2015 Budget presentation

Finance Minister, Seth Terkper is presenting the government’s 2015 budget statement on the floor of the House of Parliament.

He starts by presenting the 2014 Annual reports on the petroleum funds.

Reports that progress has been made in resolving major economic challenges after Senchi accord.

Completion of the migration of all public sector workers unto the Single Spine after years of failure

Clearing of all arrears under the Single Spine.
Eliminating long queues at fuel stations.
Notwithstanding these successes the economy came under significant shocks from 2013-2014

Some of the setbacks include the continued disruption of the supply of gas from 2012-2014 due to the destruction of the gas pipeline

The fall in gold prices;
Some of these setbacks affected the stability of the local currency but after the intervention of the Bank of Ghana the currency is gradually stabilising.

It is for this reason that government approached the IMF to assist.

The discussion with IMF is going on steadily and we will inform Parliament in due course.

Though fears over the IMF prescription are genuine Ghana has over the years gained the experience in dealing with the IMF and this will not be any different.

Promising outlook for Ghana
Economy continues to grow and is led by agriculture and the service sector

The completion of the Gas pipeline project which will supply 2million cubic feet of gas is a major stride.

2015 Financial year looks promising for the following reasons

There is new debt management policies to keep Ghana’s balance sheet in good health

Energy bonds will be issued to fund activities in the energy sector.

Cocoa bonds will be issued to fund activities of cocoa.

This is an innovative financing plan adopted by government to finance major infrastructural activities in the major sectors.

The $700million loan is a GNPC loan is one of such activities by the GNPC to fund its own infrastructure activities. The 5 per cent cost of borrowing is very competitive. It is not a government of Ghana loan.

The loan will help develop gas infrastructure which will in the final analysis reduce gas prices in Ghana.

Global Economy
According to IMF World Economic outlook, the performance of the global economy has not been encouraging.

There is growth of 5.1 percent in 2014 and is expected to be 5.8 per cent in 2015

Commodity prices
Prices have declined and are expected to fall further.

Ghana has endured harsh economic challenges due to slump in prices of commodity prices.

The prospects are that the development in gas can neutralise these challenges.

ECOWAS activities
Ghana continues to play an integral role in ECOWAS. In 2014 the heads of government decided to work at the abolition of residents permit. There was also the fight against the deadly ebola virus which Ghana’s president John Mahama is leading.

The Implications of the ECOWAS activities for the Ghanaian economy

ECOWAS face ostracism due to the threat of EBOLA.
President John Mahama and chairman of ECOWAS has been at the forefront in mobilising funds for the fight of the deadly virus.

Macro Economic Indicators
For the year under review the GDP was 6.9 down from the projected 7.1%

Agric had the highest growth of 5.3% followed by services 4.6%

Inflation was 16% in September 2014. The rise in inflation reflects the sharp increase fuel prices as well as the utility prices.

The cedi continue to weaken.
Government ready to address short term challenges facing the economy.

medium term objective is to reduce fiscal deficit to 3 per cent of GDP by increasing revenue through taxes.

Government intends to complete its implementation of the policy on VAT.

Necessary that we observe budgetary constraints on the wage bill. It is the cumulative overrun of the wage bill that has prevented government from meeting its obligation on pensions and other statutory payments.

Will continue to implement price adjustment policies. Will implement a price mitigation account which will stabilise

Ghana’s public debt as a per centage of GDP has been rising from 2008. From 55% to 60.8% in 2013 on account of the increase in gas.

Some of the loans were used to execute major infrastructure projects including the following.

The Ghana National Processing plant to resolve energy prices

expansion of the Ridge Hospital
Expansion of the Kpong water station
The Sofo Line project
The Tetteh Quarshie to Madina project
The expansion of affordable housing unit
The Kumasi Central market
The Kasoa interchange
The provision of 200 metro bus and the renovation of the Parliament House.

Sector Performance
Over the past few years government has spent on social services

Health sector
Government has extended national health insurance and has made significant investment in the health example the 420 bed Ridge Hospital project; 500 bed military bed in Kumasi; the police hospital project. 21 health sectors.

Korlebu benefitted from 57million dollar project. 724 CHPS compound were made function

Mahama’s agenda for quality accessible education remains on course.

Additional 200 SHS schools on course; 50 of the schools are at various stages of completion. The 2015 budget has made provision for additional 50 schools.

This means that funding has been secured for 123 out of the 200 senior high schools. We remain committed to fulfilling promise by close of 2016.

The Eastern Region university to begin and Parliament will soon ratify the construction of the university.

The universities in Volta and Brong Ahafo have reached several stages of completion.

Ministry has given cash grants to 77,000 households under the LEAP programme. Out of the payment, 7000 have received electronic payments.

The objective is to reduce food insecurity through the improvement of buffer activities.

40 hectares of cassava technology were distributed to farmers in various districts.

To reduce post harvest losses the buffer stock is being enhanced.

273m dollars is being invested in the Kpong expansion water project with funding from the government

areas to benefit when the project is concluded are Adenta, Dome-Kwabenya North East and West Legon

- See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/November-19th/live-updates-2015-budget-presentation.php#sthash.gE3VM5q0.dpuf

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