The Minister of Finance, honourable Ken Ofori-Atta has said in 2024 budget that the country's economy is currently on track to recover from its poor performance in the past few years.
He said the country has turned the corner after it successfully implemented the first phase of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.
While presenting the 2024 budget in Accra, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the government is currently maintaining the stability of the economy. "We turned the corner when we completed the IMF first review,” he said.
He further assured that the government is poised to “maintain stability and keep growing and ensure increased growth and currency stability”
He added that, “We turned the corner when inflation started declining from 54 1 in December to 35.2 in October 2023." He also reassured Ghanaians that, “The recovery is indeed real and is here to stay."
Mr Ofori-Atta further stated that the prompt deployment of strong fiscal and monetary policy measures since the last year as well as in the first half of 2023 largely accounts for the continued economic recovery that is being experienced.
“So far, growth in 2023 has been more resilient than expected, inflation has declined in line with the fundamentals, the fiscal and external balances have improved, and the exchange rate has stabilized,” he said.
During his presentation, he provided significant relief aimed to support both the private sector and citizens at large.
Here are the seven key reliefs highlighted in the 2024 Budget:
1. Extension of Zero Rate VAT on African Prints: The government plans to extend the zero rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally manufactured African prints for an additional two years. This aims to support the local textile industry.
2. Waiver of Import Duties on Electric Vehicles (EVs): Import duties on EVs designated for public transportation will be waived for a substantial period of 8 years. This is expected to encourage the adoption of electric public transportation.
3. Zero Rating for Locally Produced Sanitary Pads: To enhance menstrual hygiene and affordability, VAT will be zero-rated on all locally produced sanitary pads.
4. Extension of Zero Rate VAT on Locally Assembled Vehicles: The government plans to extend the zero rate of VAT on locally assembled vehicles for two more years.
5.Import Duty Waivers for Raw Materials for Sanitary Pads: Import duty waivers will be granted for raw materials used in the local manufacture of sanitary pads, supporting local production.
6. Exemptions on Importation of Agricultural Machinery, Inputs, and Medical Consumables: To bolster key sectors, the government will grant exemptions on the importation of agricultural machinery equipment and inputs, as well as medical consumables.
7. Introduction of a VAT Flat Rate for Commercial Properties: A VAT flat rate of 5 percent will replace the 15 percent standard VAT rate on all commercial properties, simplifying administration.
The New Patriotic Party is hopeful that the 2024 Budget will navigate the economic challenges while fostering growth and resilience in key sectors.
The budget presentation was carried out by the Finance Minister on behalf of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, November 15,2023 at the Parliament.