Business News of Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Source: myjoyonline

Ghana’s debt is running faster than Usain Bolt

Former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei says Ghana’s economy is already in a ditch after the huge debt piled up in just four years by the NDC government.

According to him, the Mahama-led government in its first term has tripled the country’s debt – a situation he said will gravely affect all aspects of our national life.

Dr. Akoto Osei, in expressing his frustration over what he said was the total mismanagement of the economy, anticipated that government may increase taxes as an austerity measure.

Minister of Finance, Seth Tekpeh will on Tuesday present the 2013 budget statement in Parliament to outline the economic policies of the state.

The much anticipated budget statement comes at a time the country is experiencing power crisis coupled with huge budget deficits and Ghanaians are expecting government to outline plans to solve the looming crisis.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Monday, Dr. Akoto Osei called on the Finance Minister to be sincere and admit that there has been fiscal indiscipline on the part of government.

He noted that the repercussions of government’s unnecessary expenditure had increased Ghana’s debts from GHS 9.5 billion to GHS 33.5 billion.

Sounding sarcastic, Dr. Akoto Osei said the Finance Minister should be bold and tell the President in the face that his "Better Ghana is now Bitter Ghana".

The economist was skeptical about the economy regaining its vibrant status, added that “the economy is running faster than the world acclaimed fastest runner Usain Bolt”.

“The problem is within and it is time for government to take the bull by the horn and be truthful to Ghanaians because the hardship is going to [be worse]”.

He said considering Ghana’s present state, the budget statement will not change anything.

Dr. Akoto Osei stressed the Minority will actively participate in the debate of the budget when presented to Parliament.

He observed that the job of the opposition NPP was to hold government accountable and that they will do.