The Minister for Finance-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, is attributing his recovery to God and prayers by Ghanaians. Speaking during a virtual post-Budget forum organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Tuesday 16 March 2021 from his base in the United States, he said that even the doctors who are “handling” him are surprised by his fast recovery rate. “For me personally, I guess I would want to reiterate how merciful the Lord has been to me and I am also grateful for the prayer support from my family,” he said.
“The doctors here have been fantastic and very dedicated, but even they acknowledge that there must be someone upstairs who is watching over me, because the numbers were so critical. So thank you indeed for your earnest prayers, which have saved me.”
He also thanked the president’s special representative at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, and personnel at the ministry for how they handled the preparation and presentation of the Budget.
Ofori-Atta left Ghana on 14 February for the United States for a special medical review, following doctors’ advice. This was in response to medical complications he suffered after recovering from COVID-19 in December last year. He is yet to be vetted by Parliament to serve a second term as Finance Minister.
Quick turn around
Contributing to the virtual forum from his US base, Ofori-Atta maintained that the various programmes and policy measures outlined in the 2021 Budget present a fine opportunity to turn the economy around quickly.
On the GhanaCARES programme, he said that a committee will soon be put in place to help with the implementation of the initiative and to give more details on areas that will be targeted and supported with the aim of stimulating economic growth.
The government is looking at raising roughly GHC72.4 billion in revenue and grants. It is expected that GHC55.6 billion will come from taxes. However, some analysts and tax consultants have raised problems with these policy measures. The Finance Minister-designate said the plan is that these tax measures will stabilise the revenue situation in Ghana quickly in the short to medium term, while the country works to deal with other concerns that have been highlighted by stakeholders.
Ofori-Atta was optimistic that measures outlined in the Budget can bring about recovery and deal with the shocks to the economy associated with COVID-19.
Speaking at the same event, the country senior partner for PWC, Vish Ashiagbor, expressed optimism that the government will be able to hit its projected economic growth of 5% for the coming year.
However, the firm’s tax partner, Abeiku Gyan-Quansah, had reservations about some of the tax measures announced in the 2021 Budget.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|