This year's budget which incidentally is the last in President Kufuor's eight-year regime has focused on three important sectors of the economy; roads, water and energy.
In his statement to Parliament yesterday, Hon Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning announced that government would fund the construction of 15kms of roads of all 166 districts in the course of the year. A total of GH¢199,200,000 has been allocated for the initiative.
On water, he said GH¢7,470,000 had been earmarked for five communities in each of the 166 districts. They would be provided with good drinking water, and the district assemblies would select the priority towns and villages.
The government, he hinted, had put in place long and medium term measures for energy.
Under the measures, the Osagyefo Power Barge would be brought into operation and the Bui Dam project would be executed. A total of GH¢819, 712,980 had been earmarked for that sector.
The three projects are essential for the improvement of life for people in both the rural and urban areas. The government's decision to improve the lives of the people in the country would not succeed without the provision of those amenities.
Good roads would facilitate the movement of people as they could convey foodstuffs and other goods from farms to the marketing centres. Without good roads, progress and development cannot take place.
Water is known to be the mother of life because every life has water behind it. It is therefore appropriate that government has planned to provide communities with good drinking water and this would mark the beginning of greater things to come.
Ghanaians know too well the importance of energy in their everyday lives. If nothing at all, they should remember the events of the recent past when the country was compelled to shed power on daily basis.
Industries, businesses and even ordinary people recorded huge losses which they can never recover. Although the worst part of the problem seemed to have gone, it does not mean all is over.
The energy problem could resurface during the dry season. The government must therefore get itself ready so that the country does not go through those hardships once again.
The government's plan to establish a Northern Ghana Development Fund with GH¢25 million as seed money is a plan in the right direction.
Any effort to close the gap between the northern and southern sectors of the country would have the blessings of the good people of this country.
All said and done, the budget must reflect in the pockets of public sector workers. Employers, organized labour and the government must co-operate to fix a real income for workers.
We are yet to hear the Minority in any Parliament praising government budget.
It was therefore not surprising that the Minority described yesterday's budget as “yewuo” budget. Previous budgets had variously been described as “Wahala Budget”, and “Kwashiorkor Budget”.
DAILY GUIDE acknowledges that the government has laid a solid foundation for the economy, therefore its description of the budget as a “Brighter Future Budget” is appropriate.
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