Right Honourable Speaker, on behalf of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, and in accordance with Article 179(8) of the 1992 Constitution, I stand before this august House, to present a Mid-Year Review and revised budget and macroeconomic targets for 2014. These are necessitated by recent, and in some cases, longstanding global and domestic developments. Consequently, we seek approval for Supplementary Estimates for the 2014 fiscal year.
Mr. Speaker, let me convey to you and Honourable Members, the appreciation of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, to the House, for the cooperation we receive any time we present major policy statements. While presenting an Urgent Policy Statement on the fiscal consolidation measures for the Ghanaian Economy to this august House in April 2014, I indicated that, if necessary, and as required by our laws, I will appear before the House with a Mid-Year Review and a Supplementary Budget.
Let me also convey through you, Mr Speaker, and the People’s Representatives, President John Mahama’s commitment, focus and determination to lead this nation out of our current temporary economic challenges. In doing so, I wish to communicate Government’s appreciation of the sacrifices, fortitude, and support of the people of Ghana. As a nation, we have risen above many challenges before, and we shall rise again. Indeed, the signs of recovery are already beginning to show.
Mr Speaker, in the early 2000s when we faced difficulty as a nation, we opted for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative, which gave us significant borrowing space to accelerate our development. In 2010 when we rebased our GDP, we became a Lower Middle Income Country (LMIC) with some pride but also with serious implications. Then in 2011 when we started to export crude oil, our LMIC status got consolidated. As at today, the World Bank has changed our status, moving us from softer loan terms (that is, 10-year grace period, with 30-year repayment) to stricter terms (that is, 5-year grace period and 20-year repayment).
The African Development Bank has also introduced and implemented similar loan repayment measures. Again, in the last few months, the World Bank has started the process of upgrading Ghana to a “blend” status, which will make us eligible to access the resources of both the International Development Agency (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) at the same time. Following on from this, Ghana is now experiencing limited access to concessional loans and grants from development partners.