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Ghana's government "inherits" budget deficit of about 10 percent

Ghana's government "inherits" budget deficit of about 10 percent

Ghana

Ghana’s budget deficit could be twice as big as previously forecast.

Finance minister Ken Ofori- Atta said on Wednesday that the new government inherited a budget deficit of about 10 percent of economic output.

“We are still in the process of gathering information,” said Ofori-Atta who will propose the 2017 budget next month.

He added that the budget would outline measures to cut waste, widen revenue sources and reduce levies.

The news came a day after the government revealed a 7 billion cedi ($1.6 billion) gap in the budget.

A deficit higher than the target could reduce the amount president Nana Akufo-Addo’s government can spend on development programmes in the west African nation.

It is a politically sensitive matter because Ghana is more than halfway through a three-year $918 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme aimed at stabilising the economy.

This is a blow to Ghana which only a few years ago was a beacon of economic development in Africa, but has been hard hit by falling commodity prices.

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