Tuesday , 30 May 2017

Cedi stability not artificial – Finance Minister tells critics

Ken Ofori atta Finance MinisterFinance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has pushed back hard against critics that the recent gains made by the cedi against major trading currencies, particularly the dollar, is artificial.

“I’m not sure that there is any issue of artificiality in this because all we have done has been consistently tackling the variables of revenue, expenditure,” he told the media at the State House.

He added: “Capping the earmarked funds was important because it gave us fiscal space and I guess we have to work with labour unions to get some good stability and as we focus on the debt and the debt continues to come down we should be able to sustain it.”

His critics have suggested that the current stability of the cedi is artificial and that it will depreciate again by the middle of this year.

But Ofori Atta says the gains made is due to hard work and prudent decisions as well as the confidence people have in the policies of the Akufo-Addo administration.

“We’ve been working hard since we came. The president was clear that we should be in a hurry and we should create the environment in which the private sector will be able to perform and there will be more predictability in the way in which the economy runs and how people will plan,” he said.

“The budget clearly indicated what I term a preferential option for the poor, at the same time a private sector-led growth. So by abolishing those taxes and creating the tax relief, clearly I think it created economic freedom for people to feel energised and for the entrepreneurial spirit of Ghanaians to come out. So I know with that energy we began to see a pickup in productivity.”

He said the reduction of interest rate by the Bank of Ghana by 200 basis point is a “good indicator of where things are going.”

“There is both domestic and international confidence in what we are doing and my suspicion is that we also do administrative things to tighten our sources of foreign exchange,” he said.

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