According to the finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta in the 2022 budget reading on Wednesday 17th November 2021, the country’s debt stock has increased to GH¢341.76 billion which is equivalent to 77.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ken Ofori revealed that economic adjustments to save lives and livelihoods during the pandemic have raised the global debt levels and the situation in Ghana is no different.
Presenting the 2022 budget statement to Ghanaians in Parliament he said,
“The provisional nominal debt stock including financial sector bailout costs and energy sector IPPs payments, stood at GH¢341.76 billion, equivalent to 77.5% of GDP as at end-September 2021, up slightly from GH¢291.63 billion, equivalent to 76.1 percent in December 2020.
He further added that;
“Fiscal deficit reduced from 6.5 percent of GDP at the end of 2016 to 4.8 percent of GDP at the end of 2019.
“Primary balance improved from a deficit of reduced from 1.1 percent of GDP at the end of 2016 to a primary surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP at the end of 2019; GDP grew from 3.4 percent at the end of 2016 to 6.5 percent at the end of 2019.”
In other news, the Government of Ghana has introduced a 1.7% phone transactions levy payable by mobile money users per transaction above GHS 100.
According to the Minister, the new levy will compensate for the abolishment of road tolls.
“Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.
“To address these challenges, Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately when the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls,”
The Finance Minister also told Parliament that Ghana is expected to rake in total revenue of GHS100.5 billion in 2022.
“Mr Speaker, total revenue and grants for 2022 is projected to rise above GHS100 billion for the first time – GHS100.5 billion, equivalent to 20 per cent of GDP up from a projected outturn of GHS70.3 billion, equivalent to 16 per cent of GDP for 2021”.
He added: “Domestic revenue is estimated at GHS99.5 billion and representing an annual growth of 44 per cent over the projected outturn of 2021”.