Business News of Friday, 19 October 2018
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has engaged economic stakeholders in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region for their input into the 2019 Budget.
The engagement, which is in compliance with the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921), is aimed at improving good governance through transparency and proper accountability to the citizenry.
Speaking to stakeholders, which included traditional leaders, members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), trade groups, market women associations, spare parts dealers, road contractors, civil society groups, faith groups and persons living with disability, Mr Ofori-Atta called on them to contribute to keeping the economy on track by honouring their obligations.
He reiterated government’s commitment to the private sector through the lowering of interest rates.
“The results of our fiscal discipline are already showing. Inflation is on a downward trend, interest rates are declining and we’re getting value for money for our projects,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He disclosed that: “Our focus for next year’s budget will include infrastructure, industrialisation, liquidity of the banks and expanding the MASLOC scheme to benefit more Ghanaians”.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that the government was making full commitment to the Free Secondary School programme and the School Feeding Programme, adding that: “Restoring credibility in these commitments has been one of our key success stories as a government”.
The Finance Minister said the government has supported efforts at reducing unemployment by putting 100,000 young graduates to work through the Nation Builders Corps Programme (NaBCo).
Mr Ofori-Atta said Ghana does not intend renewing another ECF programme with the IMF. “We are also committed to strengthening current structural reforms, and have developed strategies to ensure discipline and the irreversibility of policies.”
He added that Ghana’s economy is strong and healthy and that its success has positioned the government to take the next steps in ensuring that the economy works for its people.
The stakeholders appealed to the government to consider fixing more deplorable roads in the next budget and reduce taxes to support the private sector.