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2017 budget would be business friendly - Finance minister assures

Feb. 24, 2017, 1:58 p.m.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said the 2017 budget would come up with policies to aid the growth of businesses.

There are fears, with rising public debt of GHC122 billion and a double-digit budget deficit the new administration may struggle to implement some of its manifesto promises.

But speaking to JOYBUSINESS after President's State of the Nation Address Tuesday, Mr. Ofori Atta said these promises will be implemented adding the 2017 budget would also outline programs that will help improve the business environment.

Mr Ofori-Atta who is set to present the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government's first budget on Thursday, March 2, to parliament said government would have something that would be encouraging to the private sector.

"We would create something that would create relief and ensure that our education and nurses are taken care of," he said.

Regarding the timelines for achieving this, he said Ghana need to be reasonable in terms of the fiscal space the nation has and what can be done.

He, however, was sure that Ghanaians would be "impressed with the kind of solutions" that "government may have found within the short time."

"At least there would be a commitment to continue, transparency, and hard work" to make sure the nation grows to be better.

President Akufo-Addo says government would fund the cost of public senior high schools (SHS) for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.

He explained that by free SHS there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees and no utility fees.

Although there have been several debates about the funding of the programme, Mr Ofori-Atta said the free SHS policy would go ahead as planned and "we would find the resources for it.

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo has indicated government would target a budget deficit of about seven percent.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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