Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has said that the government lost revenues totaling GHC13.6billion due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Delivering the Budget and Economic Policy to Parliament on Friday, the MP for Suame said “IMF data indicate that the global economy is expected to grow at 5.5%. This reflects an expected positive turnaround. Output gaps are not expected to close until after 2022. Inflation is expected to remain subdued for 2021 and 2022.”
“Overall budget deficit on a cash basis was 11.4% of GDP. The primary balance recorded a deficit of 5.3% of GDP…Annual growth of outstanding credit to the private sector moderated from 9.39% in December 2019, to 0.17% in December 2020.
“This unprecedented crisis, for which we had no pre-existing guidelines, triggered a sudden shortfall in government revenues amounting to GHC13.6billion and unexpected; unavoidable rise in expenditures of GHC11.7billion.”
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu added that the government’s Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprise Support (CARES) initiative is a singular and remarkable financial investment in the Ghanaian economy by a sitting government.
He said the Obaatanpa programme in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is meant to cushion Ghanaians and businesses against the adverse economic effects of the virus.
According to him, the GH¢100 billion investment into the Ghanaian economy is meant to revitalize the economy that has been undone by the global pandemic and put it back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Mr. Speaker, pursuing the GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES “Obaatan pa” programme allows us to address the challenges and also seize the opportunities created by COVID-19 for socio-economic transformation. This programme will foster closer collaboration with the private sector, labor, faith-based organizations and development partners to complement efforts in the revitalization and growth agenda.
“The “Obaatan pa” programme is inspired by H.E. President Akufo-Addo’s conviction that, “what our forebears dreamed of, we will achieve, if we inherited dreams and visions from our founding fathers, we should leave legacies of achievements and realities to our children and their children,” he explained.