Supplementary budget Seth Terkper accused of presenting 'untrue' data to parliament

The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, on Monday, said the fast pace of accumulating public debt, since the declaration of HIPC, has started to slow down.

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Seth Terkper is accused of manipulating economic data in his supplementary budget. play

Seth Terkper is accused of manipulating economic data in his supplementary budget.

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Ghana's debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio which dropped to 63% from 72% at the end of May 2016 was "untrue," the Minority spokesperson on Finance has challenged.

The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, on Monday, said the fast pace of accumulating public debt, since the declaration of HIPC, has started to slow down in a supplementary budget address to parliament.

He said:"The provisional data to end-May 2016 shows that Public Debt has decreased from about 72 percent of GDP at the end of 2015 to about 63 percent at the end of May 2016."

However, addressing a press conference on Thursday to respond to Terkper's supplementary budget, Dr Anthony Osei Akoto said the data could not be true taking into account the government's excessive borrowing.

He noted that Ghana's debt was GHC100 billion at the end of December 2015, while the GDP stood at GHC140 billion at the end of December 2015.

He said that gave a debt to GDP ratio of 72%.

Explaining further, Dr Akoto Osei said the country's debt has gone up from GHC100 billion to GHC102 billion in January 2016.

According to the former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, the government has projected the GDP to hit GHC167 billion by the end of December 2016.

Dr Akoto Osei said the government should have used the projected GDP for December 2016 in calculating the debt-to-GDP ratio for January 2016.

"When you do this," he continued, "the debt-to-GDP ratio declines dramatically from 72% in December 2015 to 60% one month later, even though the debt has increased," he added.

He further accused the government of taking the total debt stock in May 2016 and dividing it by the projected GDP for December 2016 to arrive at a debt-to-GDP ratio of 63%.

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