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General News of Friday, 16 November 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

2019 Budget hopeless – Kofi Buah

The opposition National Democratic Congress had described the 2019 Budget as hopeless and nothing more than just rhetoric.

Speaking after the presentation of the 2019 Budget and Economic Policy Statement by the Finance Minister, Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah said the budget failed to state how Ghanaian will be relieved from the current economic hardships.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday announced that government will be investigating massively in road, railways and air transport, from a variety of funding sources.

“Mr. Speaker, infrastructure, both hard and soft, is the backbone of economic development and growth, as well as a source of jobs and wealth for a majority of people. In a rapidly changing global marketplace, traditional infrastructure like electricity and power, transport and logistics, water and sanitation, roads, highways, and railways have combined with new, mostly soft infrastructure like digitization of government services to enable emerging economies like ours leapfrog the development path to prosperity.

“Mr. Speaker, this Government, is committed to embarking on an integrated infrastructural development programme across the country that will move goods, food items and people from one location to another that will create jobs and prosperity and ensure value for money for Ghana as well as position Ghana as the transportation, energy and logistics hub in the region.”
Mr. Ofori-Atta also noted that the country’s debt stock had shot up GHC170.8 billion.

“Mr. Speaker, the nominal public debt stock as of the end of September 2018 was GHS170.8 billion, comprising external and domestic debt of GHS86.6 billion and GHS84.1 billion, respectively.”

“The public debt stock (excluding the financial sector clean-up cost) as a ratio of GDP is 66.5 per cent. In terms of the re-based GDP, the public debt-to-GDP ratio is 57.2 per cent (including financial sector clean-up cost) and 53.9 per cent (excluding clean-up cost).”

But in a reaction, the former Energy Minister, Mr. Kofi Buah, said the government has crippled the private sector and has failed to provide relief.

“The people of Ghana are going through so much, businesses are collapsing, and unemployment is taking over, a financial sector that is on its knees, I mean the roads sector, we have roads that are so deplorable, so many areas and we were hoping today that this government that has promised so much and delivered nothing would be very realistic.

This is a government that has collapsed the private sector and today he talks about the growth in the country…there is no growth, infact the financial sector is in recession and he says everything is fine,” Mr. Kofi Buah said.