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04.01.2006 Business & Finance

The 2003 Budget : How The NPP Deceived You

By Palaver
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Para. 143 Government has—— approved legislation for the implementation of national identity cards by the end of 2003. Request of bidders to submit proposals have been widely disseminated in the media, and the first phase covering persons of voting age is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Voters' Identity Cards were duly issued by the EC. Nothing has been heard of the National ID Card system 3 years after this promise.

Para. 178 Ghana's total external debt for long and medium term including obligations to the IMF is expected to increase to about US$6,193.6 million for year 2003……

The Budget was still silent on the domestic debt.

Para. 186 The Department of Feeder Roads completed 19 bridges. Among these were: • Agyei Nkwanta-Chichiso-Manso Amanfi in the Western Region; • Bonso Nkwanta-Juabeso road in the Western Region • Abodom-Junction road in the Central Region, and • Adugyaa Junction-Adugyaa road in the Central Region.

The figure was 12 for 2001, 2002. Four are added and the figure becomes 19!

Para. 198 Construction of 18 bridges including those over the following rivers will commence in 2003; • Alabo river on the Amesiayakope-Osiaburo Feeder Road in the Volta Region; and • Natarbo River on the Jirapa-Domri-Lawra Feeder Road in the Upper Region.

It is yet to be confirmed whether these were commenced.

Para. 199 In addition, construction of 37 bridges will commence in the 4th quarter of the year countrywide.

It is yet to be confirmed whether these commenced.

Para. 222 The Ministry (Works and Housing) also undertook hydrological and housing projects. During the year, an amount of ¢1.6 billion was spent to continue work on parts of Ada, Akplabanya, Prampram-Ningo, La, Philip Quaicoe, Nkontompo and Prince Akatakyie coastline protection.

This has become an annual budget ritual.

Para. 227 For the housing sub-sector, Government in 2002 issued a Bank of Ghana guarantee to a Slovakian construction Company for a suppliers credit of US$41.35 million to facilitate the housing and infrastructure development programme.

The Slovakian Company is yet to arrive.

Para. 231 Ghana Water Company Ltd has also been allocated ¢1.2 billion to undertake various rehabilitation programmes of water systems at Cape Coast and Winneba, and medium capacity water treatment plants at Sogakope, Keta, Ada Foah and Obuasi.

Cape Coast has been appearing in every budget since 2001. Meanwhile the problem persists.

Para. 233 An amount of ¢1.2 billion had been earmarked for the improvement and expansion of the distribution Network in the following water stations and areas: Pankrono, Tamale, Juapong, Mankrong-Ayensuoko and Sunyani New SSNIT Flats. Other areas include Kwabenya, Nungua Zongo, Gbawe, Adweso, New Town, Suhyiem, Kpeve and Have.

The problem in Tamale and Kwabenya and most of the areas persist.

Para. 234 This year, Government will continue with coastal protection work in critical areas along the coastline especially at Akplabanya, Philip Quaicoe, and Prince Akatekyie and start works at Essel Lagoon.

The first batch has appeared in every budget since 2001.

Para. 239 For the housing sub-sector, Government will continue to facilitate the construction of 20,000 and 90,000 various housing units for rentals and direct ownership respectively.

An annual ritual. Ditto from 2001 to 2002 statements and see comment on para. 222.

Para. 240 Government has finally sourced a suppliers credit of US$120 million for various projects in the housing sub-sector at Berekuso in the Eastern Region, Oyarifa and Mandi-Kuntenase in the Greater Accra Region, known as “Housing the People Scheme” in fulfilment of the NPP Manifesto. The first phase of the project amounting to US$ 41.35 million will commence this year.

See comment on para. 227. The “Housing the People Schema” has still not started.

Para. 259 To promote value added addition and reduce post- harvest losses, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture will promote the processing and preservation of selected commodities, namely root and tuber crops, grains, fruits, vegetables and oil seeds.

An annual ritual

Para. 260 In line with the priorities of GPRS, the livestock sub-sector will increase the production of small ruminants through the improvement of indigenous breeds, development of improved forages and communal grazing grounds. The poultry industry will be revitalized.

No forages and communal grazing grounds were improved. The poultry industry is on the verse of collapse.

Para. 314 The creation of industrial estates, which focus on agro-food processing will be pursued.

No such industrial estates have been established.

Para. 315 The implementation of the root and tubers implementation Project (RUTIP) will commence in 5 pilot districts.

This is an NDC Project.

Para. 328 With regard to cotton production, talks are far advanced for a Mauritius company to set up a sub-regional cotton processing factory in Ghana with an initial investment of US $67 million.

The Mauritius Company has still not arrived.

Para. 350 In order to ensure that we achieve the objective of bridging the equity gap in access to quality health and nutrition services as well as ensuring sustainable housing arrangements that protect the poor, the Ministry will in 2003. • Continue with the redistribution of health workers in favour of deprived areas; • Phase out the cash and carry system; • Implement the Health Insurance Scheme; and • Provide outreach services in deprived areas.

None of these was implemented.

Para 354 Work on Bolgatanga Lagoon Hospital will commence this year; so will the upgrading of polyclinics in Accra and Kumasi to full hospitals to ease pressure on Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

None of these was implemented in 2003. No feedback yet on Bolgatanga Hospital. The polyclinics are yet to be up-graded.

Para 529 It is expected that the National I Health Insurance Scheme will to operational by May 2003

The NHIS did not become operational in 2003 and is still not operational nationwide.

Para 546 Government has, therefore, decided that the Rent law should be updated and enforced to protect workers and also to promote business in this country. In this regard, proposals will soon be presented to this House for consideration.

No proposals have as yet been presented to Parliament

Para. 574 The Ghana Police Service will from this year introduce on-the-spot fines for some minor offences

This did not happen.

Para. 593 To further improve corporate governance and in accordance with the Companies Code, all SOEs that have been converted into limited liability companies will henceforth be required to hold Annual General Meetings.

We have no evidence that this has happened. In any case, since the Government is the sole shareholder in these SOEs, how are the AGMs to be conducted?

Para 600 Ghana currently imports about 120, 000 metric tonnes of rice annually, accounting for about 58 per cent of total national consumption——Government——intends to increase domestic production of rice in order to reduce reliance on imports and thereby conserve foreign exchange. To support and make domestic production more competitive, it is proposed that the duty on rice imports be increased by 5.0 per cent to 25.0 per cent.

The increase was illegally reversed and was not implemented. Rice import has increased three-fold since then.

Para 602 Given the high level of subsidies and other Government support that poultry industries in other countries from which we import the bulk of our poultry products receive, it is proposed that an additional duty of 20 per cent be charged on imports of finished poultry products into the country.

The increase was illegally reversed and not implemented. The poultry industry has virtually collapsed since then.

Para 621 Government will control the use of telephones, mobile phones and other utilities by public officers. Directors of Finance and Administration of all MDAs will monitor and submit returns to Ministry of Finance.

Parliament should require the Minister of Finance to report on this.

Para 645 In the course of 2003, Government will submit for Parliamentary approval the draft bills on Banking, Payments System, Money Laundering, Insolvency (Bankruptcy), Financial Institutions (Non Banking) and Insurance, as well as the new Companies Code. In addition, Government will initiate the process to move forward the infrastructure and institutional framework for the capital market to take off.

Apart from the Banking Act, none of these bills has been submitted to Parliament.

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