Ghana’s public debt stands at 77.1% – Minister
The figure increased marginally from 76.1 percent at the end of December 2020 to 77.1 percent of GDP at the end of June 2021.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, who said this on Thursday when presenting a mid-year budget review to Parliament, said the stock included the financial and energy sector bailouts but excluded the Financial Sector Bailout.
He noted that the increase in the debt stock was mainly due to the Eurobond issued in April 2021, COVID- 19 pandemic effect, contingent liabilities, and front-loading of financing to meet cash flow requirements for the first half of the year.
Mr Ofori-Atta stated that the implementation of the 2021 Budget had been successful and assured that the Government was committed to achieving the fiscal deficit target of 9.5 percent of GDP for the year.
He said the Government would ensure financial discipline in order not to derail the objective of returning to the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) fiscal deficit and primary balance thresholds of five percent of GDP and positive primary balance, respectively, by 2024.
The Finance Minister said the provisional fiscal data for Jan-June 2021 showed that total revenue and grants amounted to GH¢28.3 billion, equivalent to 6.5 percent of GDP, against a programmed target of GH¢32.4 billion or 7.5 percent of GDP.
He said for the same period, total expenditure, including the clearance of arrears, amounted to GH¢50.6 billion, equivalent to 11.7 percent of GDP, against a programmed target of GH¢55.1 billion or 12.7 percent of GDP.
Mr Ofori Atta noted that the fiscal deficit for the period was financed from both foreign and domestic sources.
He stated that the net foreign financing of GH¢15.2 billion constituted 68.3 per cent of total financing and included inflows from Eurobond proceeds.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the total domestic financing amounted to GH¢7.1 billion, representing 31.7 per cent of total financing.
Presentation of the 2021 Mid-year review of the budget statement to Parliament is in accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
Under the Act, the Minister for Finance is expected to present the Mid-year Budget Review to Parliament not later than July 31, of each financial year.
The presentation provided the economic and fiscal performance of the economy for the first half of 2021 as well as an update on the implementation of key programmes, including, strategies by the government to create employment for Ghanaians in general and the youth in particular.
It highlighted the status of the implementation of the Ghana CARES “Obaatanpå” Programme, which sought to revitalise and transform the economy to pre-pandemic times.