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18.11.2009 Business & Finance

Gov't to increase budget to pro-poor initiatives

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Accra, Nov. 17, GNA - Government is to increase budgetary allocation for pro-poor interventions to ensure that such initiatives make significant impact on the lives of the beneficiaries.

Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Poverty Reduction, said this at a meeting with members of the Ghana Millennium Development Goals/Global Call to Action against Poverty (GMDGs/GCAP) Campaign Coalition in Accra on Tuesday.

The meeting is to deliberate on creating a common platform for monitoring and advocating the attainment of the MDGs, share ideas on national policies aimed at achieving the MDGs and discuss areas of collaboration between the Committee and the Coalition to synergise efforts at attaining the MDGs on or before the 2015 deadline.

Mr Humado said observations over the years had revealed that the percentage of funds allocated to enhancing pro-poor interventions compared to other activities had reduced making institutions not to meet their annual targets.

He said this had compelled the Committee to make a representation to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) to increase budgetary allocation to the interventions to ensure improvement on the lives of the poor.

Mr Humado said MoFEP had assured the Committee that the 2010 budget would take care of its concerns adding "we are just waiting for tomorrow (Wednesday) when the Minister reads the budget to see what the package will be".

He urged the Coalition to intensify its work to enable the Committee to use its findings and figures as authentic information to guide discussions in Parliament.

Alhaji Muhammed Muntaka Mubarak, a Member of the Committee, called on the United Nations system to review its benchmark indicators of poverty reduction to reflect the true prevailing conditions on ground.

Alhaji Muntaka, who is also Member of Parliament for Asawase, argued that the continued reference to "one dollar a day by a person" as indicative of a reduction in poverty cases was unrealistic.

He called on the National Development Planning Commission to give specific figures concerning development in specific towns rather that lumping together the figures.

The Reverend Albert Kwabi, Director of GMDGs/GCAP Campaign Secretariat, reminded parliamentarians that they had a critical role to play to ensure the attainment of the MDGs.


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