Minority leader emphasizes need for mid-year budget to outline a roadmap towards economic recovery
Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the minority leader of Parliament, expressed the need for this year’s mid-year budget review, which is expected to be presented to Parliament before the end of June, to restore hope towards economic recovery. He emphasized the importance of addressing the current state of the economy, particularly in light of the government’s announcement and conclusion of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program. Dr. Forson urged the review to provide practical steps for restoring stability, considering the approval and disbursement of $600 million from the $3 billion IMF deal.
Furthermore, Dr. Forson highlighted the discrepancy between the insufficient budget and the government’s lifestyle, calling for measures to align the country’s financial constraints with its expenditures. He emphasized the need for the mid-year budget review to assess whether the economy is on a path to recovery or further deterioration.
In regard to the IMF facility, the Majority leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, acknowledged that the $3 billion, to be disbursed over three years, may not be sufficient to cover the country’s expenditures. However, he stressed its significance as confirmation from the IMF and World Bank that Ghana is on a positive trajectory. This confirmation also serves to unlock additional funds from bilateral engagements, with the IMF and World Bank acting as guarantors for the country’s sustenance.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu highlighted the need for the government to reduce expenditure as part of the IMF conditionality, ensuring that such cuts positively impact employment and infrastructure development. He emphasized the two key aspects of the IMF discussions: cutting down expenditure and increasing domestic revenue. Striking a careful balance between these two objectives will be crucial, and he expressed confidence that useful suggestions would arise during the mid-year budget review to provide a resurgence to the economy.