Mid-year budget review: Ofori-Atta to give update on GDP target

The Chair of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, has said he expects the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to provide an update on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projections for this year.

He told Accra100.5FM’s parliamentary correspondent Richard Appiah Sarpong in an interview on Tuesday, 21 July 2020 that Mr Ofori-Atta projected the GDP growth rate to be 6.8% this year but given how the coronavirus outbreak has affected the economy, the Finance Minister is expected to tell parliament whether or not he still stands by this projection.

Mr Ofori-Atta will present the mid-year budget review on Thursday, 23 July 2020.

Dr Assibey Yeboah said: “The last time the minister came to parliament, he said there was a hole of about GHS9.5 billion. Is it still 9.5bn? Has it gone to 12 billion? What is the hole now?”

“Then, with expenditure; how do you realign expenditure? Because of the pandemic, we have to cut back on some spending, so, he has to update us on what we are cutting back and then how you are realigning expenditure”.

“The GDP of 6.8 per cent that you projected, it will not happen. The exchange rate depreciation that you projected, the stock of public debt, all of it has changed; he will update us”, Dr Assibey Yeboah noted.

Regarding calls that the Finance Minister should account for the COVID-19 funds, Dr Assibey-Yeboah said : “So I hear people say the Minister should come and account for the coronavirus money. This is not the place for that things.

“In this country all our expenditures at the end of the year, we submit it to the Auditor General, he vets it , he audits it and then he submits an account back to parliament on how we have expended.

“So how can the minister who has been given money himself come and say I am accounting for this?

“It is for the auditor general to vet the accounts and come and submit a report to parliament so this is not the place for that.”

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