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17.03.2009 General News

'Translate budget into local languages'

By The Statesman

Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, Andrew Edwin Arthur has called for the translation of the national budget into some major local languages.

According to him, since most local radio and television stations conduct their programmes in Twi and other local languages, it is imperative for the budget to be in another language other than English to suit people in the informal sector.

Mr Arthur made this suggestion yesterday during a one-day workshop organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on the 2009 budget for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps and the Institute of Financial Reporters of Ghana.

The purpose of the workshop was to equip participants to understand the rudiments of the budget to enable them transmit accurate reportage on it to the general public.

Mr Arthur also used the occasion to suggest to the ministry to organize such workshops and educative programs for personnel of the Information Services Department so that they can also disseminate information on the budget to rural folks who want to be part of governance and hold government accountable in that respect.

Chief Director at the ministry, Nana Juaben Boateng Serebour said, the workshop was very crucial because a large number of people rely on the media for information so there is the need for those in the media to understand what a budget entails. "You are holding Ghana in your hand, you control the barometer of issues in the country', he stated.

'Information transparency is crucial in today's age so we will do well to give you all the information you need so that you can comfortably state the facts as they are, and not say that a source'.

Nana Serebour encouraged the media to take interest in the activities of government, especially social intervention programmes like water, roads, health and education and seek clarifications whenever necessary.

'Go beyond party colours and bear in mind that no matter the party in power, it"s your money that is being used to pursue government's programmes.'

Participants of the workshop were taken through budget overview, outline of the budget, new policy initiatives among others.