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28.09.2004 General News

NDC to redefine dealings with IMF/WB

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 28, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday said with its experience in governance it would redefine its dealing with the IMF/World Bank if it regained power after the December elections so that the country was not the looser.

A statement the NDC UK and Ireland Branch issued on the title: "A Better Ghana" - 2005 and signed by its Chairman, Mr Alex Segbefia said, "We cannot wish these bodies away, but we will endeavour to set the agenda with a comprehensive policy framework when negotiating our position with them, based on sound preparation.

"Our over reliance on the Bretton Wood institutions, IMF and World Bank has been partially due to bad preparation and poor negotiating skills."

The statement said, "The NPP government failed to take full advantage of the NDC experiences in dealing with these bodies and lost any leverage we had from years of experience.

"The NDC will not start on the premise that every decision of the NPP government is wrong and must be reversed, thereby subjecting the country's progress to cycles of the electioneering process. "We will work with labour to strive to pay a wage that can take care of the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter and leave a little extra to cover the minimum, water, education, health, transportation and electricity cost.

The statement said to achieve that, it would consider a freeze on taxes on personal incomes below a middle class threshold for the next four (4) years to stabilise the personal incomes of the people "The current state of the economy and its effect on our people leaves a lot to be desired," it added.

It said in 2000 a stick of candle sold at 250 cedis but in 2004 it was selling at 1,000 cedis; a ball of kenkey which was selling at 500 cedis, now sold at 1,000 cedis; a bag of flour which sold at 80,000 cedis has now climbed to 240,000 cedis; while 100 kilowatts of electricity which cost 10,000 cedis had galloped to 58,500 cedis and a bag of charcoal which sold at 17,000 cedis has leapt to 50,000 cedis. The rest were, 50kg bag of cement at 20,000 cedis then now sold at 52,000 cedis; first year SSS student who paid 520,000 cedis a year were not paying two million cedis; the fees for a Law student of two million cedis has rocketed to 12 million cedis and academic user fees in 2000 was 700,000 cedis and now it is 1.8 million cedis, a trip of stone chips which cost 245,000 cedis three years has risen to 900,000 cedis and five inch blocks at a cost of 900 cedis has rose to 4,500 cedis.

The statement said the NDC would "cut down on government expenditure which has been shamefully increased by the Kufuor administration with total disregard to their promise to reduce the number of ministerial and state official positions.

The number of foreign travels would be reduced by making better use of our missions abroad.

It said the NPP as a leopard had not changed its spots with it's UP/NLM tradition and was thus "practising the politics of intimidation and vindictiveness.

The statement congratulated Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni for being chosen as the running mate to Professor Mills.

It said, "in a great party like the NDC, where there are many that are deemed competent and capable of the role, it is a testimony to his credentials and abilities."

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