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Cut expenditure to stabilize economy – Pianim tells govt

An economist, Kwame Pianim has asked the government to reduce its spending in view of the economic crisis. He says government must demonstrate that it cares by cutting expenditure. Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Paa Kwesi Asare on Wednesday October 26, he said “people are suffering, when people are suffering that is not when you irritate them.

“Cut expenditure, not planting GRA officers in shops. Things are not going well and we are looking for the President to come up the way he did during Covid, we need a credible message from him that ‘I am going to cut expenditure to stabilize the economy’.” Ghana’s economy has been going through severe challenges, a situation the government has consistently blamed on the 0ngoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The local currency is not performing well against the major trading currencies especially the Dollar. The Vice President Dr Mahama Bawumia who is also head of the Economic Management team said bold and firm decisions ought to be taken to tackle this situation.

He admitted that achieving fiscal and debt sustainability is not going to be an easy task. Speaking at the opening of the StanChart Fintech festival, an annual event to assemble experts to discuss how to use technology to propel growth the financial sector on Wednesday October 26, he said this part of the discussions the government is having with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a programme.

“Restoring fiscal and debt sustainability is not going to be easy, it will require very bold, difficult but firm decisions. I think these are part of the discussions that we are having with the IMF and I am sure once these are concluded it will be clear that it will not be and it should not be business as usual, because we have to adjust to the new global and domestics realities.

“What we are also seeing is that, the nature of production needs to change. Why do I say that? “You are seeing Ghana consistently, over the last five years, having more and more trade surpluses but at the same time we have had these trade surpluses on our balance of payments.

“This is like the first time in about twenty years that we have had consistently, about five years of trade surpluses on our balance of payment, at the same time we are having a lot of current account deficits, which means that a lot of the foreign exchange that we are earning from our trade doesn’t stay in Ghana,” he said.

He added “One of the areas where we have to address this is to reduce the import dependency that we have as a country. There is soo much when you look at the broad spectrum, from toothpick to tomatoes to rice and maze, and so there is a very high dependency but as the global economy is going to realign to the new reality with more self-reliance Ghana cannot be left behind.

“We also have to look very closely at how we enhance domestic production  and reduce dependency on imports for commodities that we can very easily produce here in Ghana. “We also have to look very clearly at our foreign exchange regime. It is very clear that it is quite loose and this is why we are going to be working to see how we can tighten the foreign exchange regime.

“Of course, I think that some of the details around some of these pillars I am talking about, when the president addresses the nation hopefully by the end of the year, some of these details will be fleshed out in more specifics.

“In broad terms, you cannot address the current economic crisis without addressing the fiscal and debt sustainability, without addressing the production side, without addressing  the foreign exchange regime and what allows us to lose a lot of foreign exchange. But, more importantly, if we are going to address this, the economy must be digitalized and that is something we have started since 2017.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana



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