Accra, Nov. 16, GNA - Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on Wednesday said growth and employment, which were the focus of the 2006 Budget indicated government's commitment to create more jobs and to improve the standard of living of Ghanaians. He said corporate taxes had been reduced so that the money saved would be invested to enable companies to create jobs. Mr Baah-Wiredu, who was giving an overview of the 2006 Budget at a two-day sensitisation workshop for Regional and District Information Officers in Accra, said reduction in corporate tax meant that expansion would take place.
The aim of the workshop is to explain the intricacies of the Budget to the officers to help them to disseminate it in the simplest form to the masses to enable them to understand it better.
The Finance Minister said the early presentation of the Budget was in line with Article 179 of the Constitution which states that the Budget should be read at least a month before the end of the year. This, he said, would give enough room for proper planning, so that by the end of February next year formulas for the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) among other institutions would have been approved by Parliament to enable the nation to confront the challenges of tomorrow. He also touched on the bureaucracies associated with the payment of government services and that the system was reviewed and changes would be put in place to rectify the anomalies by the end of the year. The Finance Minister noted that though prices of cocoa had fallen on the world market the Government was prepared to pay farmers nine million cedis per tonne instead of the 8.7 million according to current prices on the market.
He urged Ghanaians to be vigilant and report people who siphoned Government money into their personal accounts and referred to the 4.3 billion cedis scandal at the Accountant - General's Department and said this amount could be used for development project in the country. Information Minister, Dan Botwe urged the officers to ask all the relevant questions that would enable them to explain issues better to the masses as well as bring to the doorstep of the Government the needed feedback to improve upon governance.