2016 Budget Ghana's public debt hits Ȼ92.2 billion - Seth Terkper

Seth Terkper said government is working tirelessly to keep the economy strong.

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Hon Seth Tekper in Parliament play

Hon Seth Tekper in Parliament

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The country’s public debt has risen to Ȼ92.2 billion cedis, Finance Minister Seth Terkper has revealed.

The new figures according to him is an improvement in government’s efforts at controlling the country’s public debt.

The numbers were made known when Seth Terkper presented the 2016 Budget and Economic statement of the government.

According to him, the economy has suffered major shocks for the past three years. The shocks he said include disruptions in gas supply for two and half years and simultaneous falls in gold and cocoa prices.

Except for the month of July, the Ghana Cedi in 2015 depreciated against the USD, Euro and Pound Sterling by an average of about 14%

He said projected budget deficit was GHC 9.7bn or 7.3 GDP. Total expenditure including payment of arrears was GHC 29.7bn against a target of GHC25bn.

He said government is working tirelessly to keep the economy strong.

Compared to 12 billion Ghana cedis increase in the public debt from December 2014 to March this year, the latest figures suggest that over the past five months, the debt has gone up.

On the 2016 general election, he said, government "will resist the temptation of election-year overspending."

"Let me assure this house and the nation the electoral commission will be adequately resourced for free fair and transparent elections

"Let there be no doubt the economy benefits substantially from our peaceful political climate", he stated.

Speaking on the macro-economic success, he said under the government's home-grown policy and IMF programs, "government have brought good gains at consolidating the economy. GDP will grow at 41 compared to 3.5% initially projected. World Bank is projecting growth at 7%."

He noted the withdrawal of subsidies is helping to consolidate gains. Budget deficit is down to 2.5% GDP, a reduction that is remarkable.

Seth Terkper added that commercial and quasi-commercial projects implemented through loans will now pay for itself adding government has also issued a 15-year bond, the first in sub-Saharan Africa.

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