Ghana is likely to lose GHS9.5 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said Monday.
According to him, it will be 2.5 percent of Ghana’s revised GDP.
“Speaker, the total estimated fiscal impact from the shortfall in petroleum receipts, shortfall import duties, the shortfall in other tax revenues, the cost of the preparedness plan, and the cost of Coronavirus Alleviation Programme is GHS9,505 billion,” the Minister briefed Parliament.
He said the situation will lead to a “fiscal gap of GHS11.4 billion.”
Import duties, for example, will fall short of target by GHS808 million for the 2020 fiscal year, the minister indicated.
The effect of the virus on the economy will worsen because Ghana just began a two-week partial lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa.
The Minister also explained that “the overall fiscal deficit will increase from the programmed GHȼ18.9 billion to GHȼ30.2 billion, which will be 7.8 percent of revised GDP.”
“The primary balance will correspondingly worsen from a surplus of GHȼ2,811 billion (0.7 percent of GDP) to a deficit of GHȼ5.6 billion (1.4 percent of GDP),” he added.
Mr. Ofori-Atta also announced that the GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme will be funded from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund.
Meanwhile, all ministers of State, the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, the deputy Chiefs of Staff, Secretary to the President have decided to donate 50% of their salaries, for the next three months, i.e. April, May and June, to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund.
Others include Secretary to the Cabinet, Presidential Staffers and Presidential Aides at the Presidency. The Fund was established by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the fight against the virus and to assist in the welfare of the needy and the vulnerable.
All Deputy Ministers have also agreed to donate fifty percent (50%) of their salaries for the next two months, i.e. April and May, into the Fund.
As a result, the Chief of Staff, Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has notified the Controller and Accountant General to effect these deductions at source for the period, and transfer the accrued monies into the Fund.
It will be recalled that during his broadcast to the nation on Friday, 27th March, 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced the setting up of the Fund, and donated his next three months’ salary into the Fund as seed capital.
The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, also followed suit, and has donated three (3) months of his salary into the Fund.
Source: Daily Mail GH