Obviously appalled by Ghana’s continually spiraling fiscal deficit, our development partners have reportedly put their foot down, and are insisting on a ceiling for deficit financing in the country. According to Dr. Regina Adutwum, Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission, our development partners want a law that would set a limit to such deficits.
Graphic Business quoted her as saying: “They are talking about the cyclical nature of our fiscal deficits, and they are, therefore, proposing a law that will seek to make it mandatory for successive governments to ensure fiscal responsibility.”
She said the bane of our fiscal budget has been the imbalances between revenue and expenditure and between payments for imports and exports, adding that we are importing more than we export.
“We seem to import more than we export, and that is an issue. We have identified certain areas of our economy that we think, as a nation, we have the capacity to manufacture commodities that we can either use locally or export, so we can minimise our imports,” she said. Besides, the development partners stressed the need for a stable macroeconomic environment, because the macro economic framework “is critical to the success of any of our interventions, and, therefore, we need to strategise and prioritise seriously.”
Dr. Adutwum said the development partners also highlighted the fact that the private sector was critical to the success of any economy, and it to function effectively, it needed a stable macroeconomic environment. “They want to see concrete examples of strategies that will be put in place to ensure that we have macro stability to ensure we have the right environment for the private sector to operate,” she said.
The occasion was a consultative meeting with development partners on the draft framework for the second phase of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), which would span 2014 to 2017. In the view of The Chronicle, none of the above is new. The pity is that we have slept on them for decades, only to be reminded of it by outsiders, who we had told in the face in the late 50s that the “black man is capable of handling his own affairs.”
A Fiscal Responsibility Bill has been gathering dust on the table of Parliament this past half decade or so. The Freedom of Information bill, on the other hand, has more than 10 years load of dust weighing down on it in the same chamber. While politicians elsewhere, through selfless service, lift their people out of poverty, Ghanaian politicians, obsessed with their self-interests, rather condemn their constituents to deeper levels of poverty, because they see politics as the avenue to their personal wealth.
We thank God Almighty that the ruling government, by its actions and inactions, has boxed itself into a critical corner, where it has little or no room to manoeuvre. That Fiscal Responsibility Bill must now be fast-tracked or no deal! And The Chronicle advocates that any breach of the fiscal responsibility ceiling, should be defined as a breach of the presidential oath, and a ground for the impeachment of the President under whose tenure the breach occurs.
It is time Ghana got serious! And the time is NOW!!
Source: The Chronicle
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