LOCAL NEWS: Deputy Finance Minister Dismisses Minority's Claims On Government Over Reckless Spending
A Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, has dismissed claims by the Minority in Parliament that the Akufo-Addo administration is on a reckless borrowing spree, which according to the opposition accounts for the country's ballooning debt stock.
According to him, the government's debt management strategy has yielded positive results, including retiring legacy debts, cleaning up the financial sector mess, and setting the country on a path of economic progress.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta On Wednesday, October 28 requested the approval of GHS 27.4 billion in Parliament to fund Government expenditure for the first quarter of 2021.
"We have had to incur our debts because of Covid-19 and therefore if you look at the global average, different situations will call for different considerations.so we want to do below 70 but when you have Covid -19 to deal with. When you have a financial sector situation to deal with and you have legacy debt, you may have to incur some debt before you stabilize the economy". The deputy Finance Minister explained.
Ghana's debt stock rises to GHS263.1 billion
Ghana's total public debt stock which stood at GHS219.6 billion at the beginning of this year, saw an accumulation of GHS 43.5 billion within seven months, according to the latest summary of Macroeconomic and Financial Data from the Bank of Ghana.
This brought the total debt at the end of July 2020 to GHS 263.1 billion.
The total amount of fresh debt accumulated within the first seven months of the years 2016,2017,2118 and 2019 stood at GHc8.7billion, GHc11 billion, GHc21.8 billion, and GHc28.9 billion respectively in that order.
In the first seven months of 2020 however, the amount of new debt accumulated jumped to GHS43.5 billion, representing an increase of 19.8percent in the country's debt stock from January to July.
This compares to an increase of 16.4 percent in the country's total debt stock within the same period in the year 2019.
Story by Rodney Tsenuokpor