Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has assured Parliament that the government is working hard to get back quickly to the pre-pandemic fiscal and debt trajectory.
He said during the 2022 budget presentation on Wednesday November 17 that the fiscal policies implemented to provide relief during the pandemic has led to an increase in total public debt.
The situation was made worse by the big drop in revenue collections last year, he admitted.
Total revenues in 2020 fell by GHȼ11.93 billion, equivalent to 3.1 percent of GDP, while total expenditures increased by GHȼ14.08 billion, equivalent to 3.7 percent of GDP, he said.
As a result, a budget deficit of 11.7 percent of GDP was recorded against a target of 4.7 percent of GDP.
“Including the financial sector and energy sector related expenditures, the budget deficit was 15.0 percent of GDP. GDP growth also dropped to 0.4 percent, compared to a projected growth rate of 6.8 percent before the pandemic.
“This growth, however, compares favourably with the sub-Saharan African average of negative 1.7 percent.
“Mr. Speaker, we are under no illusions as to the economic challenges facing our country today.
“How to ease the sufferings of Ghanaians, transform the economy to create jobs and share the expected wealth across all households, such as providing security and education are what keep the President awake at night.
“How to broaden the revenue base, keep a grip on expenditure, protect the public purse and at the same time build with urgency the needed infrastructure, collecting revenue, managing our debt and expenditure commitments, and paying the bills to stimulate economic activity are the orders he has given to us, his Ministers and other appointees, to carry out over the next three years.”