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Business News of Monday, 27 July 2020

Source: Business 24

Minority accuses government of excessive borrowing


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The Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, says continuous borrowing by government will not only increase the public debt but hurt the economy.

Speaking to the media after the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the mid-year budget review to Parliament on Thursday, Mr. Forson said the government has failed in the management of the economy.

“It is clear this government has spent GH¢11.1bn on coronavirus without accounting for it. It is also clear that they have increased the public debt from GH¢120bn to GH¢255bn, and they are going to spend an additional GH¢30bn to increase the public debt to approximately GH¢280bn. Clearly, they have failed,” he said.

He further alleged that despite the loans government has taken, it cannot account for the utilisation of the funds.

Mr. Forson, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam constituency, also described the budget review as a document of “manifesto promises”.

This, according to him, is unacceptable since the Akufo-Addo administration has consistently failed the people of Ghana.

“There is nothing in this document for us to be proud of. And we in the minority want to serve notice that from Monday we are ready to debate this and subject it to the scrutiny that it deserves.”

On the GH¢100bn Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme announced by the Finance Minister, Ato Forson argued that the mid-year budget was not the platform to introduce manifesto pledges, given that the programme will actually start from 2021 and end in 2023.

A member of the Finance Committee, Daniel Okyem Aboagye, rebuffed suggestions that government will not be able to pay back the loans it has acquired.

He stated: “No lender will give us money without doing their homework; they will check your ability to pay.”

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