Govt will focus on expenditure rationalisation in 2022

Mr Charles Adu Boahen, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, says the 2021 budget will focus on expenditure rationalisation and optimisation of flagship and strategic programmes, while widening and deepening existing revenue sources.

He said government would also focus on returning the GDP growth to levels around five per cent in medium term, looking at investing in productive sectors of the economy.

Mr Boahen said this at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting held in Accra on Tuesday.

The meeting was on the theme: “Pre-Budget 2022: Insight and Recommendations.”

He said Ghana’s economic fundamentals were well robust compared to three-to-four months ago.

The Minister said the budget would also look at the high debt levels, challenges regarding interest rates for the private sector and creation of jobs for the youth and entrepreneurship.

Mr Boahen said the initiatives to be announced in the 2022 budget were to gradually return the economy on track, while maintaining commitment to investing in infrastructure development.

He said government’s target was to create a conducive, compelling and robust environment fit for doing business.

“I want to assure the audience that nothing fundamentally has changed; we are still on track to meet our deficit, we are still on track to meet our revenue target for the year,” he said.

Mr Boahen said, “We believe that the market’s reaction is not based on the fundamentals, which are still as robust as they were three-to-four months ago.”

He said while the government was concerned about the “heightened sell-off” of Ghana’s bonds, it was confident that the situation would normalise in the coming days as bond holders got to appreciate the realities in the economy.

Dr Ali-Nakyea, a Tax Analyst, said government needed to be efficient and effective in revenue mobilisation, adding that the introduction of digitalisation would help in moblisation drive.

“Some of the taxes needed to be reviewed, because they put pressure on the private sector and with the forthcoming budget, l do not expect government to introduce new taxes,” he said.

He called on government to institute measures that will help reduce the growing rate of youth unemployment.

Dr Priscilla Twumasi Baffour, an economist at the Economics Department at the University of Ghana said, “We should be careful in the way we go about this entrepreneurship drive, not everyone can become an entrepreneur in this country.”

She said it was important to find people in that space who had the interest to become entrepreneurs, because “some people are born leaders, while others are born subordinates.” GNA

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