Highlights of #GHBudget2018

Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has started presenting the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy Statement to Parliament today, Wednesday, 15 November, 2017.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies will attract a mass of government funds while infrastructure development will receive a smaller fraction in the 2018 budget which the Finance Minister has started presenting.

Government is expected to spend about GHS 61 Billion to keep the economy afloat in the next financial year.

Here are some Highlights:

• Finance Minister presents 2018 budget; says policies yielding positive results • Finance Minister presents 2018 budget; says policies yielding positive results
The Theme for 2018 budget is ‘Putting Ghana back to Work” to energize the public cparticularly the youth to embrace entrepreneurial spirit.

• Government has been consistent in fiscal discipline; stayed within deficit target and will meet projections set in 2017

• Government is on course to end the fiscal deficit at 6.3% from a high figure of 9.4%, lower than the 6.5% in the 2017 budget; it’s the second time in a decade that government has managed to stay within deficit targets

• Macro – economic indicators stabilizing, restored constant supply of electricity and renewed investor confidence in the economy

• Minority in parliament boos at finance Minister for claiming the NPP government solved the power crisis or “dumsor”.

• “We have normalized the domestic yield curve, issued the country’s maiden 15-yr bond in April 2017, improved external balances driven by higher export earnings and lower imports,  stabilized the cedi.

• End of October inflation at 16.6% from over 15.4 % in December last year, external import balances improved to 4.1% of import cover the highest in the country’s history.

• “We have achieved in one year what Mahama could not achieve in eight years,” –Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

• Ghana has received positive credit rating from international agencies, Fitch, Standard & Poors and Moodys

• Government has successfully refinanced energy debts; raised 4.7 billion cedis the highest in West Africa

• Government has proudly rolled out bold initiatives; Free SHS programme, National Digital address system, restored the Teachers and Nurses Training Allowance and macro-economic stability improved to increase money in the pocket of Ghanaians

• Government to transform macro-economic gains to opportunities for shared growth in 2018.

• Government to offer reliefs including reduction in electricity tariffs to boost private sector led development and industrial growth the create jobs

• Planting for Food and Jobs: stimulus package for distressed companies etc are priority programmes to engender economic growth.

• Ghana taking leadership role in 2018 budget to drive sustainable growth to compliment role of President Nana Akufo Addo as as co-Chair of the Group of Advocates of Eminent Persons of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

• Interest rate in 2017 continues to decline because of macro-economic gains.

• Total revenue and grants fell short of target by 9.3%.

• Accumulation of arrears by previous government remains one of the major challenges President Akufo Addo is facing; government however committed to programmes to clear arrears.

• Government is targeting an end-of-year inflation rate of 8.0 percent, lower than the 11.2 percent targeted for 2017.

• Overall GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, with non-oil GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent”.

• Economy to grow  by 6.8 percent in 2018, representing a 0.5 percent increase, compared to 2017 which was pegged at 6.3 percent.

• “Non-Oil real GDP grew at an estimated 4.0 percent as of June 2017 compared to 5.9 percent in the same period in 2016. Non-oil GDP growth is estimated at 4.8 percent at the end of 2017;“End-period inflation was 11.6 percent in October, 2017 compared to 15.8 percent at the same period in 2016.

• “The primary balance posted a surplus of 0.3 percent of GDP in September, 2017, as targeted and is a significant improvement over a deficit of 1.6 percent realized during the same period in 2016; – Finance Minister reveals in the 2018 budget.

• Ghana’s Gross International Reserves which stood at US$6.9 billion by end-September 2017, could cover 3.9 months of imports compared to the US$4.8 billion or 2.5 months import cover recorded in the same period of 2016.”

• Compensation of employees estimated at 19.6billion CEDI’s

• 2018 budget announces electricity tariffs; Residential – Up to 13%, Non Residential – 13%, Special Load Tariff- Low Voltage – 13% Special Load Tariff -Medium Voltage – 11% Special Load Tariff -High Voltage – 14% and High Voltage Mines – 21%.

MACROECONOMIC PERFORMANCE FOR 2017: 
Overall real GDP (as of June) 7.8%, -Non-Oil real GDP (as of June) 4.0%, -End-period inflation (as of October) 11.6%, -Overall budget deficit on cash basis as percentage of GDP(Sept) 4.5%, -Primary balance (Sept) 0.3%, -Current account balance (August) (0.2%), -Gross International Reserves (import cover)-Sept 3.9% and -End year expected deficit 6.3%

Source: Ghana/myxyzonline.com/93.1MHz