… As He touts 2018 as period of Economic Progress and Prosperity
The Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta has indicated that, Ghana will end its relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2018, and this will open up a lot of policy and economic options for the country.
Making a final statement on the floor of Parliament yesterday, marking the end of the debate for the approval of the 2018 Budget and Financial Statement of the government, the Minister said the economic management style of the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, made it imperative to seek refuge with the IMF, amidst its conditionality’s and restrictions, all aimed at bringing the economy back on track.
He revealed that, the prudent economic management so far exhibited by the government has made it possible for Ghana to wind itself off the arrangement successfully, now that the economy is stable and on full flight.
He said the erstwhile government disrespected, abandoned every single target and not a single target was achieved, especially in 2016.
He indicated that, in 2015, Parliament passed the Appropriation Act, where limits to revenues, expenditure and appropriation were set.
He said it is sad to note that not a single target in 2016 was achieved; revenue targets were not met, expenditure went through the roof, additional Four Billion Ghana Cedis (Gh¢ 4 billion) unapproved expenditures were made, arrears to be cleared were not cleared but rather increased, and this was the time that the IMF had been invited to provide policy credibility.
According to Mr. Ofori Atta, he inherited a PMF Act whose main objective was to ensure credibility.
He said Government came to the House in March 2017 to ensure the achievements of certain fiscal targets which government is on course of achievement, despite being under pressure to just borrow and spend, and government has tried very well to stay within limits provided for by the august House.
“For the first time in three years, government is meeting its fiscal targets and a surplus primary balance, lower inflation and interest rates, as well as higher import cover”. He noted.
He was particularly grateful to the house for the painstaking effort to scrutinize and add their input to the budget and assured the House that he will put to use all suggestions and comments of benefit to the economic agenda of the country.
Mr. Ofori Atta also took time to address all comments raised by the Minority especially, and took the opportunity to provide a Revised Budget in relation to section 28 of the PMF Act, 2016.
Story: Frederick E. Aggrey