Minority accuses govt of borrowing for consumption

Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson

Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson

The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of channelling money it had borrowed in two years into consumption, which include salaries and compensations.

 

According to the Minority, whiles the John Mahama-led administration borrowed to invest in self-financing projects, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government was ‘pumping’ money into consumption.

 

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako/Enyan/Esiam, in the Central Region, led the Minority in blaming the government, on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday, during the debate on the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

 

Mr Ato Forson said the current government had added GH¢50 billion to the country’s debt stock within its 23 months in government, yet there was nothing to show for it.

 

He said Parliament approved more than GH¢1.5 billion of oil money for financing the budget out of which only 49 per cent was used for capital projects, though the Petroleum Revenue Management Act stipulates that at least 70 per cent of proceeds from oil be used on capital projects.

 

Mr Ato Forson said the total money spent on capital projects was GH¢3.7 billion of which GH¢1.083 billion was domestically funded and GH¢2.63 billion was foreign funded.

 

“Mr Speaker, members must be aware that foreign financed capital expenditure are only drawdowns of loans approved by this august House so, therefore, the Euro Bond cannot be used for drawdown,” he explained.

 

Mr Ato Forson said “The Euro Bond money is only used for purposes of domestic financed expenditure and the amount is GH¢1.083 billion”.

 

He said the net borrowing projected at GH¢7.7 billion at the end of September this year, had shot up to more than GH¢ 9 billion with domestic financing inching from GH¢2.4 to GH¢4.1 billion.

 

Ato Forson, a former Minister of Finance,  said  between September last year and September this year, the public debt had ballooned from GH¢138.8 billion to GH¢170 billion.

 

He described the performance of the government as “substandard,” saying the debt per capita of every Ghanaian had increased from GH¢3,334 in 2016 to GH¢5,798 in September 2018.

 

The NDC MP for Yapei/Kusawgu, John Abdullai Jinapor, said the NPP government was the luckiest in the history of the country, because it had received three times of oil revenue, but there was nothing to show for the monies it has received.

 

He said though the NPP promised to eliminate poverty, its commitment was questionable as the Zongo Development Fund, meant to accelerate the development of Zongo communities was not effective, and all the government had to show for was three Astroturf, which did not add anything to the economic well-being of the people.

 

Mr Jinapor said the government was unable to deliver on its flagship programmes: One District One Factory, One Village One Dam, and challenged it to cite where it had fulfilled any flagship policies.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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