Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, has jabbed Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, accusing him of playing games with GDP growth figures.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, presenting the 2018 mid-year budget, noted that provisional first-quarter GDP estimates indicate that real GDP grew by 6.8 percent for the first quarter of 2018 compared to 6.7 percent for the same period in 2017.
The non-oil GDP, he explained grew by 5.4 percent up from 4.0 percent same period in 2017. And based on the fiscal performance for the first five months of 2018, measures have been rolled out to ensure fiscal deficit target of 4.5 percent of GDP to end the year.
The Ranking Member, Cassiel Ato Forson, disagreed and said if we compare the GDP figures of last quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018, it is clear that the figures are going down from the last quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018.
He further stated that the fiscal deficit of 4.5% is not achievable clearly because the government needs to pay a huge cost for financial services. And that the financial sector is going down and the bond of 2.2 billion issued by the government would escalate the financial sector.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and MP for Ofoase Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah strongly disagreed with his colleague, saying the minority is always deceiving the public and joking with serious issues of development.
He said the government meant business as they have raised the growth of the economy and improved revenue generation. And that this year, “our balance of trade and payment is positive and we have reserves for about 8 billion dollars.
According to him, the Cedi had some challenges due to some external shocks as explained by the Finance Minister. “Some international investors took advantage of the US Gov’t Federal Reserve rates that were quite good for investing.