The Minority leader in parliament, also the Member of Parliament for Ajumako/Enyan/Esiam, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has stated the urgent necessity for the 2023 budget review to be a catalyst of optimism, aiming at rekindling the nation’s road to economic recovery.
In the midst of Ghana’s economic challenges, citizens, economic analysts and policy makers are eagerly awaiting the forthcoming mid-year budget review, which is set to be presented to parliament by the Finance Minister before the end of June.
Dr. Forson and his colleagues are particularly concerned about the state of the Ghanaian economy in light of the government’s recent declaration of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, which has been successfully concluded.
The Minority Leader stressed the need of using the mid-year review to address the ongoing economic problems and serve as a unifying factor for the country.
“We are primarily concerned about the state of our economy and the fact that the government has entered into an agreement with the IMF. It is our hope that the mid-year review will not only tackle the prevailing economic hardships but also serve as a guiding light, steering the country towards sustainable economic recovery.”Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson
In light of the approval and subsequent distribution of US$600 million from the US$3 billion IMF deal, Dr. Forson stressed the significance of review presenting tangible steps to restore stability.
He expressed the belief that the success of the mid-year budget review will serve as a litmus test, signaling whether Ghana is indeed on the path to economic revival or if the challenges will persist and intensify.
Moreover, Dr. Forson highlighted the discrepancy between the budget’s insufficiency and the government’s lifestyle, asserting that the country’s financial constraints are not reflected in the government’s expenditure patterns.
The MP called for a pragmatic approach to fiscal management and a reevaluation of the government’s spending habits.
IMF: Majority Leader Expressed Mixed Feeling IMF US$3 billion Credit Facility
The majority leader of parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, gave his opinion on the IMF facility during these discussions. Mr. Bonsu stressed the enormous consequences of the US$3 billion, which, when stretched over three years, does not seem to be enough to fulfill the country’s expenditure needs.
According to him, the IMF and World Bank’s validation through the facility acts as a catalyst to unlock additional funds from bilateral engagements, with the IMF and World Bank serving as guarantors for Ghana’s financial sustainability.
However, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu acknowledged that the IMF conditionality calls on the government to cut spending, which would have an impact on job possibilities and infrastructure development.
The majority leader emphasized the two fundamental aspects of the ongoing discussions with the IMF: reducing expenditure and increasing domestic revenue.
Striking a delicate balance between these two goals will be a formidable task, but the mid-year review is seen as an opportunity to present a coherent plan to inject new life into the Ghanaian economy.