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11.11.2005 General News

Criticism on budget welcomed, but ...

Criticism on budget welcomed, but ...
LISTEN NOV 11, 2005

Accra, Nov. 11, GNA - Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on Thursday said Government would welcome criticisms of the 2006 budget, but they must be clean and good. "I welcome any criticism on the budget. We are all human. But the criticisms must be orderly, calculated, clean and fair. If it is not we have no choice but to leave it," he stressed. Mr Baah-Wiredu was speaking to the media shortly after presenting the Budget Statement for 2006 to Parliament in Accra. He noted that the 2006 budget was very forward looking and intended to reduce the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian while making the life of low income workers, industry and the manufacturing sector profitable. On how much debt relief Ghana would benefit from, Mr Baah-Wiredu explained that the Executive Directors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund needed to go through certain formalities and come out finally with the figures in December. "By then we will know the exact figures and then we can plot them in adequately. For now, all statutory payment terms still stand. If the deal is struck after their meetings the various transfers will be done." Mr Baah-Wiredu told the GNA that the actual total donor commitment for the lifecycle of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) was five billion dollars and not 1.2 billion dollars. Ghana's 27 donor partners on Tuesday completed the 12th Consultative Group Meeting in Accra.
Mr Baah-Wiredu said an initial 1.2 billion dollars had peen pledged for the 2006 period of the GPRS and depending on how well projections were implemented, the rest of the funds would be released during the lifetime of the Strategy.
He said debt forgiveness from the African Development Bank would be finalized at the forthcoming Finance Ministers Meeting in Tunis from November 22-23.