2023 Budget Statement: Government aims to cut imports by 50%

2023 Budget Statement: Government aims to cut imports by 50%

It is anticipated that this action, which is one of the government’s seven-point plan to restore macroeconomic stability, will help reduce imports and the pressure they put on the local currency.

Ken Ofori Atta, the minister of finance, presented the budget statement for 2023 and stated that, among other measures, the government would reduce imports for public sector institutions that depend on imports by 50% in order to increase local production capacity.

He stated that to ensure compliance in this regard, the government would collaborate with the Ghana Audit Service and the Internal Audit Agency.

He said that the government will also encourage the production of strategic alternatives, including the ones on the list that was made public during the president’s final address to the nation.

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“We will also support large-scale agriculture and agribusinesses interventions through the Development Bank Ghana,” he stated.

The administration would implement rules for the protection and incubation of newly established domestic industries, as the finance minister also stated.

This will enable them to make domestically made items competitive with imports.

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Promoting exports

Mr. Ofori Atta also disclosed plans by the government to promote exports in the country.

He said the plans included actively encouraging the consumption of locally produced rice, poultry, vegetable oil, fruit juices, and ceramic tiles, among others.

“Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, Ghana’s heavy dependence on imports places tremendous pressure on the cedi, creating an unfavourable balance of payments position.

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“On average, Ghana’s import bill exceeds US$10 billion annually and is accounted for by a diverse range of items that include iron, steel, aluminum, sugar, rice, fish, poultry, palm oil, cement, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, toilet paper, toothpicks, fruit juices, etc.,” he stated.

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He said the country currently has the capacity to locally produce items that account for about 45 percent of the value of our annual imports.

These include rice, fish, sugar, poultry, cement, pharmaceuticals, jute bags, computers, etc.

To this end, he said the government would target these products for import substitution by supporting the private sector through partnerships with existing and prospective businesses to expand, rehabilitate, and establish manufacturing plants targeted at producing these selected items.

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2023 Budget Statement: Government aims to cut imports by 50%

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