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21.08.2005 Business & Finance

MDAs start budget review hearing

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA - Budget hearings for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have started in Accra under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to collate views for the 2006 Budget to be presented to Parliament on November 10 this year. The reviews, which will cover all the MDAs, are expected to end by Friday, August 26. The process started on Monday with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the National Commission on Culture.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the briefing, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said it was a means of securing a clear vision for advancing the 2006 Budget.

"We are looking at devising a procedure that would enable us to look at the performances of the various MDAs and relate them to how they performed last year as against what we project to achieve in the coming budget."

He said with the processes in place, it would be possible to know, for instance, staff strengths, which project targets were met, which ones had not been met and the strategies to be adopted to bring them to fruition.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the focus of the 2006 Budget would be creating jobs and investing in jobs, a follow up on the theme of the 2005 Budget. The Minister said he was satisfied with the performance review of MOFA, which he was chairing, adding that the last four months would be critical.

He said the Government's position was aimed at mobilizing more resources, hence the reduction of corporate taxes last year to free up extra funds for the private sector.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said he was keen on reducing government dependence on the foreign component of the budget, saying revenue agencies must increase collection.

Dr William Nii Okai Hammond, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, lauded the exercise and expressed the hope that procedures and funding would be put in place to increase food production. 22 Aug. 05

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