Minority leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu

Minority leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu insists the government needs to seek debt relief and forgiveness to deal with Ghana’s current situation.

Reacting to the Finance Minister’s mid-year budget statement, he said that Ken Ofori-Atta could not ask Parliament for additional funds because the state coffers are dry.

“We have heard the Minister for Finance say, “I’m not here to ask for money”. Mr Speaker you don’t drink water from an empty calabash. So, we can understand why he is not here to ask for money. No Boards in place, no Chief Executives in place, no DCEs in place. What will you ask for more money for?”

The move by the Finance Minister, he said goes a long way to show Ghana’s only hope is to seek debt relief and forgiveness if the government wants to salvage the economy.

The Minority leader’s comment comes after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta revealed, when he presented Mid-Year Review Budget statement Thursday that, the government has no intention of requesting for more funds for the 2021 fiscal year.

Unlike previous instances where his Ministry requested for a supplementary budget to run the affairs of the country, the Minister of Finance said the Akufo-Addo government will stay within the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented in March this year.

Ken Ofori-Atta, also assured that more taxes will not be introduced to generate more revenue.

“Speaker, this Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review that I am presenting does not come with a supplementary budget, and our revised fiscal framework for 2021 is kept within the fiscal target of 9.5 per cent of GDP. Therefore, we are staying within the 2021 Appropriation,” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the move is possible due to various interventions to get the country’s economy back on track amidst the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.