Gov’t not being candid about economy with absence of supplementary budget – Terkper
Former Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper, has said government is not being candid about the country’s economic challenges to Ghanaians over its decision not to have a supplementary budget for the second half of 2022.
The former Minister is of the opinion that, a supplementary budget for the remaining half of the year should have been brought before Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during his presentation of the 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review.
Speaking to the media on the 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review presentation by the Finance Minister, Mr Terkper noted the 2022 budget has already been ‘rejected’ by the international market and hence keeping it intact does not inure to the benefit of the Ghanaian economy.
“No supplementary budget in the presentation of the mid-year budget review is not being candid to ourselves, because the various multilateral institutions and the market at large have already passed their judgement on it and will not reverse course,” he remarked.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament during the 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review presentation, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, stated government will not request supplementary funds for its activities for the rest of the year.
Government, he said, will use the windfall from the upstream petroleum sector to make up for its revenue shortfall in the 2022 budget.
Government in the 2022 budget set aside some GHS 137.5bn to spend as its expenditure for the year.
Although, he lamented about the impact of the external factors that has crippled the revenue sectors of the economy, he insisted that government will judiciously use the scarce resources at its disposal for the benefit of Ghanaians.
“We have seen some major shifts in our budget assumptions compared to November 2021, when we presented the budget. These changes have led to reduced revenues, increased interest payments and changes in interest rates and exchange rates.
“However, we are committed to staying within the appropriation for 2022. In spite of the underperforming revenues and strong external headwinds, we are not seeking additional funds in this mid-year review.
We are determined to efficiently use the windfall from the upstream from the petroleum sector to make up for our revenue shortfall and aggressively improve our revenue even as we rationalise expenditures,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta also assured Ghanaians that the government is determined to turn the current economic challenges around.
According to him, the government will not renege on doing that for the betterment of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“We are not wavering at all in our resolve to turn this country around. Ours is a history of turning things around when the country is in crisis. When the NPP government took over the reins of government in 2017, we inherited a challenged economy under an IMF programme, which we successfully turned around and exited the programme in 27 months,” Mr. Ofori-Atta stated.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister noted that macroeconomic targets for the rest of the year have been revised.
According to him, the revised macroeconomic targets are as follows:
- Overall GDP Growth rate of 3.7 percent down from 5.8 percent;
- Non-Oil GDP Growth rate of to 4.3 percent down from 5.9 percent
- End period inflation of 28.5 percent up from 8 percent;
- The overall fiscal deficit of 6.6% of GDP down from 7.4%
- Primary surplus of 0.4% of GDP up from a surplus of 0.1% of GDP; and
- The Gross International Reserves of not less than 3 months import cover.