Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has contended that Government’s transformation agenda is on course, described the implementation of the 2021 Budget as successful so far, and pronounced that Ghana’s export hit USD 7.6 billion by June 2021.
He said the relatively strong performance of the external sector led to an increase in the reserves position to USD 11.0 billion, equivalent to 5.0 months of imports, one of the highest on record comparing well with a reserved position of USD 9.2 billion, equivalent to 4.3 months imports cover, in the corresponding period last year.
Ken Ofori Atta insisted that the finances of the country are being managed by Government with discipline and competence that the Government recognizes that more needs to be done has put in place a “One Million Jobs Initiative” to aggressively respond to the needs of the country.
The Minister of Finance proclaimed these economic achievements when he presented the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2021 Financial Year in Parliament on Thursday, July 29, 2021.
He emphatically indicated to the legislators and citizens of Ghana he was not in Parliament House asking for new taxes or supplementary budget and boasted he is staying within the limits of the appropriations approved in March for 2021.
The Mid-Year Fiscal Policy presented is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and is a review of the Government’s 2021 Economic Policy and Financial Statement delivered by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu on Friday, March 12.
Ken Ofori Atta was then seeking medical attention in the United States of America (USA) as a result of complications of Covid-19 he had suffered earlier.
The Minister in his delivery focused on revenue, expenditure, and financing performance for the first half of the year and provided an overview of the implementation of the 2021Annual Budget based on inflows and outflows within the first six months and a comprehensive economic outlook for the rest of the year.
The 2021 Budget introduced a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one percentage point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) and a one percentage point increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditure related to Covid-19 but the review did not see any new taxes introduced.
The Minister highlighted the state of the implementation of Ghana CARES “Obaatanpa” Programme that seeks to revitalise and transform the economy to pre Covid-19 times touched on the assurance of the government on securing Covid-19 vaccines for vaccination and effective domestic revenue mobilization initiatives.
He said the “Ghana CARES Obaatan Pa” Programme is a GHS 100 billion development initiative designed by the government to mitigate the economic challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ken Ofori Atta further provided the economic and fiscal performance of the economy for the first half of the year and an update on strategies by the Government to create employment for Ghanaians in general and the youth in particular.
He provided an update on the performance of the economy during the first five months of the year which he said are part of a number of mid-year measures the government was adopting to enhance policies approved by the House for the purposes to further consolidate the gains made.
Against the backdrop of the Ghana Beyond Aid vision, the Minister in his Mid-year presentation to Parliament explained how Ghana will take advantage of the opportunities that come with the hosting of the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).
He gave the assurance that the Akufo-Addo government is managing the Ghanaian economy with the competence it deserves adding that the benefits of the discipline and seriousness with which the government attaches to managing the economy have yielded positive results.