Terkper insists debt stock is declining, Minority in parliament disagree

Finance Minister Seth Terkper has insisted that Ghana’s debt stock will decline as it shows signs of reduction.

A  Bank of Ghana (BoG) summary of Economic and Financial Data released in September this year indicated that Ghana’s total public debt had hit almost GHC110 billion as at July this year.

But Mr. Terkper, speaking to Citi Business News insisted that debt stock has started to decline while growth increases.

Citing a slowdown in the budget deficit as an improving benchmark, Mr. Terkper insisted that the ministry has adopted adequate measures for statutory payment to reduce borrowing to improve the debt stock.

“We’ve also made provision for statutory fund payment which are legislative but even there, where it is paid quarterly in arrears ,we do not pay in advance, we defer and wait for the quarter when it is deferred to raise the funds,” he said.

“This is one the techniques we have actually been using to reduce the debt ratio as I said it was expected that the debt would ballooned to about 99 percent , we all know that it tipped off between 68 and 72 percent over a two year period  and then the stock has started to decline and we expect that it will decline because of the fact that Ghana is going back to growth, the denominator which is your debt to GDP ratio increase,” he added.

But is sharp rebuttal, a Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah told Citi Business News the Finance Minister has borrowed and expended on recurrent expenditure.

He argued that Ghana’s growing debt stock is worrying, contrary to assurances given by the minister.

“We have always said that this government’s penchant for borrowing is what has left us in this current state, where inflation is high, interest rates are high, and the cost of the loans itself are always going up,” he lamented.

By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana