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12.11.2004 NDC News

Mills says NDC's doctrine is to protect the vulnerable

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Ho, Nov. 12, GNA - Professor John Atta Mills, Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), on Friday said the Party's socio-political doctrine was devised to protect the increasing number of the economically vulnerable in the society.

He said market forces must be tampered by State policies to reverse the current sour situation of a few people living in comfort while the overwhelming majority wallowed in poverty.

Prof Mills, who is on an electioneering campaign tour of parts of the Volta Region, was speaking in an interview on the Volta Star Radio in Ho.

He said the NDC's new Social Democracy concept was based on experiences in and out of government and the exigencies of the changing times. Prof Mills said Ghana would have to continue to deal with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but must resist being dictated to.

"IMF and World Bank are helpful. We can't wish them away," he said but expressed regret that often "we go to them when our defences are low and we are clutching on to a straw".

The NDC Presidential Candidate said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for example went to the World Bank when it failed to clinch a big loans deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Prof Mills said the NDC envisaged a "more than passive" role in some areas of the economy such as, power generation, water supply, mass transportation and human resource development.

He said the agricultural villages concept in the NDC manifesto was to speed up food and cash crop production as well as marketing but would not be on the lines of the defunct State Farms of the First Republic. Prof Mills said the Aveyime Farms Project was a viable one that was left to rot because of political reasons.

If elected he would not hound President John Agyekum Kufuor's loyalists or act on the premise that everything the NPP government did was wrong. He criticised the Government for spiralling expenditure levels, citing the long presidential convoys and large delegations on trips abroad as areas where some cost cutting could be done.

"You can't bloat up expenditure and expect revenue to come along," Professor Mills stated.

He said the Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS), which was initiated by the NDC government, had been "dismembered" and must be worked on as part of measures to address the low remuneration regime in the country.

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