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General News Thu, 16 Nov 2017

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2018 Budget: Seth Terkper mocks government for borrowing

Former Finance minister Seth Terkper is mocking the Akufo-Addo government for still borrowing despite assurances, while in opposition, that they would not borrow for development when in government.

According to the Central Bank, the total public debt for the country as at May this year reached ¢137 billion putting the debt-to-GDP ratio at 67.5%.

In the first quarter of 2017, the government raised GHC17.4 billion with additional GHC22.2 billion raised in the second quarter.

The Bank of Ghana report said the debt stock increased by ¢9.4 billion in three months from ¢127.8 billion to ¢137.2 billion.

Despite claims by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta that government is borrowing into productive sectors of the economy, Mr. Terkper told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Thursday that the trend is dangerous.

“We were told there wouldn’t be any borrowing at all. We were made to understand there was going to be some magic wand. How come we are borrowing in the first place? I have some sympathy for those who say we should look at what we have on the grounds. When we were getting the World Bank Guarantee in 2015, we were told we couldn’t borrow to pay debt,” he said.

On issues in the Cocoa sector, Terkper said “The least developed areas are the cocoa growing regions. We wanted COCOBOD to look at financing economic and social infrastructure and alleviating poverty. We established the Cocoa Trust so that COCOBOD will have a trust for social program”.

Source: starrfmonline.com

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