Political parties outline their visions for sustainable economic development

By
Christabel Addo, GNA

Accra, Sept. 9, GNA
– Four political parties have outlined their visions, policies and strategies
aimed at ensuring a competitive and sustainable economic development, with particular
reference to enterprise growth and job creation.

The National
Democratic Congress (NDC) represented by Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of
Employment and Labour Relations, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), by Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo Addo, its Presidential Candidate, the Convention People’s Party
(CPP), by Mrs Susan Adu Amankwah, and Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) by Dr
Papa Kwesi Nduom, its Presidential Candidate all admitted that industry played
a critical role in the growth of the economy and must be given urgent
attention.

They made their
respective submissions to the topic: “Promoting Sustainable Economic
Development in Ghana: Viable Policy Options”, at a platform provided by the
Ghana Employers’ Association at its 56th Annual General Meeting in Accra.

Nana Addo said an
NPP-led government would pursue key growth strategies to ensure job creation,
invest in agriculture, develop skilled labour in agriculture through quality
improved education, and implement a migration policy that would ensure
equitable labour distribution across the country.

It would also put in
place strong policies options and strategies that focuses on the revitalisation
of the industrial and agricultural sectors, the abolition of the 17.5 per cent
Valued Added Tax (VAT) on imported medicines, as well as the reduction of
current high corporate taxes from the current 25 per cent to 20 per cent.

Both the CPP, NPP
and PPP argued that there were setbacks to economic and industrial growth such
as the bureaucracies in administrating businesses, high custom tariffs, cumbersome
procedure and processed for accessing port clearing services, as well as energy
sector challenges, but the NDC said a lot has been achieved to minimise and
remove inherited debts and fixed the problems.

The three opposition
parties again advocated for the urgent review of the current energy tariff
policy and to ensure that all the loopholes in the energy sector were addressed
to enhance power supply for sustained industrial growth.

Nana Addo NPP
believes in building a strong, resilient and self-supporting economy, and would
achieve these by correcting the deficiencies in the management of financial
systems to strengthen the presently weak and unstable Ghana Cedi, work towards
the reduction of inflation and also reduce interest rates, to ensure a
conducive environment for industries to thrive.

Nana Addo said an
NPP-led government would further establish an Industrial Development Fund,
restructure and resource the National Investment Bank to support this Fund,
retool the National Investment Promotion Council, and restructure the
operations of the Ghana Export Promotion Council to make them more efficient
and effective.

He said its
government would support research institutions with the requisite resources to
enhance their operations and ensure that attention was given to vocational and
technical education and training to ensure that the required skills needed to
feed the industrial sector are adequately produced.

Mrs Adu Amankwah
said the CPP-led government would give much attention to the revitalisation of
state enterprises, improve existing policies for education and health sectors
and ensure equity and fairness in the sharing of the oil and gas revenue for
development across the country.

Mr Iddrisu, however,
said the NDC government has worked hard to correct most of the challenges it
inherited in various sectors of the economy such as the energy, industry,
agricultural, educational and health and was committed to sustaining the gains.

He said the NDC had
to take some stiffer measures to save the Volta River Authority and other State
owned enterprises which had inherited debts from falling out of business, and
has currently made massive investment in the energy sector to ensure economic
stability.

He cited the
establishment of the Industrial Development fund, with the Exim Bank providing
credit funding for private sector players as a significant achievement towards
enhancing business operation, but admitted that there are still gaps in
technical and vocational education to ensure the requisite skilled manpower for
industry.

He said a 120
million dollar funding has been secured by government to address the
deficiencies in the system to ensure quality skills to feed industry, adding
that a lot of improvements have been made with respect to port clearing and
other custom operations to improve competitiveness of the port system.

Dr Nduom said a
strong and competitive economy requires national unity and cohesion as well as
inclusiveness to ensure national development, and advocated for the revision of
the 1992 Constitution to empower the citizenry to elect Metropolitan, Municipal
and District Assembly members and Mayors for accountability and sustained
economic growth and development at the decentralised levels.

He also called for
public sector reforms to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and eliminate
corruption in the administration of the various sectors, and said the PPP would
also harness technology to address the issue of data by developing a
sustainable system of National Identification database of all citizens, which
would serve as a major breakthrough for solving major national problems.

Dr Nduom said the
PPP would also pursue health policies that would target preventable illnesses
that impedes on economic growth resulting from regular employee absenteeism and
poor work output.

He said the current
setbacks in basic education would prevent the county from getting any skilled
labour stressing that education must be continuous rather than just free at the
senior high school level.

He said using the
state purchasing power, the PPP would put in place a policy to restrict local
or government funded institutions from importing products that were locally
produced in the country, thereby encouraging patronage of local Ghanaian
products.

Meanwhile the GEA
has elected Mr Terry Darko as its President, Mr Dan Acheampong as the First
Vice, Mrs Freda Duplan, as  the Second
Vice and Mrs Victoria Hajja as its Treasurer.

GNA

About ghanamma

Leave a Reply