An Economist and Head of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Godfred Bokpin,has asked Ghanaians to be moderate in their expectations of the 2018 budget and policy statement.
Explaining his position on Eyewitness News, Professor Bokpin explained that, though the 2018 budget may appear promising than the previous one, it will still take some time for Ghanaians to fully realize government’s projections captured in there.
“I am quite positive and hopeful that the budget will deliver to a large extent the expectations that is expected of it, but of course we have to be moderate. The reason why I am saying we have to be moderate is that the kind of progress we are asking for will take a while. It will take painful adjustments and some patience and sacrifice for all of us to get there.”
The 2018 budget, which is the second to be read by the Akufo-Addo government, is expected to focus largely on job creation.
The President last week hinted of a reduction in the cost of electricity to be captured in the budget.
Giving some expectations of the 2018 budget, Prof. Bokpin further projected that, government is most likely to focus on policies that will ultimately grow the economy.
“My understanding is that, government will go for growth. They will roll out policies that will ease the restrictions and the growth drivers of the economy, and government has that time, and again the most effective way to contain your debt is to grow your economy…My understanding of the 2018 budget is that it will be much more realistic than the 2017.”
How 2017 budget fared
Giving details on how the 2017 budget had fared so far, Prof. Bokpin described as overambitious, fiscal targets set by the government in the previous budget.
He pointed out that government’s ambitious plan on revenue generation caused some discrepancies in terms of revenue performance.
“They were overly ambitious so if you look at the difference between that and the fiscal outlook for 2016, you could see the progress, except that government was overly ambitious as to how much it can generate by way of tax revenue and therefore you could see the variance in terms of the performance”
He was however quick to add that, government nonetheless “exhibited considerable discipline on the revenue side.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonlone.com/Ghana