General News of Friday, 23 November 2018
Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has posited that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have a lot of opportunities to manage the country well given the fact that we have three oil fields.
In giving his ”fair assessment” of the 2019 budget, the former minister said, you wouldn’t expect the Minister of Finance to present a budget and everything about the budget would be said to be good or bad.
“And so my fair assessment is that this government has the opportunity given the fact that we now have three oil fields, given the fact that there is global recovery…’’
Mr Terkper told sit-in-host of Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM that, the NPP could have performed better due to the opportunities they have as compared to what the NDC had.
According to him, the NDC laid a solid foundation for the new government, resolved the energy crisis popularly known as ‘dumsor’.
He also said other African countries excluding Ghana went into economic recession and it was through prudent economic management by the Mahama led administration.
On crude oil, he said, the previous administration’s average was between 75,000-80,000 but the ruling government is close to 180,000 barrels per day.
“Before we left office the price was $40 but today it is close to $80. We also have more gas, which should have stabilized power… The global economy is recovering, America is recovering, China recovered, India recovered, part of the EU recovered and so if you have to assess what is going on, where is the growth coming from? The growth is coming from 2017. We [NDC] predicted it.’’
Mr Terkper said the NDC predicted that the economy will recover and so “this government should be assessed on what more they have added.’’
Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the budget statement last week said the expected grants for the 2019 fiscal year year is GHc58.9 million; representing 17.1 percent of the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Government has also targeted 7.6 economic growth in 2019 from the 6.8% in 2018.
Presenting the 2019 budget statement in parliament Thursday Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said the fiscal year also targets a single-digit inflation of 8.0% a fiscal deficit of 4.2% of GDP and a gross international reserves to cover not less than 3.5 months imports.
In 2018, end-period of inflation was 8.9%, fiscal deficit of 4.5% of GDP (3.7%) in the rebased series), primary surplus of 1.7% of GDP (1.4% in the rebased economy), Gross International Reserves to cover not less than 3.5 months of import of goods and services.
However, as at the end of September 2018, figures show that real GDP grew by 5.4% in the first half of 2018. Also, non-oil real GDP grew by 4.65 compared to the 2018 target of 5.8%; end-period inflation rate declined from 11.8% at the end 0f 2017 to 9.8% at the end of September 2018, and further to 9.5% in October 2018.