Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Friday said government’s home-grown policy and International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes have brought good gains at consolidating the economy.
Mr Terkper, who presented the 2016 budget statement on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama, explained that the withdrawal of subsidies was helping to consolidate gains. Budget deficit is down to 2.5 per cent with attainment of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reduction which is remarkable.
He noted that commercial and quasi-commercial projects implemented through loans will now pay for itself. Government has also issued a 15-year bond, the first in sub-Saharan Africa.
He said Ghana also was assessed for the second time by the IMF in August, adding the report was confidence-building.
On expenditure of petroleum revenue under Section 48 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, Mr Terkper noted that the economy has suffered major shocks for the past three years.
The shocks include disruptions in gas supply for two and half years and simultaneous falls in gold and cocoa prices.
He said government has been working tirelessly to keep the economy strong; and recalled key meeting on public wages held between government and the Trades Union that resolved some issues with the Single Spine Pay Policy.
The Finance Minister noted that the achievements are not only macroeconomic; “there are far-reaching gains in education where government has begun the construction of 150 Day SHS.
On health, massive infrastructure and re-tooling is ongoing in places like Ridge Hospital and another at Legon. It will add about 6,000 hospital beds.”
He said “Tens of thousands of jobs have been created for the youth and professionals as a result of government’s drive to improve infrastructure, health, transport.”
The Finance Minister referred to the supplementary budget which government presented in July as a result in revenue shortfalls caused by declining commodity prices.