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Change Economic Policies To Support Private Sector Job Creation- TUC
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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Wednesday said government must be willing to change the current economic policy framework if is to support private sector to create jobs.

The TUC of said the private sector was the answer to the looming unemployment crisis in Ghana, thus the need for government to support, nurture and protect it to maturity.

Making a presentation at an organised labour forum on the economy of Ghana, Dr. Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, Director of Labour Research and Policy Institute said unemployment remained the greatest policy challenge for the country’s youth.
The forum, was organised by the Trades Union Congress and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Ghana.

‘Between 1999 and 2015, youth unemployment increased from 15.9 per cent to 26 percent, caused by a collapse in the manufacturing sector due to economic policies that led to high interest rates, over-liberalised trade policies that encourage imports, and rising domestic costs of production including high energy costs, among others”.

Dr Otoo said the private sector, which should have provided jobs, was not performing well due to various challenges.
“We need to look into our monetary policy. We can’t have a monetary policy where the interest rate is 30/35 percent,” he said, adding that it will be difficult to create decent jobs in large numbers if the cost of borrowing remained so high.
While lauding some of the job-creating initiatives of government, such as the Planting for food and Jobs, the Nation Builders Corps, and the One District, One Factory, among others, he said the initiatives could not be successful if fundamental changes were not made to Ghana’s economic policies.

These include reforming trade policies to make it business friendly for domestic enterprises.
Dr. Alhassan Iddrisu, Director of Research at the Ministry of Finance said Ghana’s economy had seen significant improvement in its 2017 and 2018 growth trajectory, following the poor macroeconomic performance in 2016, due to the interventions and fiscal measures that had been put in place.

He noted that these improvements, including a growth of overall GDP from 3.7 percent in 2016 to 6.3 percent in 2017, reduction in inflation rate to 11.2 percent at end year 2017, from 15.4 percent in 2016, among others, had implications for workers.

He said the interventions like the abolition of taxes, reduction in utility costs, increased growth and others, will increase the disposable income of workers, and boost their purchasing power, thus improving their standard of living.
Dr Iddrisu said government will continue to consolidate the gains made in the macro economy, especially as Ghana prepared to exit the International Monetary Fund Programme.

Mr Bright Wereko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister for Employment and labour relations said the ministry was committed to deepening relations between government, organised labour and employers in addressing social issues.

He noted that the National Tripartite Committee, comprised of government, organised labour and the employers, mostly engaged only on setting the national minimum wage, which was only as aspect of their mandate under the Labour Act (Act 651).

Mr Wireko-Brobbey noted that Section 113 (c) of the Act also enjoined the Tripartite to also consult with partners in the labour market on matters of social and economic importance.

“When this engagement happens, it makes you have more insight into what is gig on the economy, so that when you have discussions, you are better positioned to appreciate the issues and negotiate for what you deserve.
Source: GNA

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