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14.12.2005 Regional News

Lecturer urges Ghanaians to monitor implementation of 2006 budget

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Cape Coast, Dec. 14, GNA- A Senior lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), on Wednesday urged all stakeholders to play their monitoring role effectively to ensure that the 2006 budget was "not thrown out of gear".

Dr Isaac Acheampong who described the budget as a "very good document and an improvement on the previous budgets", stressed that the success would depend on its effective implementation.

Dr Acheampong was speaking at a forum organized by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) to discuss the 2006 budget at Cape Coast. He said it was imperative for all Ghanaians to ensure that the provisions made in the budget do not go down the drain. This is because most often, budgetary allocations made for most sectors of the economy, "do not get to where it should," he observed, and urged all stakeholders to keep an "eagle's eye" to ensure that this does not happen. He commended the government for achieving most of the projected macro-economic targets in this year's budget, such as the stabilization of the cedi, and achieving the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 5.8 per cent.

Dr Acheampong said year-on-year inflation was 14.9 per cent as at September this year, as against the projected 13 .5 per cent and was hopeful that both the macro and micro stability would be better in next year's budget, adding that the economy cannot grow without a macro-economic stability. Dr. John Victor Mensah, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), also at the UCC, asked Ghanaians to bear in mind that the HIPC relief, was only for a short-term, and that with hard work, prudent economic management, good governance, the rule of law and zero tolerance for corruption, the country could achieve the desired progress. He also described the 2006 budget as a very good document, but said it had failed to address issues such as ensuring smooth reforms in the civil service.

Mr Nicholas Adamtey, a policy analyst at the ISODEC said the forum was to collate views on the budget from the public to enable the centre to make the necessary inputs to "keep the government on its toes".

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