Finance Minister Seth Terkper
Finance Minister Seth Terkper

seth terkper

Seth Terkper

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terkper, was to have addressed Parliament in an emergency situation yesterday under Standing Order 71 of the House, but withdrew at the eleventh hour for unknown reasons. He is expected to do that today before Parliament goes on recess.

The emergency briefing was to have bordered on the dire economic situation in the country and measures being adopted to ensure that the suffering of Ghanaians is assuaged.

The management of the Ghanaian economy has come under serious attacks with rating agencies and economic experts forecasting a crisis situation in a few months? time. One of the factors leading to this is excessive borrowing by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

Ironically, President John Mahama, in a recent comment, said his administration would continue to borrow.

According to Fitch, an international credit ratings agency, which downgraded Ghana?s credit rating from stable to negative ? a sharp 20 percent depreciation of the exchange rate ? has caused government debt to rise to 61.8 percent of GDP in 2013, from 48.9 percent in 2012.

The Minority Members of the House have taken the latest attempt by government to tell Ghanaians another ?story? of the state of the economy, with a pinch of salt.
A member of the Finance Committee and New Patriotic Party MP for New Juaben South, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has termed the latest attempt as ?much ado about nothing.?

?The Minister of Finance was in Parliament in November last year to present the budget statement for 2014; the President himself came to Parliament in February this year to present his State of the Nation Address, focusing on the economy in which he said the fundamentals of the economy are strong so what is the Finance Minister going to say again?? he queried.

He said members of the Minority side had been warning the government about the economic dangers ahead of the nation and even proposed some measures to correct the situation, but the government had parried all those suggestions.

?Mr. Anthony Akoto Osei, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, had asked the government to present to the House a new budget because the fast-changing economic indicators had completely dislocated estimates made in the 2014 budget; the President was also in Parliament to assure the nation that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, despite the challenges so where do we stand now?? he asked.

He said the government should accept the fact that the economy is in crisis and implement recommendations proposed by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in his recent lecture on the state of the economy.

DAILY GUIDE had learnt that President John Mahama called for an emergency Cabinet meeting on Sunday and expressed grave concern about the ?boneshaker? economy ? as Dr. Bawumia, a renowned economist, had described it.

Foreign Trip

Meanwhile, the President left Accra yesterday for a one-week trip abroad that would take him to Belgium, the United Kingdom and Columbia.

He is expected to attend the EU-African Summit in Brussels and from there address an entrepreneurship programme at the London School of Economics and then leave there for Columbia to attend the World Urban Forum.

The Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, would be acting until Mahama returns from his foreign trip.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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