For Ghana’s economy to survive, there is the need for more stringent fiscal measures at all times, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo said Tuesday.
Opening the 2018 edition of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF), the official, who is in charge of the overall direction of Ghana’s economy, reiterated the government’s plan to put in place a fiscal regulation that would rein in spending.
Ghana ended 2017 with a fiscal deficit of 6.0 percent against a target of 6.3 percent as spending was cut for various sectors amid a dwindling out-turn of revenue.
“It’s discipline. Even in specific families, you do not spend more than you have, else you run into serious debts,” the minister pointed out.
The minister attributed the issue of budget deficits to indiscipline which made successive governments battle hard to beat down the budget deficit.
He said plans were far advanced for the government to introduce a Fiscal Responsibility Act which would ensure governments did not spend beyond specific fiscal thresholds provided under the law.
The 2018 GEF, an annual event, is under the theme “Building a competitive economy for sustainable growth”.
The minister urged participants to assess the performance of the government’s manifesto program of “One District, One Factory” and make recommendations for the way forward.
He said this was key because agriculture, technology and industrialization were critical areas where the government could benefit from logical, implementable recommendations from the forum.
“While Ghana has talked about transforming agriculture since independence, this is yet to be seen and agriculture still lags behind with negative growth in some years,” the minister observed.
In her opening remarks, Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ghana, Abena Osei-Poku urged the banking sector to innovate and aim to offer financial solutions that respond to economy.
Although the banking sector is going through cycles, there is still the need for robust corporate standards, ethical behavior, and the will to do more for the industry to remain strong.
“Bankers and financial market players must innovate and offer financial solutions that respond to the cyclical nature of the economy,” she stressed.