Ghanaian News

Minority’s request for new budget unnecessary – Economist

An economist, Dr. Kofi Lindsay has described as preposterous, demands by the Minority in Parliament for a new budget to addresses the current difficulties in the country.

He says the supplementary budgets presented over the years have afforded governments the avenue to rectify what may not have been properly catered for.

The Minority is asking for a new budget over claims that the budget presented last November cannot deal with current vulnerabilities of the economy.

But speaking on Eyewitness News, the economist indicated that the request was unnecessary.

“Normally when budget estimations are made at the beginning points, there is always an opportunity to provide a supplementary budget. So there is no need for a fresh budget. The projections were there, these are plans for revenue and expenditure that have been made. And if for instance, the expenditure is out of line, there is the possibility for the government to come up with a supplementary budget. So I don’t think a fresh budget is necessary.”

“There is no need for a fresh budget because the government is making projections for the whole year so there is no need to restart the everything”, Dr. Lindsay added.

Minority demands a new budget from gov’t over ‘economic challenges’
At a stakeholder engagement, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson asked the government to at least come before Parliament with a statement outlining critical policy changes that will enhance the prospects of the economy.

“The rapid decline in the value of the cedi has thrown the economy in disarray and the projections surrounding it as contained in 2019 budget. This has therefore undermined the confidence in the economy which is also sending wrong signals to the investor community. This calls for urgent steps to be taken by government to restore the economy.”

“The starting point is that we should be considering a new budget which considers all the distortions and serious problems occasioned by the fall of the value of the cedi. At the minimum we expect a statement to Parliament assuring the nation on the steps taken by government to address the instability of the economy. The budget as presented by the Minister of Finance can no longer be relied upon. It’s credibility and stability have completely been undermined by the cedi,” he added.

Cedi depreciation: ‘We should be okay’ in a couple of weeks – Ofori Atta
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last week said the free fall of the cedi against major foreign currencies especially the dollar will be curtailed in the coming weeks.

He said the government expects some fresh injection of capital such as the $750 million Standard Bank bridge facility to deal with the challenges the cedi is currently facing.

The state’s short term intervention
The government expects the fresh injection of capital such as the $750 million Standard Bank bridge facility to deal with the challenges the cedi is currently facing.

The government is also eyeing funds from COCOBOD and the launch of the $3 billion Eurobond.

The cedi has depreciated against the dollar from GHc 4.9 to over GHc 5.5 since the turn of the year.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in comments on the government’s short term move said: “we are going after; $300 million, $600 million and another $750 million and 3 billion and [I think] we should be okay. And all of this should happen within the next two or so weeks.”

But the Minority in Parliament has described these measures as unsustainable.

Source : Citinewsroom

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