The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has downplayed fears government will overspend this year because it is an election year.
Chairman of the Commission, Dr Kwesi Botchway, believes government will stay within approved expenditure levels partly due to Ghana’s current commitment with the IMF program.
“We have a program that we are running with the International Monetary Fund and there are structures under this program; there is a budget, there are expenditure profiles that have been all agreed and the President has committed himself not to breach this understanding. The President has committed himself to ensure that there is no expenditure over run in this election year. So far, I have seen no evidence suggesting that this promise would not be met,” he opined.
Available statistics indicate that Ghana’s successive governments always over-run the country’s budget during election years.
Ghana’s budget deficit for 2008 which was an election year hit 24.2 percent of gross domestic product as compared to the 8.5 percent in 2007 which was not an election year.
While in 2012, another election year, Ghana’s budget deficit was a whopping 8.7 billion cedis amounting to 12.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
But Dr. Botchway who was a Minister of Finance under the Rawlings regime tells Citi Business News he is confident government this time round will not overspend.
“It will be a great thing if we avoid an expenditure bench in this election year because we pay dearly for it after the election. So I have seen no sign of an expenditure bench, on the contrary I have seen a commitment to not over spent in this election.”
Meanwhile recent figures released by the Finance Ministry has also shown that government’s capital expenditure increased than projected between January and July this year.
This notwithstanding, the expenditure for the period, 23.28 billion cedis, was within government’s target of 23.88 billion cedis.
By: Kojo Agyeman/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana