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Business News of Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Source: GNA

Transition sub-committee on economy postpones press conference

Accra, Jan. 20, GNA - The Government transition team's sub-committee on the economy has postponed Tuesday afternoon's press conference to give details on the state of the economy.

Mr Richard Quashigah, speaking on behalf of Ms Hanna S. Tetteh, Spokesperson of the Transition Team, told the GNA that the postponement was due to "new developments".

He said a new date for the press conference would be announced later.

The press conference was to have been held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) at 1500 hours.

The sub-committee has said that after having studied the nation's current macro economic situation has concluded that the government of Ghana is "broke".

It said in 2008, the NPP government projected that it would spend GH¢168,127,900.00 (approximately GH¢168.1 million) more than it would take in as revenue.

Instead, it spent GH¢1,340,196,800.00 (or GH¢1.34 billion) in excess of its revenue. It said in other words, the government overshot its projected budget deficit by 697.1% in 2008.

"This translates into a deficit-GDP ratio of 13.42% - the highest in over 10 years. It also puts a severe strain on government's finances in 2009, including its ability to provide essential developmental projects and social services. Whereas when the NDC left office in January 2001 the GDP deficit ration was 9%."

The Minority NPP in Parliament on its part last Thursday said the country's economy as at December 31, 2008 was in far better shape relative to the economy that it inherited in 2001.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, Minority Leader, said over the past few days the nation had been inundated with misinformation about the state of the nation's economy.

"This culmination of events is the seemingly purposeful twist of facts as stated by the Country Director of the World Bank. The subsequent elucidation or rectification, if you like, of the situation by the Country Director has rather left the average Ghanaian confused," he told a press briefing at Parliament House.