Gov’t has failed woefully in stabilising the depreciating cedi-GUTA

An Executive Member of the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA), Mr Benjamin Yeboah, has said efforts by government geared towards stabilising the cedi against the dollar have failed woefully.

According to him, although the government made an attempt to pump in resources for the stabilisation, it has not yielded any positive result.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, majority of importers are facing serious financial crisis with some now unable to import.

He said, their members have halted importation and that is also affecting their businesses because they are unable to find enough resources for importation due to the depreciation of the Ghana cedi.

During the campaign season ahead of the 2016 general elections, then running mate of Nana Akufo-Addo criticised the incumbent government for its poor handling of the economy.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the time incessantly criticised former President John Mahama for appearing clueless in halting that depreciation of the cedi.

Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia last year defended government’s handling of the cedi insisting it has never been better in the last eight years.

Comparing the data from 2012 to 2018, Dr. Bawumia said the cedi recorded 17.5% in 2012, 14.6% in 2013, 31.3% in 2014, 15.6% in 2015, 9.6% in 2016 and 4.9% in 2017.

He explained that the slower rate of depreciation is because under the Akufo-Addo government, the ‘fundamentals of the economy are getting stronger’.

Additional evidence of a strong economy he said, is in the increasing economic growth rate, decreasing inflation rate, decreasing fiscal deficit, decreasing debt to GDP ratio and an improving gross international reserves.

Bawumia pointed out that in Argentina, the Peso, has depreciated by 50.2% over the US’ move while the Lira used in Turkey has lost 42% of its value alone.

Emerging market economies like India have seen the Rupee slump to 11% against the dollar while the UK Pound Sterling has shed 4.29% of its worth to the dollar.

He said a sign of good economic management is seen in the-debt-to-GDP ratio. The ratio from 73.3% in 2016 is down to 69.8% at year-end 2017.

Dr. Bawumia said under the NDC, the debt to-GDP ratio was increasing whenever the government borrowed but under the NPP, “when we are borrowing, the debt to GDP ratio is falling”.

“This is a big difference” he stressed and pointed out the reduction in debt to GDP ratio under Akufo-Addo government is the first since 2007.

“We rightly criticised the NDC for reckless borrowing. Interestingly, they are criticising us for borrowing. They don’t notice the difference and I always tell them to read the data”.

However, Mr Yeboah says the initiative by government to arrest the cedi had failed woefully and has therefore asked government to outline a policy that will stabilise the cedi.

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