A Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng, has blamed the past NDC government for what he says is the failure of the economic assistance program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address Ghana’s economic challenges.
According to him, the strategy adopted by the past government was not an appropriate means to ending the prevailing economic issues at the time.
“We have seen in the recent past the growing gap between our income and expenditure, when it became too difficult to handle, we went to the IMF for support and for a long time we had hoped that this would bring us the required remedy, the evidence is there for all to see it didn’t and this was because the strategy was not right,” Kwaku Kwarteng opined.
Ghana’s rising budget deficit, rising debt to GDP ratio as well as declining economic growth, prompted the past NDC government to seek external help from the IMF in 2015.
The government entered into an agreement for the Fund to support economic growth with a 918 million dollar extended credit facility. The country is however yet to see a complete turnaround in its fortunes as debts continue to rise, inflation has started increasing after declining for sometime as well as budget deficit due to low income compared to rising public expenditure. Though the deal is expected to end in April 2018, discussions of a possible extension have engaged the current government and the Fund.
Kwaku Kwarteng, however, believes the NPP’s focus on private sector growth will reverse the trend. “As a new administration, we have chosen to move from taxation to production, therefore, we have introduced many tax incentives to make sure that the private sector will perform and deliver and provide more revenue to make the fiscal consolidation really possible,” he asserted. Mr. Kwarteng made the remarks at the swearing in of the Board of the Ghana Revenue Authority on Tuesday. He among others charged the new board to work to increase revenue and bridge the fiscal deficit gap.
The GRA Board is chaired by Mr. Harry Owusu. Members comprise GRA Commissioner, Kofi Nti, Deputy Trade Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah, First Deputy Governor; Millison Narh. Other members include; Ernest Akore, Col. Kojo Damoah, Adelaide Ahwireng, Juliana Addo-Yobo and Major Ablorh-Quarcoo.