Cabinet Meets On Economic Turnaround Ahead Of The 2020 Budget

Cabinet has just completed its 64th regular meeting and 9th retreat in Peduase to examine the status of the economic turnaround program and approve a framework for the 2020 Budget. The meetings chaired by President Akufo-Addo have been focused on examining the results of the government’s efforts at correcting the economic challenges inherited at the start of the administration’s work. The meeting also focused on laying down some red lines in the preparation of the 2020 budget.

Briefing Journalists in Peduase yesterday at the close of the session, the Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said cabinet used the meeting to access results of work done so far with regards to economic growth.

For instance, Inflation which measures the rate at which prices of Goods and services increase, was at 15.3% when President Akufo-Addo took over. Through a combination of prudent policies in the real sector, prudent fiscal and prudent monetary policies inflation is now at 7.5%. He said the President has instructed the various agencies who have worked to achieve this must keep on the downward inflationary path so that Ghanaians continue to benefit from relatively lower rate of price increase.

“Growth of the Ghanaian economy had slowed down to 3.4% at the end of 2016. Through the various interventions of government particularly in Agriculture (PFJ, PERD, RFJ) growth has seen a rebound and is projected to remain above 6% by the end of 2019. In engineering growth, the President has instructed that resources be made available to continue with programs and create jobs across various economic sectors “he told reporters.

The annual budget deficit, which accounts for the year on year gap between revenues and expenditure has closed significantly. In 2016 it was at 9.3% and has now been reduced to 4.7% this year 2020 with a legal commitment to ensure that it doesn’t exceed 5%. Mr. President is resolute in his marching orders to the Finance team to ensure this is observed.

Mr. Nkrumah said cabinet was additionally pleased to note that 16 flagship programs are being executed despite the fiscal challenges of Ghana.

He said “key among them is the fact that the administration’s Free SHS program which is designed to ensure that every Ghanaian child, regardless of family wealth, place of birth or gender benefits from basic education to the senior high school level, is working smoothly nationwide. Mr. President has instructed that no resource should be spared in ensuring that the 1.2 million Ghanaian children benefit fully and are prepared to contribute significantly to Ghana’s future growth”.

In preparing the 2020 budget, Mr. Nkrumah said the President has given firm directives that the fiscal stability which has been restored must not be compromised. The Fiscal Responsibility Act, which is the new anchor of discipline for the government of Ghana, prohibits any government from incurring a deficit beyond 5% of GDP. President Akufo-Addo has particularly mentioned that election year pressures should not and will not cause the treasury to throw away fiscal discipline.

He said other statutory obligations for 2019 especially the election is to be carried within the national resource envelope. This he said is a critical feature of the Ghana beyond aid agenda which requires Ghanaians to focus more on generating internal resources to meet our key obligations as a state.

The Ofoase Ayirebi MP said President Akufo-Addo and cabinet are upbeat about ending the year on a high fiscal and economic performance and delivering a budget for 2020 which will help consolidate the gains made so far for our continued growth and prosperity agenda.

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