Dr. Michael Adongo, a Development Economist has described Ken Ofori-Atta’s 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review presentation as a “wasted one hour of presentation” adding that all one needed was a calculator to know that what the minister said did not add up.
“I heard yesterday was a mathematics enigma. It was a walk-on-water moment for the finance minister. All you needed was a calculator and you’ll know that what he said didn’t add up and I believe that being the cousin of the President he went and told Parliament what he wanted knowing very well that nothing will happen to him.
“Any finance minister doing this aside the President Cousin will be given marching orders and I felt it was a wasted hour of listening to it.”
He expressed fears that Ghana may not get any support from the International Monetary Fund even in the first quarter of 2023 because the presentation revealed very unpleasant trends.
“I was even more worried about the fact that if the IMF hear this review, I can guarantee just like you quoted me yesterday, mark me even the first quarter we’re not going to get a dime from the IMF because it revealed a very troubling trend.”
“First the Minister of Finance indicated that our external revenues plus grants were falling far short of our expectations, tax revenues short of our expectations, you were looking at us increasing interest payments and because we promised fifteen percent COLA to public sector workers, we’re increasing compensation payments. The minister never indicated that he was going to reduce capital expenditure; in fact we’re actually increasing capital expenditure.”
According to him the minister’s statement that he was going to stay within appropriation is confusing because the government is not meeting its revenue targets and not making any savings on expenditure.
“You ask yourself what is he is telling us. He’s going to tell us that the money has to come from somewhere and if it’s coming from somewhere we’re not getting money to borrow and we’re not asking for more appropriation then only one thing is certain that we are going to print money through the backdoor and that is worrying.”
Dr. Adongo said he was disappointed in the Finance Minister because his presentation yesterday lacked clarity.
“The minister again yesterday disappointed me by not being very clear. You were not asked to come and present a new budget and you were not asked to come and give us a sermon. All we wanted was for the minister to come and tell us per the 2022 budget we presented in November this is what we have spent, what we’ve been able to achieve, this is what is left to be done, this is how far we’ve gone with our revenue mobilization and we want to do A, B, C, D to close. He came not only wasted our time he just called Parliament’s bluff that I’m going to print money with or without your approval.”
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Osuman Kaapore Tahiru|Ghana