Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has stated that government’s maiden budget statement has brought relief to Ghanaians, by stabilizing and putting the economy on the right track for development.
Presenting the midyear review of the 2017 budget statement yesterday , the Minister recalled that : “ on the 2nd of March, 2017, I stood before this honourable house to present to you the President’s first budget statement; The Asempa Budget which brought hope back to Ghanaians and sowed the seeds for growth, prosperity and jobs.”
The Minister indicated that “after the approval of the budget” government “went to work in a hurry to deliver on the first important job of bringing back stability and predictability into the economy.”
According to him due to government’s “prudent economic policies, improved fiscal discipline and competent management of the economy, the macro indicators for the first half of the year are pointing in the right direction. “
He went on to say that the 2017 budget is in sharp contrast to the Minority’s who have argued that it ignored essential sectors of the economy.
While the Majority insisted the budget would grow the economy, create jobs and support the growth of local businesses, the Minority projected the opposite.
Meanwhile A former Deputy Minister of Finance, Casiel Ato Forson has ridiculed the government’s mid year budget review, saying it failed to live up to expectation.
Speaking a few minutes after Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta’s presentation in Parliament, Mr. Forson said government has failed to achieve its revenue targets.
“Government has failed to achieve its revenue targets. We are cutting down on the budget for goods and services by GhC 600 million. We are paying people but they don’t have the resources to work with. The budget is being revised from Asempa budget to Asembↄne budget.
“The expectation was that from q1 to q2 the outturn will be 2.7 billion but the outturn is 2.1 billion which is another cut. What this means is that there is a shortfall of almost 600 million. Put the two together. Tax revenue and non tax revenue. The shortfall so far is GHC 2. 7 billion,” Ato Forson said.
He believes the Finance Minister only presented “cosmetic figures” in Parliament to hoodwink Ghanaians.
“The numbers that we are seeing here are cosmetic. Government is accumulating arrears and failing to pay contractors. This is artificially compressed