The Ministry of Finance has condemned a publication by 'The New Statesman' that alleged the sector minister, Seth Terkper, was pushing for the arrest of his former boss Dr. Kwabena Duffuor.
A release issued on Thursday by the Finance Ministry says the report is not only false "but calculated to tarnish the image of the Hon Minister, the Presidency and to create enmity between him [Seth Terpker] and Dr Kwabena Duffuor."
According to the Wednesday May 21, 2014 edition of 'The New Statesman' newspaper, Mr. Terkper’s reason for pressing for the arrest of Dr. Duffour’s is due to the latter's bad economic management practices.
The newspaper further alleged that the President, John Dramani Mahama, also believes Dr Duffuor, who was appointed by the late President John Evans Atta Mills as the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in 2009 mismanaged Ghana's economy.
The Statesman report went further to claim that there is animosity between the President and Mr. Terkper, on one hand and Dr. Duffour on the other, indicating that tensions between the trio was the reason Dr. Duffour did not attend the National Economic Forum (NEF) that was recently held at Senchi.
But reacting to the publication, the Public Relations unit of the Finance Ministry stated in the Thursday release that the Ministry actually holds that the deficit Ghana experienced in 2012 — when Dr Duffuor was still at the helm of Ghana's financial and economic affairs — were the result of shortfalls in petroleum revenue, implementation of SSPP, interest payments, subsidy payments related social intervention programmes among others.
"Nowhere had the Ministry stated or suggested that the overruns were the result of “negligence and bad economic management practices Dr Duffuor administered during his era at the helm of the Finance Ministry” as alleged by the New Statesman.
The Finance Ministry says the true reasons for the deficit the country experienced in 2012 have been clearly stated in paragraph 23 of the 2013 Budget Statement and Economic Policy as follows:
•Shortfalls in corporate income taxes, notably from the petroleum sector – GH¢708.2 million (1.0 percent of GDP);
•Shortfall in grants from our development partners – GH¢389.4 million (0.5 percent of GDP)
•Implementation of the single spine salary structure – GH¢1.91 billion (2.7 percent of GDP)
•Higher interest cost – GH¢245.0 million (0.3 percent of GDP);
•Utility and fuel subsidies – GH¢339.0 million (0.5 percent of GDP), and
•Higher spending on goods and services (which is already constrained by other expenditures) – GH¢354.7 million (0.5 percent of GDP).
"We demand that the paper [The New Statesman] apologises and retracts the story and give this rejoinder the same prominence that it gave to the false story", the Finance Ministry stated.