General News of Tuesday, 1 August 2017
The Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central Isaac Adongo has described as ludicrous claims by Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, that the economy has bounced back following some prudent measures being pursued by the government.
Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed Monday July 31, 2017 while presenting the mid-year budget review, that macro-indicators for the first half of the year are pointing in the right direction.
He said: “Progressively, confidence is being restored in the economy and we are hopeful that it will be sustained. The macro-indicators for the first half of the year are pointing in the right direction. We replaced the 17.5% standard rate to a 3% flat rate. We reduced the special petroleum tax from 17.5 to 15% and abolished duties on spare parts.
“The deficit on commitment basis is now on 10.9%, up from the previous 10.3%. In recent years, the country accumulated high debts; our debt stock increased to GhC122bn, which is 1154%. We inherited a weak economy, characterized by high fiscal deficits.”
In his reaction, however, Mr. Adongo poo-pooed the Finance Minister’s claim saying “by the end of the first half of the year and if look at the statistics this an economy in reverse gear”.
He further noted in an interview with Starr Today’s Benard Nasara Saibu that “An economy that grew by 6.3percent without oil has now grown by 3.9percent the same period without oil. That is an economy in reverse gear an economy that you find that we are borrowing so extensively that the first quarter alone we have borrowed $5billion to add to our public debt and then every month from April we adding an additional $5billion to our public debt. That is very frightening and that clearly states that this is an economy that is clearly on a life support.”