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Business News Tue, 14 Nov 2017

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Ghana’s debt to hit GHS150bn; Minority predicts hardship in 2018

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The Minority in Parliament has predicted doom for Ghana, as Government prepares to read its second budget on Wednesday.

The ranking Member on Finance, who doubles as Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam in the Central Region, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, made the assertion at a media conference. According to him, the rate at which the Akufo-Addo government is borrowing will certainly return Ghana to a heavily indebted poor country status.

Mr. Forson, thus, warned Ghanaians to gird their loins for hardships next year.

On economic growth, the ex-Deputy Finance Minister said, “available data from a 2017 article (IV) consultation, projects an overall GDP growth of about 5.9 percent in 2017, driven by a 42.5 percent growth in the oil and gas component of the GDP (oil and gas GDP), with non-oil GDP projected to grow at 4 percent.

The data also projects an overall GDP growth of 8.9 percent in 2018, again driven by 64.9 percent growth in the oil and gas GDP, with non-oil GDP growth projected at 5 percent. On the other hand, the boost in projected growth levels of 42.5 percent in 2017 and 64.9 percent in 2018 is the result of the personal commitment of H.E John Dramani Mahama to restore energy supply (emergency power) as well as revamp and direct investments to the sector during his reign as President of the Republic.”

The Minority is also expecting the government to give clear indication of the abolishing of the Fiscal Stabilization Levy since it has achieved its purpose.

It is Mr. Ato Baah Forson’s conviction that the current regime disrespected Ghanaians for failing to apologise after breaking its promise not to borrow.

“The Vice President and the Finance Minister are yet to apologize to Ghanaians for boldly asserting that they would not borrow, if elected into office; following a clear breach of this campaign commitment. The national debt has ballooned alarmingly within the 11months that the Akufo-Addo government has been in charge. At the last reckoning, the public debt had increased from GHs122.6 billion in January, 2017 to GHs138.6 billion as of June and is set to increase – due to recent developments – to 150 billion by end December 2017,” Mr. Ato Forson concluded.

On his part, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu called it a joke the statement by President Akufo-Addo that the 2018 fiscal policy will seek to reduce electricity tariffs, asking the whereabouts of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission.

Speaking to Television Africa’s Kodwo Mensah Aboroampa on the sideline of the event, a Minister of Trade and Industry under the Mahama administration, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, scored the Akufo-Addo’s 2017 budget performance just “twenty to thirty percent.”

Source: TV Africa News

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