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Ghana expected to grow 5.8 percent in 2022, finance minister says in budget speech

Ken Ofori-Atta announces new levy on all electronic transactions to widen tax net, but suspends road tolls countrywide

GHANA’s economy is expected to grow 5.8 percent in 2022, finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta said at the 2022 budget presentation on Wednesday, representing a near return to pre-pandemic performance after two difficult years.

Inflation is seen returning to its targeted band of 8 percent plus or minus 2 percentage points, he said. Spending of 137.5-billion cedis ($22.84bn) is expected, up 23.2 percent from 2021’s projected out-turn, mainly due to increased capital expenditures, interest payments, and a new wage bill.

‘Domestic revenue mobilisation is the key to making the vision of Ghana beyond aid a reality,’ Ofori-Atta said.

The fiscal deficit is seen at 7.4 percent in 2022, down from 11.7 percent in 2021.

Economic growth in Ghana, one of West Africa’s largest economies that runs on exports of oil, cocoa and gold, shrunk to 0.4 percent in 2020 as Covid-19 hit. It is expected to rebound to 5 percent this year.

Ofori-Atta said the government had chosen to place a levy on all electronic transactions ‘in order to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector,’ to the sound of protests from parliamentarians.

They cheered, however, when he announced that road tolls would be suspended throughout the country, and toll operators reassigned.

Ofori-Atta said it was time for Ghana to build on the foundations laid before the pandemic.

‘With the interventions we offer through this budget, and with an understanding of burden sharing, we shall unleash a new cadre of entrepreneurs and nation builders,’ Ofori-Atta said.





Christian Akorlie and Cooper Inveen/Reuters

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