General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
The Minority in Parliament has accused the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta of cooking figures on the performance of the economy for the first half of the financial year 2017.
Mr. Ofori-Atta told Parliament in his mid-year review budget presentation that the 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.”
But the Minority at a press conference Wednesday addressed by former deputy Minister of Finance Cassiel Ato Forson questioned the veracity of the figures presented by the Minister.
According to him, the figures by the Minister were doctored to make government’s economic performance look good.
He said “the attention of the Minority in parliament has been drawn to the reversal of interest payment of a colossal amount GHc758.5million and a review of the GDP without a formal Ghana Statistical Service data. At the end of end of the fiscal year 2016, we noticed that paragraph 14 and 15 of the mid-year review that the Minister of Finance presented to this honorable house on the 31st July 2017, it is quite clear the Minister made this reversal which violates the long standing cut off fiscal rules for the sole purposes of making the government’s dismal performance for the first half of the year 2017 look good.”