The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has described the reported cases of corruption bedevilling the country as a reflection of a state that has been weakened by unbridled market policies sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Articulating the TUC’s position on the current state of affairs in the country, the Secretary General of the TUC, Mr Kofi Asamoah, observed that “we need to rescue and rehabilitate all the state institutions and place the state at the forefront of national development”. Weak economic state
Addressing the May Day parade at the Black Star Square in Accra yesterday, he said the weakened state of the country had retreated into the comfort zone of politics, leaving economic governance to market forces in the name of “laissez-faire economics”.
This year’s celebration was on the theme, ““Ghana’s Economy: A Concern for All”.
It brought together scores of employees drawn from various state organisations who carried placards with inscriptions such as: “We need more pay”, “Our economy is suffering” and “Workers are suffering.”
Mr Asamoah noted that the winds of laissez-faire were not likely to blow in the desired direction when the country was steeped in under-development, adding that financial liberalisation had brought in more banks announcing huge profits, leaving the rest of the business community to reel under unpleasant conditions.
“A developmental state should not look on for this to go on. It should intervene strategically,” he added.
The TUC boss noted that Ghanaians had adopted for themselves the most liberal trade regime in the history of a developing country in the name of ‘laissez-faire’, with pressure from within and without to liberalise further.
“History has no example of a country that developed in such a liberal trade environment. Our trade deficit has continued to worsen because our low-priced primary commodity exports are not paying for manufactured imports,” Mr Asamoah intimated. Call for reverse
He called for a reversal of the liberal trade policy, pointing out that the terms of trade had always favoured manufacturers.
While acknowledging the economic difficulties in the country, Mr Asamoah advised against the temptation to seek a bailout from the IMF but rather urged the government to “take responsibility for this mistake and find the solutions to our problems”. Violation of act
He drew the government’s attention to the intended Oil and Gas Service Free Port to be built by Lonrho, which move he described constituted a blatant violation of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Act of 1986 (Act160).
That act, Mr Asamoah said, gave the GPHA the sole authority to plan, build, manage, maintain, operate and control ports in the country, adding that placing a port under the control of a private foreign multinational company would undermine national sovereignty and security.
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