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05.03.2009 Business & Finance

Government to adopt four broad themes to tackle challenges

By gna

Government said on Thursday that it would adopt four broad themes by which to tackle the challenges confronting the national economy in line with its social democratic agenda to promote “Better Ghana”.

Presenting the 2009 budget to Parliament, Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor said job creation would require the expansion of infrastructure, investing in

the country's human capital and providing transparent

and accountable governance.
He said the economy had to contend with large fiscal and trade deficits, higher than expected rate of inflation, an increase in the national debt stock, and the depreciation in the value of the Cedi.

Besides there is the problem of low levels of productivity in agriculture, industry and manufacturing, among others.

Despite this, he said, the government was nevertheless committed to its pledge of providing improved social services to uphold the living conditions and dignity of the average Ghanaian.

Dr Duffuor said the policy thrust of the 2009 budget was therefore to reduce the current budget deficit to sustainable levels, improve the exchange rate regime and work towards the attainment of single digit inflation.

He said the main strategies to be used would include enforcement of fiscal discipline, significant reduction in unproductive recurrent expenditure and improvement in revenue generation (including dividends from state owned enterprises).

Infrastructure development in the roads, energy and water sectors will be accelerated and expanded whilst providing security and justice for all.

“These measures will be pursued within a process of monitoring and evaluation of all MDA activities to ensure the effective implementation of government policies and the achievement of objectives and set targets.”

There will also be attention on key expenditure in the budget in an effort to rationalize them and infuse some level of efficiency and value for money.

Some measures will include a critical look at the wage bill administration, the management of statutory funds, and the profitability, financial situation and relevance of state-owned enterprises and subvented organizations.

“In that regard Madam Speaker, Ghanaians should expect a significant change in the management of the economy. Managers of government institutions, especially state-owned companies, will be held to a high level of accountability,” Dr. Duffuor said.

The Finance Minister said government would also partner the private sector to provide the necessary enabling policy environment and incentives for both enterprise growth and the efficient and effective delivery of public services.

“We believe that these strategies will lead to the delivery of improved and better social services and generate sustainable employment opportunities within a secure environment for the people of Ghana,” he added.