Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah- Arthur on Tuesday said Government’s programme to reduce the national fiscal deficit is being done with a human face without any intention to penalize the private sector.
Recalling the “Kumepreko” demonstrations that characterised the introduction of the Value Aded Tax (VAT) in 1995, the Vice President said the reduction in the State’s deficit would be done gradually for a smooth adjustment to prevent any civil disobedience.
“When we aggressively reduce the deficit, it may create other social disturbances, “the Vice President said.
The Vice President gave the assurance during the opening of a two-day Ghana Summit, organised by The Economist Magazine, in Accra.
Titled “Turning Potential into Opportunity,” the Ghana Summit will explore the risks and opportunities—tensions and compromises—that are facing the African economy.
It is bringing together over 150 leaders from government, business and finance who are investors or otherwise interested in Ghana's future.
Blessed with a wealth of natural resources and a large, young and growing population, many economies in Africa are enjoying rates of growth and development that are the envy of the emerging world.
The Vice President recalled the stabilisation of the Ghanaian economy and the reduction of poverty in the 1980’s with the introduction of the Economic Recovery Programme .
He said the Government was working on how to sustain growth when investment spending was declining, adding that, the new thinking was the introduction of a strong private sector participation in the economy.
Citing the road sector, the Vice President said, private companies would invest in infrastructure development and re-coupe their monies through tolls overtime.
He said the payment of attractive salaries to public sector to maintain qualitative personnel had increased the wage bill and further affected inflation but the Government was determined to reduce inflation further downward.
The Vice President said a time would come when Government would have to reduce the number of people working in public service to retain the most qualitative ones.
He announced that Government would focus on technical and vocational education adding that, a programme to retrain teachers by default had begun to whip enthusiasm in the study of science subjects.
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