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Govt’s borrowing to bloat debt stock by GHc16bn – Minority predicts

The Minority in Parliament is projecting an addition of GHc16 billion to Ghana’s public debt stock.

The public debt stock as at August 2018, stood at GHc159.4 billion up from GH¢122 billion some two years ago.

According to the Minority, government’s appetite for borrowing has been compounded by the need for them to raise capital, not for infrastructure, but consumption.

The comments come as the Finance Minister prepares to deliver the 2019 budget on Thursday, November 15, 2015.

Speaking at a pre-budget roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, said the Akufo-Addo Administration has failed to live up to its promise not to engage in reckless borrowing.

“In the year 2019, they [NPP government] will add about 16 billion to our debt. This will take our total public debt to about 186 billion by close of year 2019. The Akufo-Addo government appears to have pumped a large chunk of its money into consumption as there is virtually no capital investment to show for his level of borrowing,” he said.

Ato Forson insisted that “the foregoing shows clearly that the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice President misled Ghanaians with their claims on borrowing while in opposition, instead, they have resorted to the very thing they condemned just two years ago. Where is the president’s ability to develop Ghana without taxation and borrowing which he touted so much in opposition?”?

Ato Forson, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency in the Central Region, said information available to them, shows that some policies in the yet-to-be presented 2019 budget, will turn President Akufo-Addo’s ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ mantra, to a “Ghana beyond hell.”

“We say Ghana beyond hell because in the year 2017, the budget was named ‘asempa’ budget, meaning good news. But at the end, what did we see? We saw ‘asembone’ budget meaning bad news. In the year 2018, the budget was named ‘adwuma’ budget, meaning we were going to expect more employment, but what are we witnessing now? We are witnessing job losses, layoffs, and no jobs. President Akufo-Addo announced that the 2019 budget will be full of hope. But judging from the outcome of the 2017 and 2018 budget and economic policy statement, what should we expect in the 2019 budget? Hopelessness,” he added.

Analysts have expressed concerns over the growing debt stock.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had earlier admonished Ghana to put stringent measures in its 2019 budget to check revenue shortfall.

 

source: citinewsroom

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