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Govt outlines policies to address budget deficit

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Finance Minister, Mr Seth Tekper has indicated that government has outlined measures to solve the gaping budget deficit which is threatening to collapse the country’s economy.

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He said the recent hike in petroleum prices for instance was some of the corrective measures adopted to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure.

Delivering the 2013 Budget statement in parliament Tuesday, the Minister said government was keenly monitoring the level of debt incurred over the past four years and was instituting stringent policies to stem the tide.

There have been concerns over the increasing debt profile of the country with some suggesting the country may soon return to the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status.

Former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Dr Akoto Osei, for instance has said the country’s debt has increased from GHȻ9.5 billion to GHȻ33.5 billion.

Mr Tekper in his presentation cited shortfalls in grants from international donors, the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure, higher spending on goods and services as some of the reasons for the deficit.

He said, as a developing country Ghana must still borrow to expand its infrastructure but noted the government will shift its focus to the quality of loans it acquires and the quality of projects it applies the loans.

He said the government was looking at investing in commercial projects which will be viable enough to pay for their cost.

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