Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta, has engaged with economic stakeholders in Kumasi on their contributions towards the 2019 budget.
The engagement, which is in compliance with the Public Financial Management Act 2016(Act 921), was aimed at improving good governance through better transparency and accountability to the citizenry.
Mr. Ofori Atta tasked stakeholders including traditional leaders, the Association of Ghana Industries, trade groups, Market Women Associations, spare parts dealers, Road Contractors, civil society groups, faith groups and Persons With Disability to “contribute in keeping our economy on track by honouring your task obligations.”
He reiterated government’s commitment to the private sector through the lowering of interest rates.
“The results of our fiscal discipline are already showing. Inflation is on a downward trend; interest rates are declining and we are getting value for money for our projects,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed at the national stakeholders’ engagement “our focus for next year budget will include infrastructure, industrialization, and Liquidity of the banks and expanding the Masloc scheme to benefit more Ghanaians”.
He said the government was making full commitments to the Free Secondary School Programme, adding “restoring credibility in these commitments has been one of our key success stories as a government.”
The finance minister said the government had supported efforts at reducing unemployment by putting 100,000 young graduates to work through the Nation Builders Corps programme.
He said Ghana does not intend renewing another ECF programme with the IMF.
“We are also committed to strengthening current structural reforms, and have developed strategies to ensure discipline and the irreversibility of policies,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta added that Ghana’s economy is strong and healthy and that its success has positioned the government to take the next steps in ensuring that the economy works for its people.
The stakeholders at an open forum appealed to the government to consider fixing more deplorable roads in the next budget and reduce taxes to support the private sector.
Story: James APPIAKORAN JNR., KUMASI, ASHANTI REGION