Public debt growth cut ‘significantly’ – Terkper

The growth of Ghana’s public debt stock has been slashed by a chunk, Finance Minister Seth Terkper has said.

“Public Debt stood at GH¢ 93,064.8 million as of November 2015 mainly as a result of exchange depreciation,” Mr. Terkper told journalists at a press conference.

He said the reduction in the growth of the debt stock could be put down to new debt management strategies implemented with regards to onlending/escrow, sinking fund, refinancing, etc., as well as maturity lengthening.

“Growth in public debt reduced significantly,” he told journalists, adding that Public Debt to GDP Ratio tapered in 2015.

He said there was a decline in public debt stock between 2000 and 2006 due to HIPC/MDRI reliefs.

The debt stock has always been a topic of heated political argument. The current total debt stock increased by GHS5 billion between May and June 2015. As of September last year, figures from the Bank of Ghana’s economic and financial data showed the total debt stock stood at GHS94.5 billion, representing 70.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

After its first review of Ghana’s implementation of a three-year bailout programme, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the country’s performance under the Extended Credit Facility programme exceeded pre-HIPC levels.

Per the trend of the growing debt stock, the Bretton Woods institution projected that Ghana will end 2015 with a 75% debt-to-GDP ratio.

Ghana’s total public debt in the first-half of 2015 increased consistently by about GHS15.1 billion, growing from GHS79.4 billion in January, to GHS94.5 billion in June.

Source: classfmonline.com

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