Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has told parliament in his mid-year review for 2022 that the government is “currently developing an Enhanced Domestic Programme to complement the GhanaCARES ‘Obaatan pa’ programme to return us to a path of macroeconomic stability, debt sustainability, robust growth and a Ghana Beyond Aid”.
“We expect this programme to be the basis of our negotiation with the IMF”, he said.
In the coming months, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “We will continue to optimise and support our flagship programmes, and make strategic investments in the real sector to increase production, enhance productivity, and create jobs”.
The YouStart programme, he noted, “will be a fundamental intervention to advancing an entrepreneurial nation to create jobs”.
Also, he announced, “Our iconic National Builder’s Corps (NaBCo) programme, which was initially to run for three years and extended for an additional year, will be completed by 1st September2 022”.
The programme, which engaged a 100,000 young graduates, has, in his assessment, “prepared thousands of them for the world of work”.
“So far, we have invested approximately GH¢2.2 billion. As they exit, the current cohort on the programme are encouraged to take advantage of the YouStart initiative and other existing programmes in our drive to build an entrepreneurial nation”, he urged.
He said the government’s policy is to support “dynamic young entrepreneurs” to “access training and funds to build their businesses and become a significant pool of job providers for their fellow young people”.
“We, however, recognise that our post-COVID economic recovery has been uneven and risks remain high. According to the IMF, the global outlook is grim and has darkened significantly, and global uncertainty is exceptionally high, and 2023 is even more uncertain. However, in the 2022 Budget, we committed ourselves to chart a course towards growth and fiscal sustainability and this Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review reasserts that commitment”, the minister told parliament.
He also observed: “We have seen some major shifts in our budget assumptions compared to November, 2021” when it was presented to the legislature.
These changes, Mr Ofori-Atta noted, “have led to reduced revenues, increased interest payments and changes in interest rates and exchange rates”.
“However, we are committed to staying within the appropriation for 2022. In spite of the underperforming revenues and strong external headwinds, we are not seeking additional funds in this mid-year review”.
“We are determined to efficiently use the windfall from the upstream petroleum sector to make up for our revenue shortfall and aggressively improve our revenues even as we rationalise expenditures”, he announced.