Business News of Sunday, 21 October 2018
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has engaged economic stakeholders in Kumasi for their inputs in 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 better transparency and proper accountability to the citizenry.
Speaking to the stakeholders which included Traditional Leaders, the Association of Ghana Industries, Trade groups, Market Women Associations, Spare Parts dealers, Road Contractors, Civil society groups, Faith groups and Persons With Disability covered by MyGewsgh.com, Mr. Ofori Atta called on the Stakeholders to contribute in keeping the economy on track by honouring the task 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 are getting value for money for our projects. This shows the level of government commitment especially towards the Private sector” he said.
The Finance Minister disclosed further that infrastructure is the primary focus of next year’s  budget.
“Our focus for next year’s budget will include infrastructure, industrialization and Liquidity of the banks and expanding the Masloc scheme to benefit more Ghanaians”.
He again remarked that, the NPP government is fully committed to the Free Secondary School Program, and the School Feeding program indicating that restoring credibility in governance is one of the key areas the government is fully ensuring.
“Restoring credibility in these commitments have been one of our key success stories as a government and we will not sleep on that”.
Hon. Ofori Atta revealed that the government has supported efforts at reducing unemployment by putting 100,000 young graduates to work through the Nation Builders Corps Program.
On the IMF, He hinted that, Ghana does not intend renewing another ECF programme with the IMF. The fundamentals of the country are stronger now and strategies have been developed to ensure discipline and irreversibility of policies so it will be unnecessary to renew another ECF program.
“We are also committed to strengthening current structural reforms and have developed strategies to ensure discipline and the irreversibility of policies 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 who were impressed about the government’s initiative on consulting them at an open forum appealed to the Finance Minister and a host of government delegation that was present including the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah to consider fixing more deplorable roads in the next budget and reduce taxes to support the Private Sector.