Ghana says will spend judiciously in election year

Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday gave the assurance that the 2012 general elections would not derail government’s budget and expenditure for other services and logistics.

He said “Even in the election year, we shall maintain micro–economic stability, we cannot go back to the past, knowing very well how we suffered some challenges.”

Vice President Mahama gave this assurance when he addressed the 51st annual General Meeting of the Association of Ghana Industries in Accra.

The programme, which attracted members from all the regions and beyond provided them the opportunity to review their performance and to strategise towards the challenges of the coming years.

Vice President Mahama said banks and other financial institutions were adopting the “Wait and See” attitude towards the reduction of interest rates for fear that, after elections economic conditions could worsen at the peril of business.

He appealed to the “Doubting Thomases” to reconsider their decision to do business professionally, since Ghana was no longer joining the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

The Vice President added that the country suffered a number of economic problems as a result of the perennial economic instability and inappropriate policies, which government would do everything possible to avoid their recurrence.

Vice President Mahama said it was unacceptable for government to continue depending on the Foreign Direct Investment and would therefore do everything possible to encourage private-public sector partnership to leverage the manufacturing industry levels.

Nana Owusu Afari, President of the Association of Ghana Industries, said the country had the potential to create more jobs provided government created an enabling environment and commended government for spearheading the private sector strategic plan II.

He called for the strengthening of National Development Planning Commission to enable it undertake bold programmes that would impact positively on the economy and accelerate national development.

Nana Afari called on banks and other financial institutions to reduce their interest rates in consonance with the reduction of inflation, now single digit.

Source: GNA

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