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17.03.2009 Business & Finance

Parliament approves 2009 government financial policy

By gna

Parliament on Tuesday, through a voice vote, approved the financial policy of government for the year ending December

31, 2009.
Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Finance Minister, in winding up on the debate on

the budget, said the challenge facing the country was how to use and manage

all the resources available for development.
He said emphasis would be placed on efficiency to ensure that the right things were done to bring back the economy on track.

Earlier, during the debate, Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben North, called on government to reconcile the monetary and fiscal policies to ensure a right climate for investment, job creation and create confidence in the economy.

He said with the high prime rate and base rates as high 29 to 31 percent, the private sector could not thrive in such an environment.

The MP said in times of economic distress, it was not proper to raise the prime rate since this made the cost of doing business very expensive.

He said it was unlikely that the private sector would like to invest and create jobs because of the high cost of borrowing, high production cost, high inflation and the falling local currency.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang said it was important for the private sector to be brought on board in the workings of the Central Bank to help in the proper formulation of some aspects of the monetary policies of the Bank of Ghana.

Mr Edem Asimah, NDC MP for South Dayi, touched on the social aspects of the budget and said in the past eight years, the NPP administration had failed in the delivery of water to the people, citing the daily search for water by people carrying yellow plastic containers in some parts of the Accra metropolis.

He lauded the NDC government for capturing the interest of the rural folk in the 2009 budget by the intention to improve access to safe water through the abolition of the five per cent contributions by communities.

Mr Asimah also said sanitation had also not improved under the previous administration.

Dr Matthew Prempeh, NPP MP for Manhyia, said the NDC government had failed on some of its campaign promises by not meeting the 40 percent women representation in public life and allowances to teachers.

Mr Yaw Effah-Baafi, NDC MP for Kintampo South, touched on the agriculture sector and said local rice production must be improved to discourage the huge investments on rice importation.

He said the decision to improve upon old irrigations projects and set up new ones were in the right direction since agriculture was posed to lead the nation into prosperity.

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