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Macroeconomic stability is vital – Finance Minister


  15 Novembre      3        Economy (6657),

   

Accra, Nov. 15, GNA – Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance, has said government would continue with its efforts to ensure that the benefits of macroeconomic stability is translated into the well-being of all Ghanaians.
He said such benefits would be felt in the provision of safe drinking water, good roads, jobs, access to good healthcare, stable and affordable electricity and good education.
“The many social interventions that have been implemented by government over the last three years along with jobs created, have brought relief to many Ghanaians,” he said.
Delivering the 2020 budget on Wednesday in Parliament, Mr Ofori Atta said many parents were suffering because they could not afford to pay school fees for their children to attend senior high school, but thankfully the Free SHS is here and has provided relief to them.
“We paid the registration fees for thousands of BECE candidates, abolished fees for post graduate medical training, restored teacher and nursing trainee allowances, doubled the capitation grant, and implemented NABCO which has employed 100,000 graduates across every constituency in Ghana.”
He said government has also recruited over 350,000 people in the public sector in the last three years and these can be found in various fields including teaching, security services, nursing, NABCO and the forestry sector.
“We have expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme by 150,000 people, expanded the school feeding programme by 500,000 children and increased the peace keeping allowance from $31 to $35 per day.”
Mr Ofori Atta said while the average annual increase in electricity tariffs between 2010 and 2015 was 45 percent there has been a net reduction of electricity tariffs by at least between five to 10 percent for households and businesses since 2016.
“Thousands of Persons With Disability (PWD) have had their allocation from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) increased by 50 percent, [and we have] ensured the implementation of our pledge of employing 50 percent of the persons who manage the country’s toll booths from amongst Persons with Disabilities”
He said to address the problem of a lack of ambulances in many parts of the country, government has procured 307 well-equipped ambulances for the National Ambulance Service under the one constituency one ambulance initiative and by next month, all 275 constituencies would each have a functioning ambulance.
Mr Ofori Atta said many of these initiatives and social interventions have put monies either directly or indirectly into the pockets of many Ghanaians, saying from 2017 to date, these interventions by government have put at least GH¢ 12.2 billion in the pockets of Ghanaians.
“The electricity tariff reductions effected by the PURC effective March 15, 2018 resulted in savings of GH¢ 1.8 billion for a year for residential and non-residential customers and this is money in their pockets, while the reduction and abolition of taxes including the 50 percent reduction in import duty has saved taxpayers a total of GHC4.1 billion over the last three years.”
He said the over 350,000 jobs that have been created in the public sector has provided total earnings of GH¢ 2.9 billion adding that government has through the financial sector clean-up, saved the deposits of 4.6 million depositors who would otherwise have lost their deposits.
In the area of cocoa prices, the sector minister said, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, who together produce 67 percent of the world’s cocoa, have agreed on a framework for setting floor prices for cocoa.
This, Mr Ofori Atta said, is a game changer in the cocoa industry and would result in a major transformation in the fortunes of the cocoa farmer from October 2020 as they would receive higher prices for their cocoa through the Living Income Differential.
He said government has launched the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) initiative, and the results of the last three years have been impressive, with thousands of projects some completed and some on going across the 275 constituencies.
Mr Ofori Atta said under the “One-District-One-Warehouse Initiative” government has constructed 80 thousand-metric tonne warehouses in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture as well as constructed 200 out of 560 small earth dams in the five northern regions.
He said preparations were now complete and the construction of the first 600-bed kayayei hostel would commence in Agbogbloshie next month to provide accommodation and skills training to vulnerable young women.

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