Gov’t Misses Revenue, Expenditure Targets



Dr Kofi WampahProvisional data on the execution of the 2013 budget for the first nine months of the year show that both revenue and expenditure fell short of their respective targets.

However, the shortfall in revenue was much higher than the reduction in expenditure. Speaking at a media briefing in Accra Dr. Kofi Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana said total revenue and grants amounted to GH¢13.9 billion (15.9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product) falling short of the target of GH¢16.3 billion (18.4 per cent of GDP).

The shortfall in government receipts he said was mainly the result of lower than budgeted domestic revenue collections on account of lower import volumes, decline in commodity prices on the world market, among others.

“Total expenditure, including payments made for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments, was GH¢21.2 billion (24.3 per cent of GDP) compared with the budgeted ceiling of GH¢22.7 billion (26.1 per cent of GDP),” the Governor said.

Dr. Wampah said compensation of employees of GH¢6.6 billion and interest payments of GH¢3.3 billion, represented 74.1 per cent of domestic revenue.

“The overall budget deficit for the first nine months of 2013, was GH¢7.3 billion equivalent to 8.4 per cent of GDP, against a target of 7.2 per cent,” he said.

The deficit the governor said was financed mainly from the domestic sector, resulting in a Net Domestic Financing of the budget of GH¢5.1 billion (5.9 per cent of GDP), compared with the budget target of GH¢4.7 billion (5.4 per cent of GDP).

“The total public sector debt stock as at the end of September 2013 was GH¢46.1 billion (53.5 per cent of GDP), up from GH¢35.1 billion at the end of December 2012,” he said.

The total public sector debt the Governor explained was made up of a domestic debt stock of GH¢24.9 billion, up from GH¢18.5 billion in December 2012 and external debt stock of US$10.8 billion, up from US$8.8 billion as at the end of December 2012.

“For the first nine months of 2013, the balance of payments improved as it recorded a lower deficit of US$1.7 billion compared with a deficit of nearly US$2.1 billion in the same period last year. This was largely due to increased net inflows to the financial account, in spite of deterioration in the current account deficit,” he said.

The current account deficit he said widened to US$4.5 billion from the US$4.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2012.

“This was as a result of deterioration in the services, income and transfers account, which was moderated by an improvement in the trade balance. The capital and financial accounts on the other hand recorded a significant rise in the surplus to US$3.4 billion from a surplus of US$1.7 billion in the same period of 2012,” he said.

This development Dr. Wampah said was mainly driven by net official borrowing of US$1.3 billion and significant improvement in the deficit on short term capital.

For the first ten months of the year, the value of merchandise exports remained broadly unchanged at US$11.4 billion compared to the same period last year.

Earnings from gold fell by 12.0 per cent to US$4.2 billion, while exports of cocoa beans also declined by 33.5 per cent to US$1.3 billion partly reflecting a decline in the prices of the commodities.

Oil exports, however, increased by 30.9 per cent to US$3.2 billion, as a result of increased production.

Earnings from non-traditional exports, including cocoa products, went up by 25.8 per cent to US$2.2 billion. By David Adadevoh

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