Ghana’s debt stock has hit GHS291.6 billion as of December 2020.
This was disclosed on Friday, March 12, 2021, by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
“The total public debt has increased from GHS122 billion, which is 69% of GDP to GHS291.6 billion, which is 76.1% of GDP, as of the end of December 2020,” he said when he presented the 2021 budget statement in Parliament.
He blamed the ballooning debt stock on some non-recurrent burdens.
The Caretaker Finance Minister indicated that if these expenditures were to be excluded, the debt stock would have been GHS239.9 billion, which would have been 58.7% of GDP.
“Included in the debt stock and the debt to GDP ratio are the following non-recurrent burdens that we had to deal with as a matter of urgency; the physical impact of COVID-19, which is GHS19.7 billion, the cost of the financial sector clean-up, which is GHS21 billion, and the cost of excess capacity charges paid to IPPs, which is also GHS12 billion.”
“If these expenditures are excluded and the drop in GDP growth in 2020, primarily attributable to COVID-19, is taken into account, the total stock of debt for 2020 would have been approximately GHS239.9 billion, implying a dent to GDP ratio of 58.7%.”
In another development, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu added that the government is ready to steer the affairs of the country in a way that will make the economy more resilient.
He said although the outbreak of the COVID-19 derailed many of the country’s plans, the government has undertaken a number of activities that have ensured that the country can now quickly recover.
“Mr Speaker, pursuing the GHS100 billion Ghana CARES Obaatan pa programme allows us to address the challenges and also seize the opportunities created by COVID-19 for socio-economic transformation. This programme will foster closer collaboration with the private sector, labour, faith-based organizations and development partners to complement efforts in the revitalization and growth agenda,” he said.