Government will expand social interventions-Vice President
6/22/2012 1:30:41 AM -
Accra, June 21, GNA- Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday gave the assurance that government would continue to initiate and expand existing social interventions to cushion the poor in the society.
He said apart from constructing more schools to eliminate those under trees throughout the country, government had also expanded the School Feeding Programme to re-target more schools.
Vice President Mahama was speaking at the consultative group/multi-donor budget support annual partnership meeting in Accra on the theme: 'Leveraging Partnership in a Transitional Middle Income Country for Sustainable Economic Growth and Development.'
The meeting would discuss the partnership between Ghana and donor partners and agree on the way forward for the country's economic development.
Vice President Mahama said steady progress had been made on various fronts including macro-economic management and stability, addressing poverty and regional inequality, refocusing on health and ensuring equity in education.
He said government was accelerating agriculture productivity through rapid modernisation and making efforts to expand the energy sector.
He said the trajectory towards middle-income status was becoming clear with more prudent use and leveraging of oil and other revenues to promote and plan development in a more organised manner.
'Unlike the past, we are improving the linkage between longer-term plans such as the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda and definite sources of funding for robust infrastructure and social investments.
'These initiatives are generating a positive impact on the lives of many Ghanaians and government will continue to explore other means to accelerate poverty reduction,' he said.
He said the country's internal debt recovery policy for commercial projects would allow the government to channel future dwindling grants and non-concessionary loans into social infrastructure.
'We understand the political costs of these decisions, but must take them for the economic health of our country. The cost of correction and adjustment after election years has been disruptive of the economy and also burdensome to most Ghanaians.'
Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth had picked up strongly, reaching a provisional rate of 14.4 per cent in 2011, making Ghana the fastest growing economy in the world.
He said the fiscal deficit had been reduced from 8.5 per cent of GDP in 2008 to 4.0 per cent of GDP in 2011 on cash basis, whilst the exchange rate stabilised for most part of 2010 and 2011 and inflation reduced to single digit levels in the last 24 months.
Mr Andrea Semadeni, Ambassador of Switzerland, Mr Andrea Semadeni, on behalf of development partners, said Ghana's vision of becoming a regional economic hub had 'real prospects to materialise due to the country's sustained political stability and the enactment of important laws.
He gave the assurance that the development partners would continue to support Ghana to grow the economy, improve infrastructure and the living standards of the people.