… Finance Minister gives assurance

Mr Seth Tekper,Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (7)The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, has expressed the government’s readiness to resource the Electoral Commission (E.C) to conduct a free, fair, and credible election next year, no matter what the cost involved is.

According to the Finance Minister, the government was prepared to provide any amount the commission would need to conduct the elections.

Mr. Terkper gave the assurance at a post-budget workshop organised for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps and the Institute of Finance and Economic Journalists in Accra yesterday.

He said the government would provide any amount the E.C would request in order to make the election more credible.

The Finance Minister indicated that the conduct of a free and fair election was critical for economic management and explained that investors would feel confident about the economy if the E.C conducted a credible election next year.

“We see successful election is important in economic management. If there is no peace, investors will not come,” he said, and added that the relative peace that the country was enjoying was a result of how past elections had been conducted.

The Director of Economic and Forecasting Division at the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Alhassan Iddrisu, said the government had planned to spend a total amount of GH¢46.4 billion to finance its programmes and activities and clear arrears.

However, he said the government had planned to raise revenue of GH¢38 billion, leaving a deficit of GH¢8.4 billion.

Dr. Iddrisu indicated that the government had planned to finance the deficit by raising GH¢3.3 billion through foreign loans, and GH¢5.4 billion from domestic sources through banks and non-banking institutions.

On the government’s performance for this year, he said the government planned to raise an amount of GH¢30.5 billion this year, and added that as at September this year, the government had raised revenue of GH¢22.7 billion.

On expenditure, he said the government planned to spend GH¢29 billion by September, but spent GH¢27 billion, leaving an excess of GH¢2 billion.

On inflation, he said the government targeted 11 per cent but as at October, inflation was hovering around 17 per cent. He was therefore confident that the government would achieve the 11 per cent target by the end of the year.

Dr. Iddrisu said the economy was targeted to grow by 4.1 per cent by the end of the year, although the target was 3.5 per cent.

He said the government deserved to be commended for controlling its expenditure, while growing the economy beyond the targets set.

By Yaw Kyei   

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