Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, that this Honourable House approves the Financial Policy of Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2013.
Mr Speaker, this Motion was moved by the Finance Minister, Hon Seth E. Terkpeh. The Motion was moved on the 5th March, 2013.
Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, I would like to begin by saying that Ghana has achieved macroeconomic stability and growth on the basis of strong, real and external performance. This performance include low rate of inflation, build-up of substantial foreign exchange reserves and relative stability of the local currency.
Mr Speaker, GDP growth rate from 2008 to 2012 averaged around 7 per cent but in 2008, the growth was 8.4 per cent, dropped to 4 per cent in 2009 and again picked up to 8 per cent in 2010 and 14.4 per cent in 2011 due to the production of oil which began in 2011. By September, 2012, the growth was 7.1 per cent. Mr Speaker, it is anticipated the economy will grow between 8.5 per cent and 9 per cent at the end of 2012 when the final GDP estimates are updated in April this year.
Mr Speaker, even the 7.1 per cent as at September, 2012, is still a very high performance, given the performance of the global economy which is only 3.2 per cent. The growth of 7.1 per cent is more than double the performance in the global sector. Mr Speaker, if you come to the sub-Saharan Africa, the average performance is 4.8 per cent. Again, the performance of Ghana, which is 7.1 per cent as at September, 2012, was more than the average of the sub-Saharan African Region by a figure of 48 per cent.
Mr Speaker, the 7.1 growth per cent in 2012 by September, came up as a result of the growth of the three sectors of the economy, the first one being the agricultural sector which grew by 2.6 per cent from a growth of 0.8 per cent in 2011. Mr Speaker, this is a good performance. If the sector grew by only 0.8 per cent in 2011 and in 2012 by September, this figure was more than double 2.6 per cent; it means that the Government is putting in place measures and policies that will arrest the fall in growth of the sector.
Mr Speaker, if you come to the industry sector, the growth was 7 per cent; here it was a drop from a figure of 41.1 per cent. So, this is an indication for us to look at what is happening in the industry sector, what is the sub-sector of industry that is pulling the figure to drop from 41.1 per cent in 2011 to a figure of 7 per cent in September, 2012.
Mr Speaker, the service sector has been growing over the years. In 2011, it grew by 8.3 per cent and by September, 2012, it grew by 8.8 per cent. Mr. Speaker, if you come to the fiscal sector, talking about revenue and expenditure, it was clear from the Budget Statement that there was a shortage in the revenue generation, that the budgeted figure for tax on domestic revenue was not achieved. Therefore, there was a difference of GH¢259.2 million.
Again, what we should think about in this area is -- are we overestimating the revenue generation or there are people who are supposed to pay their taxes and they are not paying them? This is an area that as a Government, as a country, we have to focus. I am happy that along the line, which I will come to later, the Finance Minister has identified areas where effort will be made in order to collect more revenue from taxes and other sources.
Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for the shortage again was the shortage in terms of grants from our development partners, which was about GH¢389.4 million, about 0.5 per cent of our GDP. There was also a shortage in corporate taxes of GH¢708.2 million -- 1 per cent of GDP that was not collected from the petroleum sector. Mr Speaker, I have over-heard people ask, was Government not aware that they will not be able to collect that amount yet they budgeted for it?
Mr Speaker, Government was aware that the petroleum sector must be taxed and the Income Tax Law, Act 592 must be amended in order to take care of the petroleum sector and the Government, during the course of the year, did submit to this House, a Bill to amend the Income Tax Law. This was taken through the committee stage but the House was not able to approve this before it was adjourned.