Government is expected to announce enhanced revenue measures later this morning in the 2021 budget to be read by caretaker-Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
The Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta is still recovering from post-Covid-19 complications in the United States.
With the economy reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic the budget is expected to provide details of the government’s recovery plan including how it intends to fund its ¢100 billion economic revival blueprint.
Ghana’s first so-called post-pandemic budget is expected to focus on economic revival.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah hinted at the introduction of some creative revenue mobilization measures.
This may include the introduction of new taxes, likely increases in existing ones, or the introduction of more efficiency in raising revenue.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association is already warning against the introduction of new taxes.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) wants to see a bold plan to support businesses.
Ghana’s current debt burden will be a key feature to look out for. JoyNews understands the budget will lay out a plan the address Ghana’s rising debt stock.
Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has already indicated that as part of the post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts, government is considering rolling out creative revenue mobilisation measures to fund its projects.
Speaking to journalists in Accra on March 10, 2021, the Ofoase Ayirebi legislator stressed the need for government to increase its revenue streams in order to embark on useful projects for Ghanaians.
According to him, government needs creative revenue mobilisation measures that will enable it to roll out its policies for the 2021 fiscal year.
“Between 2017 and 2019, we made great gains in our economy as the President outlined in his address to the nation. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has dealt a very big blow to the economy. One of its devastating effects is that it has gravely hampered growth.
“The consequence is that growth has suffered and our debt situation has gotten worse and Covid is a significant reason. The implication is that over the next four years, we have to gradually start what the economists call fiscal consolidation by trying to reduce the debt burden.
“That means that we have to work to raise some more revenues to fund some of our debts, fund the already existing expenditure and then to ensure that the ever-growing needs of the people are attended to. So as we are getting ready for the budget, now is a good time to have a conversation around fiscal measures or revenue measures.
“What can we do to be more efficient in raising revenue from some of the old revenue measures? Are there new revenue measures that we can consider?,” he added.
Ghana’s economy was on a steady rise between 2017 and 2020, recording improvement in various areas such as growth in Gross Domestic Products (GDP), microeconomic stability, single-digit inflation and stability of the cedi. However, the entry of the coronavirus pandemic dealt the Ghanaian economy a blow, eroding the gains government recorded.
However, touching on ways the country can move forward from the Covid induced setback the Minister called for all hands to be on deck.
He said the country needs a concerted effort from relevant stakeholders on revenue measures that will help restore the country to its previous state before the Covid hit the country’s shores.
“I am encouraging that now is the time for academia, civil society groups, people across the political divide who have an understanding of managing the economy and it related matters to come together and begin to explore what will be the best revenue measures that will not burden the people but helps us to raise some more revenue to clean up the challenges that we are facing currently,” he said.
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