Business News of Friday, 9 November 2018
The budget statement and economic policy for 2019 will fuel massive infrastructure development without compromising on debt sustainability, government has assured.
Planned high expenditure on capital investments is expected to significantly increase liquidity in the economy and put money in the pockets of many Ghanaians.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who announced this said cabinet is reviewing the budget while preparations are underway to present it to Parliament.
$2bn Synohydro deal for infrastructure
Even though he did not put out figures, he said government expects to start receiving funds from the $2billion Synohydro bauxite trade off deal target at infrastructure such as roads, health facilities among others.
$1.5bm GETFund loan
In addition, government through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) is also chasing $1.5billion loan facility of which $500million is expected to be spent on completing uncompleted school projects starting next year.
Despite the planned massive capital investments, Mr Oppong Nkrumah is optimistic government will maintain and possibly improve on the restored fiscal discipline.
He told journalists at the Meet – The – Press series yesterday in Accra that heightened growth would also be sustained.
The minister pledged government’s commitment to expand credit to Small and Medium scale Enterprise (SMEs).
He further stated that the 2019 budget will mark the beginning of Ghana’s exit from the IMF programme under which Ghana sought almost $918m, over three years with conditions attached.
“The administration has in the first 2 years raced to correct slippages from set targets under the program and is hopeful for a successful exit at the end of this year.
“ The improved Macro environment is evinced by the reduced Policy rate, reduced inflation, reduced fiscal deficit, improved growth, improved reserves and improved credit ratings” he stated.
Additionally, he said administration has also rolled out the biggest social spending activities in our recent history. This includes the Free SHS programme, expanded school feeding programme and initiatives such as the Planting for Food and Jobs.
According to him, the 2019 budget is designed to bring more relief, hope and improvement in the standard of living of our people. The Hon Minister for Finance will demonstrate to Ghanaians how, as we exit the IMF program the Akufo-Addo administration intends to do the following;
“We do not claim to have finished solving all of Ghana’s problems. But our work in the first two years is a good foundation which should enable us do more in the coming years to further cushion the Ghanaian and even push him/her towards a more comfortable life in the medium term.” he noted.