100 days of change: We have arrested the cedi – Bawumia

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | george.nyavor@myjoyonline.com
Date: 17th-april-2017 Time:  11:52:18 am

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The vice president has touted the current government as achieving what previous administrations have failed to do, mentioning the cedi's appreciation and fiscal consolidation as major feats.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration in 100 days has accomplished what detractors thought could not be achieved.

The Vice President made the remark at Joy News' 100 days Town Hall on Monday at the New Court Complex in Accra to mark the first 100 days of the current administration which fell on Sunday.

Joy FM NPP Town Hall meeting

He said contrary to criticisms that the first 100 days of the government have been marked by wrong calls on the economic front, there is evidence of progress such as a stable local currency that has brought some relief to investors and business owners.

"We have arrested the cedi from running," he said.

The cedis has sustained its appreciation against the US dollar over the last two months.

The local currency has appreciated by some 0.41 percent since the beginning of the year, selling at GH¢4.16 to the dollar among commercial banks as at Wednesday, April 12, 2017 – the local currency’s best performance against the U.S dollar on the last trading day in December 2016.

Fiscal consolidation

The Vice President also waded into Ghana’s perennial problem of poor fiscal consolidation and lauded the Finance Ministry for succeeding where past budgets have failed.

Despite the poor finances inherited by the current government from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Bawumia said the 2017 budget has secured a strong footing for economic turnaround.

“In the 2017 budget, we turned Ghana back onto the path of fiscal consolidation with a budget deficit target of 6.5%. We ended 2016 with a budget deficit close to 9%...The government also created a lot of fiscal space by capping earmarked funds at 25% of government revenue and re-aligning expenditures to government priorities.

"This capping of the earmarked funds is a remarkable reform especially if you look at the 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015 budgets [under the NDC]. All these budgets attempted to do this and expressed the intention to do this but never did it. But under Nana Akufo-Addo we did it in the first budget,” he said.

Had this not been achieved, the country would have continued its debilitating plunge into further economic challenges.

Joy FM NPP Town Hall meeting

Focus on production

The 2017 budget, he said also saw Ghana moving away from an economy that was primarily focused on taxes to an economy that is focused on production.

This singular move, he said, will provide incentives to the private sector to bring down the tax rate and increase production.

Furthermore, the Vice President said the current government in 100 days has saved the country more than $300 million.

This, he notes has been achieved through the cancellation of some 20-poorly-though-out power purchasing agreements entered into by the previous NDC government.

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