General News of Monday, 31 July 2017
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s maiden budget statement has brought relief to Ghanaians, by stabilizing and putting the economy on the track for development.
This was revealed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta who said the government’s maiden budget statement has brought Ghanaians hope.
The 2017 Budget, which was the first of the NPP government since assuming power on January 7, 3017, was presented to Parliament by Mr Ofori-Atta on March 2, 2017, which he described as the Asempa Budget.
Presenting the midyear review of the 2017 budget statement, the Minister recalled that : “ on the 2nd of March, 2017, I stood before this honourable house to present to you the President’s first budget statement; The Asempa Budget which brought hope back to Ghanaians and sowed the seeds for growth, prosperity and jobs.”
The Minister indicated that “after the approval of the budget” government “went to work in a hurry to deliver on the first important job of bringing back stability and predictability into the economy.”
He pointed out that due to government’s “prudent economic policies, improved fiscal discipline and competent management of the economy, the macro indicators for the first half of the year are pointing in the right direction.
The Minister’s view of the 2017 budget is in sharp contrast to the Minority’s who have argued that it ignored essential sectors of the economy.
While the Majority insisted the budget would grow the economy, create jobs and support the growth of local businesses, the Minority projected the opposite.
New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah for instance, rubbished claims that Akufo-Addo administration’s maiden budget statement did not have plans to tackle the depreciating Cedi.
He asserted that, the government did indeed propose clear policies, anchored in fiscal discipline, to tackle the depreciation of the Cedi, contrary to the opinion of some critics.
After six days of intense debate , Parliament subsequently approved the budget statement.
The 2017 budget heralded the abolition and review of some 12 key taxes in the aviation, finance and real estate industries, aimed at providing a friendly environment for businesses in the country.
Most notably, taxes on head porters ‘Kayayei’, and duties on imported spare parts were abolished to the glee of stakeholders.