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GHANA ADOPTS 2011 BUDGET, TO CUT DEFICIT TO 7.5%

By NBF News
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Ghana's parliament on Tuesday, approved a 2011 budget that seeks to cut public deficit and use a series of tax hikes to fund increased infrastructure spending, a parliament official told Reuters on Tuesday.

'It was approved by an overwhelming voice vote,' the official said on condition of anonymity.

The budget, proposed last month by the country's Finance Minister, Kwabena Duffuor, seeks to narrow the country's deficit to 7.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in 2011, from 9.7 per cent this year, and projects economic growth will double to 12.3 per cent as commercial oil production ramps up.

The budget also forecasts that revenues from a series of tax hikes, including on income, foreign supplier services and transport would complement hydrocarbons revenues to finance increases in infrastructure spending.

Spending will target measures aimed at boosting the economy, including greater mechanisation of the farming sector, completion of road projects, rehabilitation of the rail network, and new housing programmes.