borrowed about GH¢160million since 2017 with part of it used for debt reprofiling. The public debt would exceed the projected GH¢220 billion, once drawdown begins for a number of loans approved by parliament. This rapid increase in the public debt level means that we have reached a point of debt unsustainability, a fact confirmed by the World Bank country.”

The minority added that the mid-year budget review clearly shows that the public finances are in “dire straits and the resort to additional tax measures is an indication of the troubling times that we are in”.

They insist that the mid-year budget presented by Finance Minister only offers gloom and portend very difficult times for all Ghanaians.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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