The Ghana government on Wednesday said it would pursue pru dent macroeconomic policies, modernise agriculture and provide infrastructure in c luding ICT as it grows the economy.
It also said it would development the private sector and
develop of the oil and gas industry, as the West African country looks forward t o reaping the full benefits of its oil strike that will see production commence i n the last quarter of next year.
Presenting the 2010 budget to Parliament, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kwabena Duffuor said real GDP growth for 2009 would be 4.7 per cent.
He said the agricultural sector was expected to grow by 6.2 per cent, against a target of 5.7 per cent while the Industrial sector would grow by 3.8 per cent, d o wn from an annual growth target of 5.9 per cent.
The services sector is expected to grew by 4.6 per cent against a target growth rate of 6.6 percent.
On fiscal developments, Duffuor said total revenue and grants amounted to 4,518. 6 million Ghana cedis while total payments comprising statutory and discretionar y payments amounted to 6,266.4 million Ghana cedis, equivalent to 29.6 per cent o f GDP, against a budget target of 7,189.9 million Ghana cedis equivalent to 33.2 p er cent of GDP. (US$1=1.44 Ghana cedis
He said the overall budget deficit of 1,376.7 million Ghana cedis, equivalent to 6.4 per cent of GDP that was attained during the first three quarters of the ye a r was financed from both domestic and foreign sources.
Duffuor said gross public debt rose by about US$458.7 million to US$8,517.7 mill ion at the end of September 2009.
He said total public debt amounted to 59.7 per cent of GDP as at end September.
Duffuor said Ghanaâ?s balance of payments improved significantly over the first three quarters of 2009, recording an overall deficit of US$29.5 million, compar e d to a deficit of US$716.8 million in the first three quarters of 2008.
Gross international reserves rose from a stock US$2,036.2 million at the e nd of 2008 to US$2,317.1 million at the end of September 2009, which translates i nto a cover for 2.4 months of imports of goods and services.
He said for 2010, the government expected real GDP growth of 6.5 per cent; overa ll fiscal deficit equivalent to 7.5 per cent of GDP; average inflation rate of 1 0 .5 per cent; and end of period inflation of 9.2 per cent; and
Duffuor said Government will put in measures to reduce importation of rice by 20% in 2010 and a further reduction of 35% by 2012 while import duty on impo r ted textiles and poultry products will be rationalized to check dumping of such g oods on the Ghanaian market.
He said social sector initiatives would a programme to remove schools under tree s; the elimination of the school shift system; the provision of free education f o r disabled children of school going age; revamping of science resource centres.