The Finance Minister nominee, Ken Ofori-Atta, has described the 2021 budget statement “as a battle cry” with a call on all Ghanaians “to share the burden” Covid-19 pandemic left behind.
The Covid-19 pandemic ravaged global economies with Ghana being no exception, as the fight against the disease increased the cost of government expenditure by about ¢25 billion.
According to him, the Covid-19 expenditure requires drastic action going forward in order to bring the economy back to path of production and growth.
He was speaking from his treatment base in the USA where he has been on medical review from covid-19 complications on a virtual 2021 Budget Seminar organised by KPMG.
Ofori-Atta said, “so this is a budget, is a battle cry and all of us must be part of this; to burden share, going forward. We have 8700 projects, we have targeted them for completion, and so that culture of not completing projects we should do away with it.”
Consolidation is important for us because the macro has to be stable and clearly what we did in the past three and half years was what was able to support us in 2020”, he pointed out.
“And then the continuity of growth – with the Obaatampa intervention — so that we look beyond it, and know that we are stronger people with lots of hope. The target of debt sustainability becomes important I think that globally everybody has gone through the matrices, but we need to watch it, and so that is an anchor for this budget, the deficit we’re bringing it down to 9.5% from 11.7”, he further pointed out.
He urged all to accept the challenge the country is in but is hopeful the nation will bounce back going forward.
So at the end of the day, we all as a people recognize the anomalies’ of the problem that we have uncertain agility. So really, I know there will be issues about the efficiencies and etc.”
“But we are also with the pace at which we are going into digitalization. We should be able to move our revenue to the 20% of GDP that we want because of digitalization” he said.
“And so it’s an incredible period of renewal and we as Ghanaians are working to fight to get our economy to where it was or where it should be going”, he added.
Ofori-Atta also thanked God for his swift recovery from Covid-19 complications.
“The doctors here have been fantastic and dedicated but even they acknowledge that there must be someone upstairs [God in heaven] who is watching over you because the numbers [Covid-19 casualties] were so critical. So thank you indeed for your earnest prayers.”
And the Lord has saved me and I just want to publicly and unashamedly give God the Grace and focus”, he added.
Government in the 2021 Budget outlined several key taxes to help bridge the huge financing gap and put the economy on path of recovery.
They include the sanitation levy, financial sector levy, road tolls increase, amongst others.