Ghana’s gross public debt hits GHC156 billion – Finance Minister

Ghana’s gross public debt stock has hit a whopping GHC154 billion at the end of May, 2018, according to the Finance Minister.

The figures show that the country’s debt has gone up by GHC9 billion in three months as it stood at GHC145 billion according to data from the Bank of Ghana.

The debt stock of GH¢154 billion would translate into 63.7, per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of May 2018 compared to 66.8 per cent for the same period in May 2017.

From the data, it is clear that there has been some reduction in terms of the Debt-to-GDP.

For instance, as at the end of December 2017, the Debt-to-GDP was 69.8 per cent.

Presenting the Mid-Year Budget Review to parliament on Thursday, Ken Ofori Atta said the figures show the country is making some progress in moving away from the dreaded 70 per cent mark.

It is not clear for now what might have caused this spike, but persons with knowledge of the debt numbers are attributing it to the cedi’s depreciation and some fresh borrowings by the government.

Ken Ofori Atta said as part of efforts to increase revenue collection, it would initiate steps to plug existing leakages in tax collection and prosecute corrupt tax officials.

“In addition, raise more funds government has decided to introduce Luxury Vehicle levy that will be renewed annually. Commercial vehicles are exempted from that policy.

“We have also decided to introduce new 25% tax on those who receive more than GHC10,000.00 as salaries, and government also intend to outsource the payroll system,” Ken Ofori Atta revealed.

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