Government Is Poised To Transform Economy- Minister

Mr Rashid Pelpuo, Minister of State in charge of Private Sector Development, has assured Ghanaians that government is very determined to transform the economy for the benefit of all. Mr Pelpuo gave the assurance during a business breakfast meeting on Wednesday which was organised by the Ghana-German Economic Association (GGEA), on the theme “Overcoming Challenges in the Ghanaian Economy.” He said even though some of the measures being taken to salvage the economy are painful, it would in the near future yield positive results which would translate into an improvement in the lives of the citizenry. He disclosed that apart from the new measures that were recently introduced by the Central Bank, to control the depreciating cedi, government was working assiduously to instil physical discipline into the economy. He said other measures, such as smoothening of infrastructural bottlenecks, generating income internally, promotion of exports and a host of other economic policies, are being implemented to make the economy stronger. Mr Pelpuo gave the assurance that government would not renege on its commitment to provide social services to the vulnerable and it would continue to provide free school uniforms, exercise books, eliminate schools under trees, and also improve the National Health Insurance Scheme. He said badly run social services like the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency, were being reactivated to achieve their targets. He said government attaches much importance to the development of the private sector, hence the creation of the Ministry to develop the sector. He called on players in the sector to support government to be able to make the private sector the engine of growth. Mr Sidney Caseley-Hayford, an economist, urged government to cut down on the number of banks in the country as the economy is too small for the rising numbers. He said while the various banks are competing for money, only 20 per cent of Ghana’s population are income earners, and it is therefore important that the number of banks is reduced drastically. He also mentioned the black market and the non-computerisation of the various forex bureau, as some of the causes of the depreciating of the cedi, and urged the central bank to enforce the rules and regulations guiding the use of foreign currencies. Mr George Blankson, Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, disclosed that there was an on-going institutional restructuring to harmonize the work of the Authority. He said per the VAT Act 2013, (870), deposits on loans and interest were not liable to VAT, and urged the Media to desist from providing false information about the new Act. In speech read on his behalf, Mr Richard Anamoo, Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, said even though there was increasing traffic at the ports, measures were being put in place to address the problem. He disclosed that there was on-going expansion works at the Takoradi Port, and that of the Tema Port is yet to start. Mr Anamoo said, there was also the acquisition of new cargo handling equipment, the automation of the export system, training of staff, and the acquisition of CCTV camera to control theft at the port.