Cabinet approves measures to adjust 2015 Budget – Mahama
Mr John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, has assured the public that cabinet has approved supplementary measures to make adjustment to the 2015 budget due to the dramatic decline in crude oil prices.
He said this when he was delivering the state of the nations address at parliament on Thursday noting that Ghana stands to lose about seven hundred million dollars from oil exports if the price remains at current levels.
President Mahama said to achieve policy certainty and attain broad support for the Home Grown Economic Policies of Ghana an open discussion was held in August 2014 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three year Extended Credited Facility programme.
He indicated that the stakeholder consultations held at Senchi in the Eastern Region, in May of 2014 during the National Economic Forum of which former President Jerry John Rawlings was present was fruitful.
He expressed his gratitude to the Vice President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper and the late Engineer Paul Victor Obeng for making the forum a possibility.
Adding to the statement he indicated that the private sector and development partners would assist the inter-ministerial sub-committee to achieve Human Resource Management Information System (HRIMS) and a payroll that is decentralized and has integrity.
“Aggressive work is continuing on cleaning the payroll and ridding it of ghosts,” he emphasized.
He extolled the tripartite partners, the government, labour and employers for keeping the wage level within the budget limit thus demonstrating a commitment by the social partners to work collectively to improve the economy of the country.
“Collaboration with our social partners has seen a decline of the public sector wage bill as a percentage of tax revenues from a high of seventy three percent in 2012 to forty nine percent at end of 2014.
“We still have some way to go if we are to hit the recommended ECOWAS benchmark of thirty five percent,” he stated.
Touching on the pension issues he stressed that government is working to strengthen the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to give its sovereignty and decentralize its operations in the regions.
“I am confident the unresolved issues such as the Unification and Past Credit and governance structure to manage Tier Two Pensions will be addressed this year to the satisfaction of all parties.
“I wish to assure all Pensioners of the safety of and better investment returns on their pension funds. I advocate an enhanced relationship of trust with Ghanaian workers, a partnership and collective action anchored in the national interest
“On our part, we pledge to continue to work to achieve the strictest discipline in government expenditure.
“In this regard, new initiatives would be rolled out this year to prevent the misuse of fuel, telephone, electricity and water in public establishments” he said.