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10.11.2005 Business & Finance

Baah-Wiredu outdoors "Good News Budget"

By GNA
Baah-Wiredu outdoors
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Accra, Nov 10, GNA - Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on Thursday outdoored the government's financial statement dubbed "God News Budget" and said it was the government's vision to create a vibrant private sector and an enabling environment to reduce the cost of doing business in Ghana.

The budget, which is the first time since independence that it is being presented before the beginning of the fiscal year, stresses that the National Medium-Term Private Sector Development Strategy to facilitate private sector-led growth will continue to be implemented. "To enhance the efficiency and accessibility of national markets, government will continue to facilitate the removal of institutional and legal bottlenecks that impede the development of the private sector," he said.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said other interventions included implementation of the Programme Intervention Evaluation Template (PIET) to ensure that proposed programmes for the private sector achieve the desired goals. He said Ghana had a large informal sector that needs to be formalized. A number of measures are planned for 2006.

Key is the development of an Action Plan for the informal sector. "Business Development Services targeted at the informal sector (including MSMEs) will be undertaken. These will include training, mentoring and various capacity building programmes to enable them progress into the formal sector.''

"This will enhance their capacity to access financial services for micro, small and medium scale enterprises."

Mr Baah-Wiredu said for the first time in the country's history, the government was positioning itself to operate the business of this country for the full 12 months of the financial year instead of the effective loss of three to four months of budgetary operation. The Business of Government, and therefore the Business of Ghana, can now kick off right from the start of the New Year.

Corporate Ghana, which traditionally waits for government to signal the direction of the national economy before finalizing its own plans, can do so now in time and operate it for the full year ahead. Also, for the first time ever, government invited all stakeholders to participate in the preparation of the budget.

"We did away with the usual practice of inviting views and comments after the budget had been presented to Parliament. Instead, we put out public invitations to all Ghanaians to contribute their suggestions into the preparation of this budget."

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