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General News of Friday, 30 October 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

Govt has run economy aground — Minority Leader

The Minority in Parliament says the Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo government has run the economy aground with the country’s debt portfolio reaching unsustainable levels.

Optimistic of winning the December 7 elections, the caucus said the legacy of the President Akufo-Addo-led government would be a “fractured, fragile economy dependent on borrowing”.

A John Mahama-led administration, the wing said, would steer the country out of the economic “mess” the current administration has led it into.

Addressing the media in Parliament yesterday after the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the expenditure in advance of appropriation for the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the Finance Minister hid the real indices of the economy.

“Conspicuously missing in his presentation is a report on the performance of the Ghanaian economy to give us the real state of the economy including performance for the first, second and third quarters of 2020.

“We needed to have an appreciation of how revenue fared with COVID-19 in 2020 and how revenue would fare tomorrow with or without COVID-19 and how growth would fare.

“We noticed that he avoided sharing with the Ghanaian people what the true state of the economy is. We needed to have an understanding of the state of the economy that John Dramani Mahama will inherit tomorrow.

“We know that it will be a fractured, fragile economy dependent on debt and borrowing,” Haruna Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South said.

The latest International Monetary Fund report which pegged Ghana’s debt to GDP at 76.7 by end of year, the Minority Leader said was a testimony of their insistence that debt was becoming an albatross around the neck of the country.

“We are now a debt risk distress country which will pay more interest in servicing debt. Borrowing cannot improve the quality of life of the Ghanaian neither can it be a source of prosperity of the Ghanaian people,” he added.

He said the admission by the Finance Minister that the economy has contracted without elaborating on by which margin was not enough.

“What is the debt to GDP? We want to know domestic debt to GDP, we want to know external debt to GDP but we don’t have the numbers.

“He sought to hide behind the 2019 numbers and the reckless irresponsible expenditure they are making in the name of COVID-19,” Haruna Iddrisu stressed.

The opposition National Democratic Congress, Haruna Iddrisu said has demonstrated competence in managing the economy anytime it got the opportunity to run the affairs of the state and would replicate same if given the nod at the polls in December 7.

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