Professor George Yaw Gyan-Baffuor, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Wenchi, has observed that the economy was suffering from Kwashiorkor, a disease caused by malnutrition, because the actual growth rate was 6.8 per cent and not 13.6 per cent.
The MP said the economy was “analogously symptomic of this disease” because in the 2012 budget statement, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said in 2011, the economy grew by 13.6 per cent.
Prof Gyan-Baffour said it was an attempt to obfuscate the situation and failure to tell Ghanaians that half of the growth was due to oil production and if the oil production component was removed it meant that the growth was only about 6.8 per cent.
He made the observation when contributing to the on-going debate on the budget in Parliament on Monday.
Prof. Gyan-Baffuor said the Minister also failed to tell Ghanaians that the non-oil economy shrank and grew at only 6.8 per cent by Government’s own admission or shrank to 6.5 per cent by the estimates of the IMF well below the Government’s target of 7.5 per cent.
He who said during the NPP Government era, non-oil GDP, traditional economy of the country, which was now shrinking grew progressively from 3.7 per cent in 2000 to 4.2 per cent in 2001, 4.5 per cent in 2002 to 5.2 per cent in 2003, 5.6 per cent in 2004 to 5.9 per cent in 2005, 6.4 per cent in 2006 to 6.3 per cent in 2007 and 8.43 per cent in 2008.
Prof. Gyan-Baffuor, who was a former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning during the NPP administration said the economy started shrinking and showing signs of growth under the President Mills’ three-year rule as the economy shrank from 8.43 in 2008 to 4.0 per cent in 2009; rose a little bit to 7.7 per cent in 2010 and shrank again to 6.8 per cent in 2011.
“When the economy was injected with the oil production, the belly bloated to 13.6 per cent in 2011 as the non-oil economy representing the buttocks caved-in to 6.8 per cent and the legs representing the sectors and sub-sectors of the Kwashiorkor shrank and wobbled,” he said.
Prof Gyan-Baffuor said as a result of this situation, there was a bloated overall GDP growth yet the economy was not generating enough employment and most citizens could not make ends meet and people were suffering.
He said: “Market women get up very early daily, work hard to bring food to the table but cannot sell their goods to provide decent meals for themselves and their children; parents cannot afford school fees, young men and women are being wasted, they line up along streets and on the highways to sell whatever they can lay hands on.”
Mr Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori, NPP Member of Parliament for Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa, said the budget created the opportunity for people to defraud the State due to increases in taxes on payroll, and called on the Parliamentarians to reject the financial statement so that the Government could prepare a new one.
He called for the preparation of a specific budget instead of incremental budget as it assisted to shelve ghost names. GNA