Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central and member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Isaac Adongo has raised concern over inconsistencies that have marred the country’s fiscal deficit during the presentation of the mid-year budget review last week by the Minister responsible.
According to him, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the presentation said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in revenue shortfall of GH¢13.6 billion and ‘unanticipated but necessary expenditures’ of approximately GH¢11.7 billion.
Speaking on The Point of View Show with Bernard Avle, on Citi TV, the legislator, raised concern over the government’s basis for arriving at the projection.
Mr. Adongo took on the government insisting that the Finance Minister’s 2020 deficit projected at 11.4 percent is a matter of contention.
To the MP, This will result in a projected fiscal deficit of 11.4% of GDP, adding that, this is above the 5% limit as stated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982).
He opined that, the deficit must rather be 15.6 percent.
For him, points made by the Finance Minister to the effect that the total foreign and domestic borrowing to finance the deficit is GHS 44 billion are false because of the lack of correspondence in the financial figures that were presented.
Adongo further emphasized that,the GHS 4.9 billion project loans, GHS 8.2 billion programme loans, US$ 2 billion Eurobond which converts to GHS 11.4 billion, pushes the total external source of borrowing to GHS 24.7 billion albeit financing the same deficit with domestic borrowing of GHS 32 billion – the total foreign and domestic borrowing to finance the deficit is rather GHS 56.7 billion and not GHS 44 billion per the Minister’s data.
“That shouldn’t be in the 2020 review because you don’t come to a mid-year budget review and introduce new items. You are supposed to give us updates on your existing programs. So if you come and you are talking about 2021, who said he will be in government? He cannot plan for the next President. Who said, he will be there and be the one to implement it. That is why there is a framework for planning. That is why he has done the social and economic framework for planning for four years, so he should stay with that. He can’t be planning for the next government and John Dramani Mahama” He lamented
Iddrisu Muftaw | talksafrica.com