Senior Advisor to the Minister of Planning, Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa has disclosed plans by the government to dedicate the 2020 budget to massive infrastructure development, ABC News can report.
He, however, indicated that the government’s infrastructure agenda will not lead to a huge budget deficit that usually characterises election year.
In an interview with Graphic Business, Dr Mensah-Abrampa said the focus on infrastructure will not balloon next year’s budget because all projects will be executed in accordance with a laid down plan.
“2020 [budget] will be devoted to infrastructure because that is the plan.”
“In an election year, what causes excess expenditure is the huge spending on infrastructure so that people can visibly see what the government has done, but the good thing is that ours have been planned for, so it will not lead to excess spending.”
“What is expected to be done in an election year will just coincide with the plan of the government,” he stated.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa said the government was aware of the excessive spending in election years and had, therefore, initiated a structured plan to guide its expenditure.
“The vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo includes the transformation of the economy, stabilising the economy, modernising agriculture, transforming the industrial sector and improving infrastructure.
“If you look at the first year of this government, the emphasis was on stabilising the macroeconomy and, therefore, many things were done to get the fiscal indicators right,” he said.
He added that “the government initiated some social programmes to reduce the burden on people which included the free senior high school.”
At that same time, he said the government realised that one of the key things pushing inflation up had to do with agriculture production, where there was low agriculture production and huge demand for food, leading to higher inflation.
“So there was emphasis through the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme to ensure the availability of food.”
Dr Mensah-Abrampa said with the free SHS programme entering its second year, the government in 2018, made allowance to be able to contain some of its social programmes that required more funding.
“Once the economy stabilised and we rolled out the social programmes, we then looked at other areas which included the energy sector to support the industrial sector.
“In the third year, we really wanted to firm up the macro situation and this required that we must get the financial sector right to create the space and the predictable situation for the private sector,” he added.
He said the fourth year will focus on huge infrastructure development, stressing that “this is not a picture that I am carving but something that was planned for in the government’s vision and is being implemented.”