Budget review to rally nation behind IMF deal

The nation will be rallied behind a potential program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is designed to improve the nation’s balance of payments (BOP) and hasten the economic recovery using the government’s mid-year budget review (MYBR), which will be presented Monday, July 25.

It would also take use of the occasion to urge nonpartisan support for the initiative, which it claimed was necessary in light of the COVID-19 epidemic and the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

NABCo Debts

It is believed that Mr. Ofori-Atta, the finance minister, would use his sixth consecutive MYBR to reveal a specific strategy for paying off the Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCo) employees’ outstanding debts and integrating them into the YouStart initiative.

In any conversation about enhancing the economy, he would also reassure Ghanaians that the government would try to maintain its social intervention programs.

The free senior high school (SHS) program, the school meal program, and Agenda 111 are of special importance because they have all recently faced harsh criticism due to worries about mounting spending pressures.

National Support

As part of a larger plan to safeguard the weak from the effects of any fiscal consolidation exercise, those familiar with the review process predicted that Mr. Ofori-Atta would propose steps to protect such programs from any expenditure reduction.

He would emphasize that until the COVDI-19 outbreak and the Russia/Ukraine conflict sidetracked the administration’s program, the government was on route to establish a healthy economy that could withstand the test of time. He would also reaffirm the need for perspective to the difficulties facing the country.

As a result, the minister is anticipated to appeal to Ghanaians for assistance as the country deals with difficult issues like depressed commodity prices, record-high global inflation, and sluggish development amid mounting debt strain worries.

The assistance is required to stabilize the economy and raise their standard of living.

Paying of NABCo Trainees

According to those acquainted with the review procedure, plans to include Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCo) employees into the YouStart initiative will also be announced during the presentation to Parliament.

It is further understood that as part of the YouStart integration process, the assessment would include measures for paying the employees’ outstanding arrears in the upcoming months.

The YouStart program, which the government unveiled in the 2022 budget, is an innovative initiative to support entrepreneurship and create jobs, especially for young people.

It is a special-purpose entity used by the government to give money and technical assistance to young people and youth-led businesses so they may launch, develop, and expand their own companies.

Earlier this year, Mr. Ofori-Atta informed the legislature that the government, in conjunction with the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, the Ghana Enterprises Agency, faith-based organizations, and financial institutions, would offer loan packages to youth-led businesses and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) under the YouStart initiative, ranging from GH50,000 to GH500,000.

According to him, such firms would also receive technical assistance, training, and mentorship to help them grow into economically viable businesses.

The minister was certain that as more people earned salaries and generated production, this would stimulate economic activity and help to lower the cost of living.

According to sources, integrating the NABCo workers into the program will improve it while resolving the allowances concerns that have long dogged that program.

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