Minority in Ghana calls on Finance Minister to be consistent
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), main Minority in Parliament, on Wednesday accused Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, of being untruthful and inconsistent in his presentations on the Ghanaian economy.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minority leader, at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday said: “He has been consistently providing falsehoods and half-truths when it suits him. He is an honourable man and we want to advise him to be honourable about the information he gives.”
The Minority leader, who was reacting to government’s supplementary budget recently presented to Parliament by the Minister, said the financial statement was not only misleading but it was creating the impression that the NPP administration performed badly, regarding the country’s economy.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the use of words such as “run-down economy and poor economic managements” which the Minister used in both his March and Mid-year review and supplementary budgets presentations demonstrated that the Minister had a hidden agenda against the NPP administration, particularly when he was the Governor of Bank of Ghana at the time.
The Minority leader wondered why the Minister should continue hyping the fact that the NPP administration run-down the economy when all indications were clear that the NPP performed better in terms of head-to-head.
He said “In 2000, when the NDC government was leaving office, the total debt to GDP ratio stood at 186 percent, meaning that we needed almost two times our national income to pay off all our debts, but in 2008 when the NPP government was about to leave office, the total debt to GDP ratio stood at only 46 percent meaning we needed less than one-half of our income to pay off all our debts”.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said in 2000, real terms economic growth was 3.7 percent, but it rose to 7.3 percent as at the time the NPP was leaving office while per capita income in 2000 stood at $290 as compared $720 as at the time NPP government was leaving office.
The Minority leader who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame , said the Minister was being hypocritical by presenting the true picture of the economy to IMF and World Bank and yet presented a different picture to the Parliament and to all Ghanaians.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said “The question Ghanaians want the Minister to answer is which information about the state of the economy is correct; the one he characterizes as ‘run-down’ or the one he describes in his June 2009 letter to the IMF? Clearly, we know he cannot lie to the IMF, because the sanctions will be most severe as occurred in 2001, when Ghana was made to pay back almost $34 million as a result of NDC government’s misreporting on our external debt in 2000”.
He said NDC government’s claim that it had put the economy back on track was not convincing as arrears amounting to GH¢139.2 million was at hand with GH¢10 million of the District Assemblies Common fund in arrears and GH¢25.5 in arrears for Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund).
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, called on the Minister to present issues as they were and stop using political language in his presentations as such political language and falsehoods could create negative impact on the country.