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25.03.2009 Politics

Minister unhappy with Budget cut --at Youth and Sports Ministry

By The Statesman

Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, Minister of Youth and Sports, has expressed his unhappiness about the budget cut down for his Ministry for the fiscal year by the Parliamentary Committee on Youth and Sports.

According to him, the situation of allocating resources and funds was much better when Sports was added to the Education Ministry in the last NPP government.

Alahji Muntaka stated this last Thursday when the Ghana Society for the Blind and Ghana Society of Federation for the Disabled paid him a courtesy call at the Ministry.

He, however, said in spite of the budget cut, the disabled would be fairly treated; and assured also that a special package was being considered for the Black Stars, the national team, to qualify for the World Cup scheduled for 2010 in South Africa.

"When Sports was with Education it was good, but there is now some difficulty because Sports is standing on its own,' he noted.

Speaking to The Statesman, the Minister of Youth and Sports disclosed that a comprehensive National Youth Policy, which has been on drawing board for sometime, would be ready by the end of the year.

The Ministry is expected to organize a stakeholders' forum to deliberate and probably review the existing draft bill on Youth and Sports, out of which a new bill with views from all shades of opinion, including that of the physically challenged and persons with disability, would be taken into consideration.

Alhaji Muntaka, who is also a Member of Parliament for Asawase, urged the disabled to furnish his Ministry with their input into the National Youth Policy so that the final policy formulation would reflect their concerns and plight.

He disclosed that the Ministry was going to launch a website to solicit views and ideas from the general public to help run the affairs of the sector Ministry.

 Joseph Adango, President of the Ghana Society for the Blind, said there is the need to solicit the views of the disabled in the national youth policy so as to fashion out how they should be handled.

'We are not crying for sympathy but we want an enabling environment and the removal of institutional barriers created by the society,' he told the Minister.