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24.02.2009 General News

Government Asked To Pass Fiscal Responsibility Law

By GNA
Dr Peter Quartey, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana yesterday stressed the urgent need for enactment of the proposed law to improve fiscal discipline and promote prudent financial administration to minimise corruption among institutions.
     
In addition, government must also cut down on per diems associated with workshops, conferences and foreign trips to make resources available to develop the economy.
     
Dr Quartey made the recommendations at the maiden Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) investor seminar series in Accra, to discuss policy options available for the country in view of the current global financial challenges.
     
The seminar is also to introduce the EDC's iFUND, a mutual fund with good opportunities for investors, which is to be launched next week.
     
Dr Quartey said the Ghanaian economy which is mainly agric-based, is currently facing major challenges such as high budget deficits, resulting from increased government spending, which have outstripped revenue growth.
     
This situation calls for stringent measures to put the economy back on sound footing, he added.
     
While advocating for infrastructural development, Dr Quartey also called for action to be expedited on modernising agriculture and private sector development, as well as reducing cost of credit and cost of doing business, and improving access to such facilities for rapid economic growth.
     
He said better revenue mobilisation modules such as property rates and licenses, among others, must be intensified.
     
For instance he said the tax base should be increased by roping in the informal sector and adequately resourcing revenue collection agencies to minimise leakages within the sector.
     
He called for access to quality education and health care, as well as income redistribution such as enhanced form of Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to reduce the inequality gap between the rich and the poor.
     
Mr William Mensah, Head of Ecobank Development Corporation Stockbrokers, who gave a presentation on the topic; 'The promise of a bear market,' advised investors not to lose interest in their investment because of jittery market fluctuations.
     
Rather this is the time for investors to take advantage of the fall in the prices of the equities to invest more on the Stock Exchange.
     
Mr Mensah said when investors sell their stocks because of the market fluctuations, it will rather provide liquid investors with a good bargaining power to buy such stocks at their preferred prices and later make profit when the market picked up.
     
The iFUND which will be rolled out next month is currently present in three markets and provides easy access to markets and opportunities.


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