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Ofori-Atta spoke nicely but substance in 2023 budget gives less confidence — Senyo Hosi

The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi, has disclosed that the 2023 budget statement and economic policy of the government presented by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday, November 24, 2022, gives less confidence to the plight of the problems in Ghana.

Ken Ofori-Atta

He was of the view that the budget painted Ghana as a country with no future adding that the budget was well-written and failed to proffer any meaningful solutions to Ghana's economic mess.

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He stated that businesses in the country are going to have a much tougher time ahead.

"I think that the Finance Minister spoke nicely written down stuff but substance really gives us less confidence. You look at our problem today; it's sitting significantly on the fiscal side so we’re expecting to see a lot more fiscal consolidation.

"But what are we seeing? We're looking at a plan to increase our budget deficit. That doesn’t give us a good signal because that means that we're going to be crowded out even more from the funding market as businesses because we need to invest in all these projects," Senyo Hosi said on Joy News.

Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the budget disclosed that there will be an embargo placed on recruiting for civil and public services from January 2023.

According to him, the freeze in government employment in 2023 will help in the reduction of expenditure.

He stated that the government will next year freeze tax waivers given to foreign companies in the country and the move is the first step toward expenditure rationalization in the country.

Ofori-Atta indicated that the government has increased the country's Value Added Tax (VAT) by 2.5 percent in 2023.

The proposal to increase the rate forms part of the government's seven-point agenda to revitalize the economy, he noted.

The standard VAT rate is 12.5%, except for supplies of a wholesaler or retailer of goods, which are taxed at a total flat rate of 3%.

He also announced that the government will undertake major structural reforms in the public sector.

Regarding the economic challenges, he told Parliament that the government was determined to change the narrative after admitting that the economy has been going through troubles.

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