2022 Mid-year budget review: There is no crystal ball in predicting when these uncertainties will end – Ken Ofori-Atta

Fitch Ratings has further downgraded Ghana's long-term foreign-currency (LTFC) issuer default rating (IDR) to 'CCC' from 'B-'.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has asked for support from Ghanaians as the government works assiduously to find solutions to the country’s debilitating economic challenges.

Delivering the 2022 mid-year budget review on Monday 25, July 25, 2022, before Parliament, the finance minister expressed hope that with “discipline, dedication and hard work, we will overcome the current challenges that confront our nation.”

To achieve that, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government will in the immediate term strengthen its focus on ensuring efficiency in the country’s fiscal operations and transformation efforts by aggressively improving revenue mobilisation through the adoption of more innovative and comprehensive approaches including technology, rationalization of expenditures; adoption of policies to address inflation; promotion of production and improving productivity, including implementing the GhanaCARES and YouStart programmes; and exploration of innovative financing as illustrated by the recently approved US$ 750 million Afrexim Facility.

This, he said will be executed with the knowledge that predictions on a changed global outlook since the war have darkened significantly, and uncertainty is exceptionally high per the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Mr Speaker, there is no crystal ball in predicting when these uncertainties will end. The pandemic, which has been at the root of the current worldwide torment, is far from over. Crucially, the global weekly average of COVID infections has surged from 472,895 to 1,080,886 between 31st May 2022 and 22nd June 2022; even though the active infection rate in Ghana stands currently below 500. Despite harsh economic sanctions and tacit diplomacy, we are witnessing a war of attrition in Ukraine with no end in sight. Monetary policy adjustments to tame surging inflation may persist over the medium term,” he stated.

The government, therefore, he stated is developing a new strategy to enable the country to confront these uncertainties as part of the Enhanced Domestic Programme. “This programme will stimulate economic growth, promote fiscal consolidation and enable us to re-emerge on the path of sustained transformation. We have invited the IMF to support key components of this programme,” he stated.

“Mr Speaker, this programme reinforces our focus on fiscal consolidation. To demonstrate our commitment, we are not seeking additional resources despite significant challenges. We will stay within the appropriation for 2022. The government will balance underperforming revenues and the adverse impacts of the strong external headwinds,” he added

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