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05.03.2009 Business & Finance

Mixed reactions to budget statement in Tema

By gna

Some residents in Tema Metropolis have expressed mixed reactions towards the maiden budget statement presented to Parliament by Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Thursday.

While some commended the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government for putting together a good budget, others were of the view that it was aimed at scoring cheap political points.

Some civil servants in the metropolis expressed disappointment at the inability of the finance team to indicate the minimum wage for the year.

They expressed the hope however, that government and the tripartite committee would speed up with their negotiations to implement the Single Spine Salary Structure.

Mr Richster Nii Armah Amarfio, Convention People's Party (CPP) Tema East Parliamentary Candidate for Election 2008 described the budget as positive.

He said the budget had made Ghanaians aware of the decline in the economy even though over the few months the public were made to believe that it was robust.

Mr Amarfio said it was good that the maiden budget had been geared towards responding to the needs of the most vulnerable in society adding that it was inline with the CPP's social democrats' policies.

He however, called on government to reduce the country's prime rate to allow more people borrow for investment.

Mr Amarfio advised Ghanaians to contribute their quota towards the implementation of the budget noting that government alone could not develop the country.

Mr Abdulai Mohamadu, Head of Tema Metropolitan Waste Management Department commended the government for allocating funds to address sanitation problems in the districts.

Mr Mohamadu noted that when implemented, waste management which had become a major problem facing the assemblies would be improved.

Mr Harvey Akafu, Tema Metropolitan Health Information Officer expressed support for the commitment to improve waste management noting that it would help reduce diseases in the country.

Mr Akafu said about 70 per cent of cases recorded at the health facilities were preventable as most were caused by improper waste management.

He said improving waste management would cut down on the pressure on the country's health system as well as allow health officials to concentrate more on new challenges facing the sector.

Some drivers were however not in support of the reduction in petroleum taxes as according to them a reduction in transport fares would negatively affect their sales.