24th May 2024

Minister of Finance

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is expected to present a mid-year review of the 2020 budget before Parliament on Thursday.

In accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 92), the Finance Minister is mandated to brief Parliament on the strategies and roadmaps as to how the government intends to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports say that the presentation of the budget statement on the review of government projections for the 2020 financial year will be backed by a request for supplementary estimates.

This is because the government’s projections for the 2020 financial year have largely been affected by the economic implications of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 effect

The Minister will be expected to provide to Parliament a clear plan on how the government intends to pay back the GH₵10 billion it borrowed from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the $219 million dollars transferred from the Stabilisation Fund to the contingency fund to help deal with the impact of the pandemic.

He is also expected to give details about the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Though the government is implementing various fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effect, and provide relief for businesses and households, the outbreak has brought three years of economic growth of six per cent or more to a sudden halt, with the Ministry of Finance anticipating that growth could slow to 1.5 per cent, the least in 37 years.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the pandemic could affect the country’s growth rate, and reduce it from seven per cent, on average, to 2.5 per cent, if the situation persists until the end of 2020.

Mr Ofori-Atta is, thus, expected to give details on how far revenue target for 2020 has dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another stimulus package?

Meanwhile, in an interview with the media over the weekend, Mr Ofori-Atta hinted of plans by the government to create a stimulus package for large-scale businesses in the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

He announced that the package would help these business that have been hit by the pandemic to turn around their fortunes.

“It is not a question of choice. This really is what we call the organisational capacity of the nation. We need to find the means of ensuring that they are back in business, they are employing people and they are thriving,” he had said.

Currently, the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is disbursing funds to small and medium scale enterprises that had applied for the GHC600 million soft loan scheme announced on April 5, 2020 by the President.

Commercial banks have also provided a syndicated facility of GH₵3billion to support key industries; granted a six-month moratorium on principal repayments for selected businesses; and reduced interest rates by 200 basis points, also to increase credit supply to the private sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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