Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Suame constituency, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, says the 2012 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented in Parliament yesterday by the Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffour, is lacking in depth and a rehash of previous budgets’.
To him, government’s fiscal policy for next year which was themed: “Infrastructural Development for Accelerated Growth and Job Creation”, contains nothing new and is just a review of past budget statements that have been presented to the House in the last three years of the Mills-led NDC administration.
Highlighting some achievements of the NDC government over the past year, the Finance Minister called on Ghanaians to look forward to seeing massive infrastructure development, job creation and sustained economic growth next year.
"Madam Speaker, we promised Ghanaians a better Ghana and we have significantly delivered on this promise; we promised to remove schools under trees and we are very much on course; we promised to remove inequities in incomes through the single spine and we are very much on course; we promised to move the economy from fragility to robustness, yes we have; we promised to significantly expand the economy and we have; we promised to arrest inflation, yes we have…” he said
But speaking in an interview on state-owned national television, GTV, moments after the Finance Minister’s presentation, the NPP Member scoffed at the achievements enumerated by government’s mouthpiece on financial affairs saying every first year economics student will attest to the fact that there was no new thing in the budget.
“…it is worrying how the NDC has incorporated old things and presented it as a new policy…oil production from the petroleum has contributed to the increase in the fiscal space, boosting the country’s GDP to 13.6%...if the oil sector is disaggregated from the traditional source of invigorating the economy, you will see that the growth is less than in 2008,” he said.
According to him, the country’s GDP would not have witnessed any significant growth but for the discovery of oil, high price of cocoa and the unprecedented growth in the gold sector as compared to 2007 and 2008, adding that, “I thought the minister should be living up to his responsibilities”.
He further added that the manufacturing sector seen as the bedrock of stimulating the economy and a means of employment generation has become stagnant.
Touching on the education sector, the Minority Leader said there is a sudden reversal of students' performance resulting in a peculiar constant decline in standards especially at the basic level and accused the Atta Mills’ government of presiding over the worst Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results ever in the annals of the country’s education.
According to him, the pass rate between 2001 and 2008 has always ranged around 61% but despite the NDCs flowery speech on its feats in the education sector, the 2011 BECE results, an indictment on the Mills' administration, indicates that the pass rate was an abysmal 47% saying, “the NDC government’s investment in education has not translated into results”.
Source: Beatrice Adepa Frempong/Peacefmonline.com
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