Thank you, Mr Speaker. I withdraw the word “mis-ap- propriation” if it is not acceptable to the Speaker.
Mr Speaker, part of this misalignment is obvious in various allocations in the past budgets. But what comes very clearly is the allocation on the oil revenue and the ABFA in 2013.
Mr Speaker, in 2013, 40 per cent of the ABFA was spent on amortisation of roads, 47 per cent on infrastructure, 10.9 per cent was spent on capacity building, that is about GH¢32 million.
Mr Speaker, sadly, only GH¢4.5 mil- lion, that is, 1.5 per cent was spent on modernisation of agriculture. Mr Speaker, it is very sad to note that this is the major priority of this country, and out of the money that we are getting from these sources, only 1.5 per cent was used for that, when about 10 per cent was used for capacity building; what it was, only some of us can actually tell.
Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, not surpris- ing, that the agricultural sector is down. Mr Speaker, the agriculture figure is so unimpressive that 3.4 per cent and all the other sectors are also abysmal. This is because of the lack of alignment between our budgets and priorities as a country and I am glad that the Hon Minister has now realised that and is trying to change.
Mr Speaker, our growth indicators are shameful. The real GDP growth is sliding back to the levels of 1990 when we were caught in the 0.5 per cent trap. Mr Speak- er, it was only in 2003 that we were able to break that ceiling, but we are sliding towards that.
Mr Speaker, the managers of the econ- omy should not sit down and watch as we gradually slip back into those bleak periods of the economic history of this country. Mr Speaker, growth has slack- ened from 8.4 per cent, that is the non-oil growth in 2008 to 5.8 per cent now.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister, as if by some dint of -- You know, this figure of 5.8 per cent was actually not in the open for us to discuss it. It was hidden under paragraph (43) where we were talking about sub sectorial growth rate. That is where that figure was shown.
Mr Speaker, I think we should bring these things forward and let us debate them more effectively. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister keeps on saying that despite all these challenges, the economic funda- mentals are good. I do not know which economic fundamentals he is referring to.
This country, Mr Speaker, has a bizarre and a sub optimal economic structure that does not follow the normal growth path of any developed country or any emerging economy. The managers are sitting un- concerned while the economy continues the chart on this unusual structural path without direction.
Mr Speaker, this is a rudderless eco- nomic trajectory. Mr Speaker, when you go to agriculture, we are growing at 21.3 per cent in growth rate. When we go to industry, 27 per cent; when we go to the services, it is almost about 51 per cent. Mr Speaker, the share of the GDP -- 51
The answer is, no.The structural funda- mentals of this economy is just faulty. Mr Speaker, if he is referring to the macroeco- nomic indicators as the fundamentals--let me give you the figures.
Mr Speaker, the GDP growth rate in 2012, was 7.9 per cent. This time round, how much is it? Putting all together is 7.4 per cent; it is on a decline. Mr Speaker, the cedi continues to depreciate--four per cent against the dollar and almost about 14 per cent against the euro. Mr Speaker, interest rates are so high; beginning at 23 per cent, one goes in there and they give it to one at 30 per cent.
Mr Speaker, fiscal deficit is so high at 10 per cent; the balance of payment has been in deficit for two years running. Mr Speaker, the reserves have fallen to 2.9. Is that what we call “real good fundamentals of the economy”? There is nothing good about this economy.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister goes ahead and talks about transformation; what is transformation about? Which of these bad indicators mentioned so far or these spurious economic structures can this Budget transform?None. Mr Speaker, actions that can enable us to be in con- trol of our own destiny, actions that can increase and maintain economic growth, actions that can enable us to influence the exchange rate and increase revenues to government, these are the things, which, when we do, we can actually be talking about transformation of the economy, not when we actually tax people, the cut throat