Politics Fri, 5 Apr 2019

NDC can't roll out policies in 2020 because NPP has badly managed the economy - Ato Forson to Mahama

Former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson, is so sure of an NDC victory in the 2020 General Elections so much so that, he has asked former President and presidential candidate of the opposition party, John Dramani Mahama to set up a new fiscal team because the ruling administration has completely destroyed the fundamentals of the economy.

According to him, the NDC under Mr Mahama in 2020 cannot roll out any meaningful policy because of how bad the current economic management team is managing the economy.

Speaking at a lecture organized by the NDC in response to issues raised by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia during a Town Hall Meeting, Ato Forson said: "I wish to state that unfortunately the way this administration is trying to manage this economy,…your excellency let me say that your administration will have a lot of work to do. We will need to reset the entire fiscal framework, the entire monetary framework before we can roll out our policies".

He further recommended that the former President and his team "start immediately to work because the way this administration is trying to manage the economy is not the best and they will end up destroying the fundamentals of the economy".

Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia on Wednesday said, the government has performed creditably well compared to the Mahama administration in stabilizing the cedi against major trading currencies.

He said the worst performance of the cedi under the Akufo-Addo government is far above the best performance of the cedi under the Mahama government.

“If you look on the screen, it gives you the fundamentals as we had it in 2014 and 2018. Every single one of them: real GDP growth, inflation, the fiscal balance, the wage bill, wage bill-to-GDP, gross debt, interest rate, current account, all the fundamentals, you’ll see that we were in a much weaker position in 2014 compared to 2018. So, ladies and gentlemen, how have the cedi performed recently? At the end of December 2017, the cedi had cumulatively depreciated by 4.9 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent in 2016. And this was the cedi’s best performance since 2011. And at the end of 2017, we had the best performance of the cedi till 2011.

“The cedi, however, depreciated by 8.4 per cent in 2018 largely on account of the emerging market pressure and US interest rate increase.

“The data on the annual rate of depreciation of the cedi in recent years show that the worst performance of the cedi so far under the NPP government, the 8.4 per cent depreciation that we saw since 2018, that worst performance is better than the best performance under the previous government between 2012 and 2016. So our worst is better than your best. And when you say this, this one is more like boot-for- chalewote.

Ladies and gentlemen, the start of 2019 has been characterised by another sudden sharp depreciation of the cedi which has largely been reversed. Within a week, the cedi went up close to GHS5.9 to the dollar and then it retreated back to GHS5.07 and even was threatening to go below GHS5 but this is really an unprecedented development – that you don’t normally see such a retreat when the exchange rate depreciates. And you’ll see that in this period when there was a reversal in the cedi depreciation, the Bank of Ghana had not intervened in the market”, Dr Bawumia said.

But Ato Forson, who is the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, pooh-poohed the Vice President's remarks, accusing him playing with numbers and presenting lies as facts.

“You heard him talk about the likes of the judiciary and the court systems. What has that got to do with the economic management team? He had nothing to say. He was just playing with numbers. And again, you know him and his credentials of lying with numbers. You could see lies,” Ato Forson said.

Source: peacefmonline.com
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