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Finance Minister says nine per cent deficit target achievable   
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Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, at the weekend, gave the assurance that Government would implement stringent measures to cut down its expenditure to reduce the current deficit to nine per cent.

The measures include moving all government transaction and expenditures to a uniform platform to track these activities, slowing down in initiation of new contracts as means of controlling government expenditure and bringing on board more of liabilities on Government’s contract database.

Government had been heavily criticised over the 12.1 per cent budget deficit for 2012 as against a projected target of 6.7 per cent.

The 2012 deficit had been largely attributed to shortfall in projected revenue and grants received from development partners and payment of high interests in servicing debts on major projects that were not fully funded.

Speaking to members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) at a Post 2013 Budget Dissemination Workshop, Mr Terkper stressed that Government was optimistic it would meet the deficit target set in the budget.

He said this would be made possible through effective expenditure control and the use of Ghana Integrated Financial Management System accounts payable module, an electronic platform for procurement, to track expenditures when they incurred.

Mr Terkper said the deployment of electronic budgeting module for budget preparation, among other interventions would help in strengthening the fiscal discipline and expenditure management.

He noted that the payment of arrears of the Single Spine Salary Structure contributed towards the deficit, but added that the outstanding debt had been cleared and would not be recurrent.

Mr Terkper urged the journalists to contribute meaningfully towards deepening public appreciation and comprehension of Government fiscal policy through good reportage.

Mr Lloyd Evans, President of IFEJ pledged that the members would carry out series of follow ups to evaluate Government performance on the budget.
Source: GNA

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