Finance Minister Ofori-Atta
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Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey has commended the government for being transparent in the mid-year budget statement.

He said prior to the budget reading on Thursday July 29, he and some other economists had raised issues about how much have been raised regarding the new levies that were introduced in the main budget.

He told Alfred Ocansey on the Business Focus on TV3 Monday August 3 that these figures were given by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta.

He however said he expected the government to raise more revenue in the mid-year budget statement in order to meet its revenue target for the year.

However, the government did not do so.

Prof Quartey explained that the government witnessed revenue shortfall in the first half of the year owing to the pandemic hence, the expectation was that moneys were going to be raised.

Mr Ofori-Atta told Parliament that he did not come to ask for more money from the House.

He also said he did not come for more taxes. Rather, he came to update the House and the country on the performance of the economy during the first half of the year.

“I have not come here today to ask for more money, I have not come to ask for more taxes, I have come to update the house on the performance of the economy for the first half of the year,” he said amidst claps from members of Parliament.

He further stated that the Akufo-Addo administration took bold and decisive measures to deal with the negative impact of the covid on the economy.

Reacting to this, Prof Quartey said “There is a revenue shortfall and one will expect that we raise revenue at this time so we don’t have to borrow but unfortunately we have missed the target. But one can be assured that normally revenue trickles in the last part of the year. We received more tax revenue so I am hopeful even if we miss the target at all we might not be too far from the target.

“At the moment judging from what we have received so far it appears we have received less revenue than expected. Ceteris paribus if nothing happens, then we will rake in more revenue but of the third wave intensifies then we may miss our target.

“Already some economic activities have been banned. we cannot have some outdoor activities and all of these have some repercussions on demands, have repercussions on our output  and incomes.

“ if we were in normal times one would expect that we rake in as much revenue in the second half of the year than in the first half but one aspect of the mid year review that is encouraging is the transparency that we have seen from government because prior to the mid year review I was agitating and a couple of were asking that government tells us how well have we performed and how well are raising the needed revenue and you see in the mid year review some figures on the new levies, financial sector levy , covid 19 levy, sanitation levy.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana