March 16, 2021

Ranking Member on Finance Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has served notice on the floor of the House that the Minority would not be part of approving the 2021 annual budget if anomalies detected by the Minority are not corrected by the Finance Ministry.

Contributing to the motion to start debate on the budget on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 he accused the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of adding an amount of sixty seven point three billion Ghana cedis (GHc 67.3b)  to country’s public debt in just one year.

He sent some strong signal to the Minister of Finance and his Ministry that, the minority is sending a strong message that until these anomalies are corrected, the NDC Minority caucus would not be part in the passage of the 2021 annual budget.

Again, in the budget, government has been claiming fiscal consolidation has been made since 2017, “I am trucking the public debt and to say COVID-19 cannot be blamed entirely as we encounter economic mess.”

“The mess started in 2018 and no one should make any attempt to blame anything on the novel coronavirus. Government inherited a debt of one twenty billion, of that amount additional twelve point two billion Ghana cedis”.

And that same year our public debt move to one hundred and forty two billion. Government should be given commendation where it is due, but in 2018 we lost our way, the Finance Minister told the House our debt was three percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), representing eleven point nine billion cedis.

“That is not true, the situation of misreporting started in 2018, an amount of nine point eight billion Ghana cedis was excluded from our document and an IMF document I hold in my hands confirms this, article 4 August 2020”.

Again, our debt in 2018 was seven percent to GDP and not four percent as announced by then Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/