2014 Budget: Mahama hints of Ghana Infrastructure Fund
President John Dramani Mahama has assured that 2014 budget will roll out plans to fulfill electoral promises his administration made to Ghanaians.
Finance Minister, Seth Tekper, would tomorrow, Tuesday, outline measures to fund infrastructural projects in the 2014 budget and financial statement to Parliament.
The document, which is expected to guide government's spending next year, will also focus on strategies to stabilize the economy: address rising inflation; depreciation of the cedi; as well as challenges with public sector wage bill. The minister will also give account of targets set in the 2013 budget and progress made so far.
Ahead of the budget presentation, President Mahama hinted that the budget would announce the establishment of a Ghana Infrastructure Fund, which he said would turn round the manner in which infrastructure are financed in the country.
He therefore insisted that promises made to Ghanaians which got the National Democratic Congress (NDC) elected were not “false promises without intention to achieve them”.
President Mahama was certain Ghanaians will renew their mandate in 2016 since the campaign promises would by then be fulfilled.
But Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul, is expecting the budget to come up with “strategies to lessen difficulties facing Ghanaians”.
He charged government to be bold and stop spending “unnecessarily” because it wants to win the next election, noting that instead, government should implement projects that its knew its finances could support.
Mr. Nitiwul warned that Parliament would henceforth “not accept excuses” from government if it overspends in the coming years, indicating that this attitude by government is a breach of the law.
For Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, Members of Parliament should work as a team for the development of Ghana instead of Minority and Majority taking entrench positions on issues of national importance.
People should not criticize because they belong to the Minority, and also those in the Majority must also refrain from supporting every policy by government, Dr Kunbuor noted, adding that such stance was problematic in running national affairs in the House.
The Majority Leader therefore suggested that instead of opposing or supporting en bloc, each side could use convincing arguments to win the support of the opposite side: Minority should be able to tell Majority to vote against a bill because it is not good and vice versa.
“Why should it work one way, it's because we also believe in culture of negativity and unprincipled resistance: that is why we look at these issues in this way,” he lamented.
An economist and Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah told Joy News he expects government to be sincere with Ghanaians and tell them that the macro indicators show that the country underperformed with high interest rate, as well as depreciation of the currency among others.
He advised government to seriously place priority on reducing interest rate and subsidizing certain items as well as tightening revenue loopholes.
Chairman of the Finance Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, on his part, expected government to consider how revenue could be raised from all sectors of the economy.
He also hinted of the possibility of a policy to ensure that those in non formal sector who earn above a certain amount, are made to pay task on their salaries. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel | [email protected]