The Association of Ghana Industries has described the 2020 budget as one that will enable business owners to plan and predict the future of their businesses.
The Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, held that the government was careful not to introduce new taxes or policies with the potential to ruffle the market and create instability.
Pointing to what the government did in the mid-year review of the 2018 budget, where “ lots of different taxes were introduced,” he said, “this time you could see the Government maintained most of the things that are already in the system.”
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express Thursday, he cited the stable microeconomic environment and government’s efforts through the new budget to keep the indicators at reasonable levels, to buttress his point.
“At the microeconomic level, you could see that there was an effort to consolidate whatever gains we have made. If you track the trend we are having good stability in the microeconomic environment: cedi depreciation has been within a reasonable range, inflation has been dropping, the policy rate has been coming down and so, at the micro-level, there has been a lot of improvements,” Twum-Akwaboah pointed out.
Presenting the budget statement and economic policy for 2020, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the government achieved these great successes through hard work.
“As a result of us introducing the necessary combination of focus, discipline, integrity, creativity, compassion and competence, in just 32 months in office, Mr. Speaker, the Lord has blessed our efforts. The economy has seen miraculous turnaround, moving now in the right direction,” he told Parliament Wednesday.
Pointing to the gains he said, “the economic growth rate has doubled under President Akufo-Addo, rebounding strongly from 3.4 per cent in2016 (the lowest GDP growth rate since 1994); averaging 7%.”
He added that “ Inflation rate has fallen from 15.4 per cent in December 2016 to 7.6 per cent (new series) in September 2019, registering the lowest rate in 27years; which makes 2019 the year with the slowest ever rise in the prices of goods and service in Ghana in the entire history of the Fourth Republic.”
Ken Ofori-Atta went to great length to demonstrate that the government has improved the fortunes of Ghanaians in the last three years.
According to him, the government has, directly and indirectly, put an amount of 12.2 billion cedis into the pockets of many Ghanaians since 2017.
This, the government did through its major initiatives and social interventions.
For instance, the Free SHS policy, has saved parents a total of 1.8 billion cedis over the last three years according to the minister.
That was not all, “Planting for Food and Jobs,” he added, has saved farmers a total of 844 million cedis. While nursing trainees have also received a total of 336 million cedis in the form of allowance within the last three years.
The Chief Executive Officer of the AGI explains that, providing a stable market is good “because if you are able to have a predictable business environment then you can also plan ahead and do business and even borrow the funds that are needed to expand your operations.”