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24.02.2005 Business & Finance

BUDGET: Cocoa Day in the offing

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Accra, Feb. 24, GNA - A Cocoa Celebration Day is to be set aside this year to promote consumption of cocoa during which cocoa would be served at all official functions and to tourists.

Announcing this in Accra on Thursday, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the Government would further promote a policy to serve cocoa at all national, regional and district functions.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said this when he presented the 2005 Budget Statement to Parliament.

Ghana is the world's second largest cocoa producer after Cote d'Ivoire.

Even though, Ghana produces a large quantity of cocoa, the use or consumption of the produce is on a rather low scale.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said a programme in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Sports would be adopted to supply pre-school, basic and second cycle educational institutions with cocoa products free of charge as part of a national food and nutrition initiative.

"The Government also aims at rationalizing taxes to enhance the private sector development, he said.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the Government would set up a commission to review pension schemes and encourage the informal sector to join the Social Security and national Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme. 24 Feb. 05