Ghana’s budget deficit will exceed 5% of GDP in 2020, the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has disclosed.

This, he said became obvious after a Cabinet retreat headed by President Akufo-Addo.

Briefing the press Tuesday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the slip is as a result of a massive cut in revenue and reduction in trade as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has, however, been instructed to ensure that this slip is contained to the barest minimum, Oppong Nkrumah said.

The Offoase Ayirebi MP said Mr Ofori-Atta has been instructed to put together a recovery programme to save the situation.

Budget deficit Oppong Nkrumah
Ken Ofori-Atta is Finance Minister

The programme, Oppong Nkrumah said will be submitted to Parliament after prior approval by Cabinet.

Fiscal Responsibility Act

In 2018, the administration championed the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which aims at checking spending by governments.

The Act was touted by government as an instrument through which it will maintain fiscal discipline as the country exited the IMF Program.

The Act stipulates two fiscal rules, or targets.

First, the annual budget deficit should not exceed 5% of GDP on a cash basis, and second, government’s primary balance should stay positive.

Projected growth

He also disclosed that Ofori-Atta has beat down the initial projected growth of the economy from six percent to 1.5 to two per cent.

Oppong Nkrumah also said, “all Ministers had an opportunity to present an update on how the Covid-19 is affecting their sectors and what if would take to recover from the slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.”

He, however, noted that there would be priority areas; with the Health sector being key.

Other areas of priority, the Minister said are: Roads, Education, Food and Agric and Security.