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Business News of Friday, 17 July 2020

Source: laudbusiness.com

Higher budget deficit for this year should be permitted - Economist

An economist at the Data Bank, Mr Courage Martey, has indicated that a higher budget deficit by the end of this year should be allowed following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

He however, insisted that it should be targeted at sectors that would indeed stimulate growth.

“Because of the size of the problem we are dealing with the focus now is beyond the elections. We need to have an economy after the elections and the only way we can have economy after the elections is to focus on the bigger problem which is COVID-19 and life after COVID.

“And so it appears the elections and the worries associated with winning an election is in the back burner.

“I think that really if we are able to revitalize the economy and put the economy on the path of growth and sustainable recovery, that in itself is a boost of confidence and we need not do much at the polls.”

Meanwhile Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said the Akufo-Addo Addo-led government is highly optimistic of a victory in the December 7 elections, therefore will not engage in reckless spending and create problems for itself ahead of the elections.

He explained that if the government digs a hole in the economy ahead of the elections, it will have to come back to fix it beginning January 21st after , in his view, President Akufo-Addo has been sworn into office again for his second term.

Speaking to Joy News Thursday July 16, Mr Ofori-Atta said that the projected budget overrun for this year will not be influenced by capturing electoral votes.

This follows concerns that the new budget deficit that have been [rejected by the finance minister is aimed at political vote and but actually economic recovery.

The Finance Minister insists the current record of government is enough to actually win the Akufo-Addo administration a second term after this year’s elections.

“It is amazing when you have millions of people around the world raising the concerns. I think the issue really is the application of resources that we have.

“I don’t know but it has been three and half years of seeing how government has operated, there has to be trust and we the using the money well.

“At least from the Ministry of Finance, I can assure you that the presidency will ensure that the resources that we have are used judiciously. We are confident that by God’s grace the people of Ghana will reelect us.

“If you are doing that, then you don’t want to dig a hole for yourself. You truly want to make sure that you stand well in January 2021,” he told Joy News Thursday July 16

The elections will take place on December 7 this year.

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