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28.05.2003 General News

"We won't overspend" - Gov't

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The government has resolved not to overspend during the next election year in order not to erode the economic gains and throw the macroeconomic environment into disarray. The government will also stick to the guiding limits in its domestic borrowing as approved by Parliament.

The Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning, Dr Samuel Nii Noi Ashong, made this known at the National Economic Dialogue (NED) in Accra yesterday. The dialogue, which was first introduced two-years ago to find ways to move the country from the economic doldrums, has now become an annual affair.

This year’s NED, which was on the theme: “Building a Growing Economy Together”, brought together a wide array of representatives from the private sector, civil society, government, the academia, the diplomatic corps and Parliament to engage in broad-based discussions on important national issues.

Dr Ashong said to avoid choking the economic system; the government will make available increased credit facilities to the private sector operators to enable them to grow.

Dr Ashong said the government has released a total of ¢48bn for the upgrade of 30 selected senior secondary schools throughout the country in line with efforts to establish a model school in each district. The minister said as part of recommendations of last year’s NED, the government is rehabilitating 15 small-scale irrigation facilities in the country while 24 fish ponds have been constructed at Fuu.

He said 5,355 farmers in the Northern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions have been assisted to cultivate 4,000 hectres of soya beans for export.

Dr Ashong said under a programme to provide microfinancing access to women and the excluded, a total of ¢41.9bn was disbursed to women farmers, agro-processors and traders. He announced that the government is seriously considering setting up a venture capital by the close of the year, adding that a programme to establish a branch of the police Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) in every district is on course.

Vitus Azeem, who presented a report on behalf of the Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development (GAPVOD), commended the government for implementing most of the recommendations made last year.

He said the difficulties faced during land acquisition have been simplified with the publication of information and documentation on land acquisition in the country. Azeem said, however, that the documentations are too complex for the ordinary people to comprehend while registering titles of land is still expensive and time wasting, adding that adequate consultations were not done before the implementation.

He also said most of the infrastructural problems such as roads are being solved with the construction of the Tetteh Quarshie interchange, the Tema-Sogakofe road as well as the Accra-Kumasi road.

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