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Business News Mon, 29 Jun 2020

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Investment in health, agriculture in mid-year budget to spur growth – Economist

An Economist, Prof. Godfred Bopkin, has said investments towards the health and agriculture sectors must be a priority for government to spur economic when it presents the mid-year budget statement come July.

According to him, other pillars for growth which must be critically looked at in the mid-year budget should be the investments towards Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb on Monday, June 29, Prof. Bopkin said: “It is common knowledge now that health sector is going to be a priority for government in the mid-year budget because years of underfunding and neglect has been exposed by COVID-19 pandemic and to that extent, it is prudent for government to signal the policy intent. So, the mid-year budget review and supplementary estimate should give government the platform to place that good intention into motion and operationalize it.”

He added; “Other critical sectors apart from health to spur economic growth, will be to elevate spending in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT) that will be infused across all sectors of the society. “

Prof. Bopkin explained investment towards ICT in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will fast tracked the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution predicated on networking.

“It is imperative for us as a country to scale up the digital infrastructure of every Ghanaian to be able to participate in the digital economy,” he concluded.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is expected to review some of the key macroeconomic targets announced in the 2020 budget which was initially targeted at expanding infrastructure, particularly roads.

With some of government's targets and expenditure now in disarray due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country has already recording a huge decline in revenue from the port, petroleum revenue receipts as well as tax revenue due to economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.

The pandemic, according to the Finance Minister will cost Ghana about GH¢9.5 billion which will negatively affect Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, leading to an ultimate fiscal gap of GH¢11.4 billion.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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