The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has taken a swipe at President John Mahama for his insatiable appetite for contracting loans, querying the government about the whereabouts of $23 billion contracted as loans in the last six years.
The Minority asked the government to account to Ghanaians what it had used all loans amounting to a whopping $27 billion contracted under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in six years, adding that by its calculations, the government had used just $3.42 billion on various development projects across the country and therefore wanted the government to account for the remainder of the money totaling about $23 billion.
“We in the Minority will fight to ensure that the government accounts for every penny of loans contracted in the name of Ghanaians,” Minority Leader Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu said at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
He hinted that the Minority had filed an urgent question in Parliament asking the Minister of Finance to come and give details of how the $27 billion contracted by the government had been expended.
The minority leader pointed out that 94% of increased government expenditure had been for recurrent expenditure, adding that the increase in government debt over the past five years could have been used to build at least 15,000km of asphalted road in the country.
“It is an amount that could have solved Ghana’s energy, water and sanitation problems,” he stressed.
Warning that Ghana might be on the road to HIPC once again, he said the current unbridled borrowing was putting the country at a great risk.
“As of 2008, Ghana’s total public debt stood at GHÈ»9.5 billion (33% of GDP). In the last six years, however, the stock of public debt has risen dramatically to GHÈ»70 billion (60.8% of GDP) as at September 2014. This is an increase in the stock of debt by GHÈ»60.5 billion or the equivalent of some $27 billion using the average exchange rate for 2009-2014 or $17.5 billion at
The Minority predicted that the ruling NDC government would definitely present a review of the 2015 budget statement to Parliament in March this year, considering the jaundiced nature of the budget and the unrealistic and missed targets it envisages as a result of the implementation of the Interantional Monetory Fund (IMF) induced programmes.
He said the 17.5% tax on petroleum would further increase the already high cost of doing business in the country in 2015 while prices of all goods and services would be affected.
ulture and industry sectors that could propel growth in the economy and provide answers to the unemployment situation saw serious underfunding in the 2015 budget and that could have disastrous implications for the country.
“The Transformational Agenda’ of the 2015 budget statement and economic policy of the government can only be a forlorn hope without any factual and fiscal basis”.
The minority leader said the 2015 budget would not provide any better condition of services for teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants and workers in general.
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