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We’ll continue borrowing responsibly – Bawumia

Aug. 15, 2017, 4:56 p.m.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) will continue to borrow to help grow the Ghanaian economy but will do that responsibly and not recklessly.

“A lot of people misunderstand when we say we are going to be responsible, it doesn’t mean that we are not going to borrow money, it only means that we are going to borrow responsibly and not recklessly,” he added.

The Vice President while speaking at the closing ceremony of the two-day National Policy Summit on Trade and Industry on Tuesday insisted that “no government can say they won’t borrow money, that is ridiculous but you have to borrow responsibly and not recklessly.”

Dr. Bawumia and some members of the NPP while in opposition criticized the Mahama government of having a voracious appetite for foreign loans which they claimed catapulted the country’s debt stock to unsustainable levels.

But he at the summit promised that the NPP government will adopt fiscal discipline to ensure that the economy is not thrown off track.

According to him government is in the process of amending the Public Management Financial Act to limit the country’s fiscal deficit to between 3 and five percent of GDP starting from 2018.

“…We are very focused on making sure the macro economy is stable and we will continue with the process of fiscal consolidation. We got off the wagon as far as the fiscal deficit is concerned but we are coming back bringing the fiscal deficit from 9.4% in 2016 to a projected 6.35 this year.”

“And we are going to pass a law by amending the public management financial act to limit the fiscal deficit from 2018 going forward to a maximum of the window between 3 and five percent of GDP. That is the way forward, we’ve never done this in Ghana but this demonstrates that the government is very committed to keeping fiscal discipline so that every investor, both internal and external and every player in our economy will know that going forward from 2018 Ghana’s fiscal deficit will always be within the range of 3 and 5 percent of GDP,” he added.

Debt stock hits GHc137 billion

New figures from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) show that the country’s total public debt hit GHS137.2 billion as at May 2017.

This was contained in the economic and financial data released by the central bank at the end of its Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

According to the report, the debt stock increased by GHc9.4 billion within the last three months from GHc127.8 billion to GHc137.2 billion.