We’re committed to reducing debt rate by 2024 – John Kumah

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Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah has said the Akufo-Addo administration is committed to reducing Ghana’s public debt stock by 2024.

Mr. Kumah stated that the Covid-19 pandemic contributed massively to the increase in Ghana’s debt and it not true that the debt is due to mismanagement of the economy by the Akufo-Addo administration, as alleged by Ranking Member for Finance in Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson.

Cassiel Ato Forson has said that the Akufo-Addo government alone is now responsible for 60% of Ghana’s debt stock, but John said all that is about to change between now and 2024.

Speaking on Citi FM, John Kumah stated that government is committed to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which requires that the country’s fiscal deficit must not go beyond 5%.

“The government of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo is committed to the Fiscal Responsibility Act which says that we should not go beyond 5% of our fiscal deficit every fiscal year. So clearly, we are committed to that. The deficit of last year is targeted to come down to 9.5% in 2021, and I believe by 2024 we should be hitting the fiscal responsibility figure of 5% so it is still going to reduce,” he stated.

Putting his hopes in God, he said “If by the grace of God we are able to get all the Covid-19 vaccines as we anticipate, and we are able to stay disciplined and follow all protocols, we should see the debt coming down.”

John Kumah said the finance ministry is committed to fiscal consolidation and would ensure that government remains disciplined and sticks to the figures of the budget.

Currently, Ghana’s total public debt stock, which ended the first quarter of 2021 at GH¢304.6 billion, has gone up by almost GH¢30 billion between April and May alone, taking it to GH¢ 332.4 billion.

The new debt figure brings Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 76.6% as of the end of May.

This is the highest recorded so far in the past year, slightly higher than the debt to GDP ratio of 76.1% recorded at the end of 2020 according to data from the central bank.

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