2012 budget lacks nation building mechanism – CPP

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) on Thursday said the 2012 Government fiscal policy falls short of important nation building considerations.

“The budget lacks any signal or policy initiative or measures to re-orient our economy from one of dependency to genuine self-reliance,” Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, CPP’s General Secretary, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said that was the party’s official position on the Budget.

He described the government’s intention to convene a donor conference on the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) as ‘a clear example of premising local development on external sources of finance and direction.’

“How does the NDC government, which promised to give $200m to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) end-up drip-feeding with first 25million Ghana cedis and now pledging 30 million Ghana cedis as their final contribution?,” he asked.

“Is this not subjecting the whole future of SADA to the benevolence of the donor communities and the attendant conditionality’s that normally come with this?

The CPP said the budget also lacks policy initiatives to address job creation and the expansion of the manufacturing sector. “This sector should be more robust if the Government’s claims of Ghana being a middle-income economy are to be believed.”

The CPP General Secretary explained that in the 2011 Budget, the target growth for the manufacturing sector, a main vehicle for job creation, was 7.0 per cent and the provisional outturn was 1.7 per cent

Over the last 10 years our manufacturing capacity has declined and its contribution to the GDP fell from about nine per cent in 2000 to 6.8 per cent in 2010, and Ghana imports virtually everything, he stated.

He said redressing this requires that we should have in place a long-term strategy for improving our performance in this sector. “The CPP would have laid the basis for transforming this sector through its budget provisions and allocation of resources.”

The CPP stated: “While we welcome the increase in corporation tax for the extractive industries from 25 per cent to 35 per cent we believe this should be complemented by an industrial policy that seeks to add value to our primary products.

“We need a situation in Ghana where we can add value to our resources, leading to growth in our manufacturing sector and creating more employment opportunities.

“What is the Government’s plan to reap the full benefits of this and the proposed 10 per cent windfall tax? It must be clear that falls in inflation rates and interest rates do not by themselves equate to development.”

Mr Greenstreet said Ghana as a developing country focusing on fighting inflation rather than job creation initiatives is an example of a missed opportunity.

He said: “As a party, the CPP has always believed in self-reliance and the extent to which we create an enabling environment for Ghanaians and businesses is important.

“Our economy is too reliant on external sources of funding and we need to redress this. Rather than use excise duty exemptions, we need to focus on how to create a more enabling environment for Ghanaians to engage in small-scale enterprises and making provision for protecting the restricted areas in the economy reserved for Ghanaians.

“We must ensure that there are incentives including start up grants and credit facilities to make our entrepreneurs viable. Similarly we are concerned about the sustainability of increased domestic and international debt, particularly, as we do not see a clear process of investing these funds in important areas of the economy.”

Mr Greenstreet described as welcoming news the social interventions initiatives, especially on the provision of school uniforms, text books and enhancing the School Feeding Programme.

However, he said, “We need to be mindful of tackling the skills gap in the country, which is evident in the fact that 50 per cent of our BECE candidates are failing their exams.

“This failure rate is a reflection of both inadequate educational facilities and the shortage of the skills required to improve the education of our children. So uniforms and text-books aside, we should invest more strategically in education.”

Source: GNA

1 Comment
  1. Enter your name... says

    It is true the CPP is the party that can wake up Ghanaians to feed themselves and build their own country.

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