We’ll not allow election pressure to erode gains of last 3 years – Govt

The Government has assured that it will not allow election pressures to erode the gains made over the last three years as the country prepares towards the 2020 general elections.

This is to ensure that the country does not repeat the recurring fiscal slippages it has been contending with after every election cycle which has become counterproductive to economic growth.

Addressing journalists at the Sunday edition of the bi-weekly Minister’s Briefings organised by the Ministry of Information here, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said President Akufo-Addo had committed himself to ensure that government did not exceed the legally accepted five per cent budget deficit.

He said at the just-ended cabinet meeting which also happened to be the 64th meeting, President Akufo-Addo expressed satisfaction with efforts at correcting the economic challenges inherited at the start of his government.

Mr Nkrumah said on the government’s performance so far, cabinet was pleased to note that inflation which measured the rate at which prices of goods and services increase which currently stands at 7.5per cent as against the 15.3per cent at the end of 2016.

“Growth of the Ghanaian economy had slowed down to 3.4 per cent at the end of 2016. Through the various interventions, of government particularly in Agriculture, growth has seen a rebound and is projected to remain above 6 per cent by the end of  2019,” he said.

He said the annual budget deficit which accounted for the year on year gap between revenues and expenditure had closed significantly, adding that “In 2016, it was at 9.3 per cent and has now been reduced to 4.7per cent this 2020 with a legal commitment to ensure that it doesn’t exceed 5per cent.”

Mr Nkrumah said the President had given firm directives that the fiscal directive which had been restored must not be compromised in the 2020 budget, adding that “The fiscal Responsibility Act, which is the new anchor of discipline for the government of Ghana, prohibits any government from incurring a deficit beyond 5per cent of GDP.”

He explained that the need to meet revenue projections was critical in ensuring that our desires as a nation were met.

The Minister said apart from cabinet expressing satisfaction with the economic performance, it was also pleased with all its 16 flagship programmes being executed despite the fiscal challenges that confronted the country.

Key among these programmes according to him were the Free Senior High School Programme which was designed to ensure that every Ghanaian child, regardless of family wealth, place of birth or gender benefited from basic education to the Senior High School.

He said both the President and Cabinet as a whole were upbeat about ending the year on a high fiscal and economic performance, stressing that we intend to build on this in the 2020 budget for our continued growth and prosperity agenda.

By Cliff Ekuful, Peduasi

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