General News of Tuesday, 1 August 2017
A National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central constituency, Isaac Adongo has said the governing New Patriotic Party increased Ghana’s debt stock by GHc3 billion every month since it came into office on January 7.
According to Adongo, a Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, the governing party has increased the country’s debt stock by GHC15 billion within a period of five months.
“We are told that we are re-profiling out debt and our debt will not go up. The reality is that only in the first quarter of the year, we added 5 billion to our public debt. By May in five months we increased it to 15billion. That means in April we increased it by 5 billion and in May we increased it by another 5 billion. That tells you that we are growing our public debt by an average of 3 billion a month over five months,” he added.
The MP made the statement on the Floor of Parliament after the Minister of Finance; Ken Ofori-Atta presented the mid-year budget review in Parliament on Monday.
Economy is on life support
Mr. Adongo further chastised the NPP for taking credit for some gains made in Ghana’s economy saying the NDC administration must be commended for laying the foundation.
“It is only under this government that you bring a budget that is approved on 31st of March and by 1st of April you take credit for January, February and March. But what is the reality? The reality is very simple. Figures released by the Ghana Statistical service indicate that as at June, Ghana’s economy minus oil and gas grew by 3.9%. in the same period last year without oil, John Dramani Mahama’s government was 6.3%. Now we are being told that when you move 6.3% to 3.9% that is a growth of the economy.”
“Gross international reserves means nothing if you don’t compare the depreciation of the cedi, in the same period last year our cedi depreciated by 0.04% now it did 2.5%. So when you depreciate your cedi by 2.5% it is better than 0.04% where did you get that analysis from? At the end of the day you are taking credit when you are yet to be on the feet. Mr. Speaker this economy is under life support and any attempt to do propaganda with the economy will expose us,” he argued.
Debt stock hits GHc137 billion
New figures from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) show that the country’s total public debt hit GHS137.2 billion as at May 2017.
This was contained in the economic and financial data released by the central bank at the end of its Monetary Policy Committee meeting.
According to the report, the debt stock increased by GHc9.4 billion in three months from GHc127.8 billion to GHc137.2 billion.