As the government works to pursue structural and public sector reform, including placing a debt ceiling on non-concessional funding aimed at addressing the raging economic upheaval, finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the country is facing “daunting problems.”
He therefore urged Ghanaians to take a positive role in helping the country fully recover by never losing sight of their greatest strengths, which are their resiliency, entrepreneurial drive, faith, courage, and hope.
“Ours is a country with real prospects and the challenges notwithstanding, Ghana will rise again, and my faith is premised on the fact that a lot has already been achieved, especially over the course of the Fourth Republic and our policy, as outlined in this budget to reset the economy, if supported will ensure that, indeed, we have not wasted the current global crisis, but used it to make our economy stronger and the progress and prosperity of our people even more assured,” Mr. Ofori-Atta during the presentation of the 2023 budget statement on Thursday, November 24, 2022.
Assuring Ghanaians that the government is working hard to change this negative narrative, he said: “We have demonstrated this many times in our country, but more recently between 2017 and 2019. We are resolved that in the next two years, Government would work with you all, with a restless determination, to turn around this economy.”
Resetting economy-driven budget
Continuing, Mr. Ofori-Atta said events since March 2020 have taught the country the pervasive volatility of the world economy today and the wisdom in the vision of President Akufo-Addo to reset our economy through industrialisation.
“This budget reflects our resolve to reset the economy and restore macroeconomic stability. But, to do so, we need the support of the people of Ghana and the cooperation and approval of this Parliament. Our goal now is to significantly enhance revenues, significantly cut down the cost of running government, significantly expand local production, invest more to protect the poor and vulnerable, continue expanding access to good roads, education and health for every Ghanaian everywhere in Ghana and the diaspora,” he stated.
Budget anchored on seven-point agenda
The 2023 Budget is, therefore, anchored on a seven-point agenda aimed at restoring macro-economic stability and accelerating our economic transformation as articulated in the Post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG), observed the minister.
These comprise an agenda to:
Aggressively mobilize domestic revenue;
Streamline and rationalise expenditures;
Boost local productive capacity;
Promote and diversify exports;
Protect the poor and vulnerable;
Expand digital and climate-responsive physical infrastructure;
And Implement structural and public sector reforms.
To achieve these, there are three (3) critical imperatives, the minister said and they are; successfully negotiating a strong IMF programme; coordinating an equitable debt operation programme; and attracting significant green investments.
“This will enable us to generate substantial revenue, create needed fiscal space for the provision of essential public services and facilitate the implementation of the PC-PEG programme to revitalise and transform the economy,” he assured.