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24.02.2005 General News

Public reacts to Budget Statement

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Accra, Feb. 24, GNA - Mr Kwame Pianim, an Economist, has described this year's Budget Statement as "exhaustive'' but said the growth targets set were too low.

He said it would have been all right for the Government to project a growth target of around eight or 10 per cent.

Mr Pianim was expressing his views on Government's Financial Policy and Budget Statement presented in Parliament by Finance Minister, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on Thursday in an interview with the GNA.

Mr Pianim was, however, of the view that the Government might be trying to be modest and cautious in growth projections since it would be held accountable for any projections made.

He said the reduction in the cost of doing business as captured in the Budget was in the right direction.

Responding to a question on some missing links in the address, he said although major sectors of the economy were captured, mention of the poultry sector, it appeared, did not feature in the Budget. He lauded the agenda to pursue skills and manpower development and said it would go a long way in accelerating economic growth. He expressed satisfaction at the re-structuring of the insurance sector, which, he said, was good for the economy.

On the performance of the new Finance Minister, Mr Pianim said Mr Baah-Wiredu had done well and built upon the work of his predecessor by raising standards.

Mr Kwabena Darko, a Prominent Businessman in the Poultry Sector, described the Budget Statement as "progressive and fair".

On the recent increases in petroleum products prices, he said the upward adjustment in the sector was "long over due".

On the Private Sector, he said the introduction of the Venture Capital Bill, would go a long way to making available financial resources to the sector.

Mr Kwabena Agbenu, a Student of the Charted Institute of Marketing, who took time off to sit in to listen to the Budget Statement, expressed disappointment at the new minimum daily wage, which has been pegged at 13,500 cedis from 11,200 cedis.

He said considering the fact that petrol prices had gone up by 50 per cent one would have expected that workers would have been given something more decent.

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