The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to appear before Parliament on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, to present the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December 2018. The build up to the presentation has attracted diverse reactions from players, both in industry and academics. On his part, a senior lecturer from the Department of Finance, University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Lord Mensah believes that the stabilisation of the fiscal and monetary sector indicators in recent times has boosted investor confidence. This, he hopes will translate into increased investments in the economy.
Dr. Lord Mensah added that the upward adjustments of commodity prices on the market will shore-up accruing revenue to the government in the coming year. “The economic indicators look favourable. If you take commodity prices on the market so far, they have started showing some upward adjustments, especially oil. Cocoa has also realised some appreciation and this gives enough confidence to the finance minister”, he said.
He however cautioned government against the over-cast and over-projection of revenue content to avoid disappointments. “In terms of revenue projection, I am hoping that this is not going to trigger some kind of over-projections and in the end, the realisation of those revenues might not be secured”, he warned.
Also addressing the issue of narrowed tax net, he charged government to initiate mechanisms to explore other avenues to boost tax earnings of government in the coming year. He highlighted that diversification of revenue sources has been a major challenge which if addressed, will ensure a robust economy. Adding that if this is ensured, a shortfall in one sector will not affect the general outlook of revenue generation in the country. He expects a cut in unnecessary spending and thus, predicts a moderate budget which will discourage debt accumulation.
“Even though there is confidence around the market, we should expect a budget that is quite moderate and not trigger unnecessary debt accumulation and in the end, we will find ourselves wanting or coming for a review”, he added.
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