Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide has dismissed concerns that government shared different sets of macroeconomic data with Ghanaians and the International Monetary Fund.
Similar concerns have come from Isaac Adongo, the Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, who Mr. Hadzide said was spewing “misinformation.”
He said the Minority, “deliberately and mischievously selected the IMF projections and their own analysis as against what the state presented which was equally captured on that [World Bank] website.”
Mr. Hadzide added that it was his understanding that “there are no two sets of figures” after assessing the information at hand.
“It is not true that Ghana paints a different picture to the people of Ghana through Parliament and the presentation of budgets and paints another picture to the IMF. We presented the same data that was presented to Parliament to the IMF.”
Fact-checking organisations have scrutinised and come to the conclusion that different sets of data were presented because of information coming from the IMF following the disbursement of a $1 billion credit facility upon a request for financial support to the government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The disparities highlighted indicated that Ghana breached the Fiscal Responsibility Act because the GDP Deficit exceeded 5 percent.
In 2019 for example, fact-checkers indicated that the GDP deficit in the budget statement was 4.5 percent whilst the data from the IMF indicated that the deficit was 7.5 percent as sourced from the government.
Other indicators with disparities included the Primary Balance, Current Account Balance and Gross International Reserves.
Indications are that the disparities in the fiscal deficit are because the deficit was being declared on cash basis only and not overall deficits.
The World Bank, for example, makes such a distinction.
Mr. Adongo, speaking on Eyewitness News, said he was vindicated because he had made similar claims in the past and accused the government of “cooking our fiscal and other data.”
“It [the Fiscal Responsibility Law] didn’t describe the deficit target you are supposed to meet as a cash deficit. It describes it as an overall deficit.”