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Finance Minister Replies Dr. Bawumia On State Of The Economy   
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Finance Minister, Seth Tekper has described the speech delivered by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on indiscipline in the economy as a calculated attempt to mislead the public about the true state of the economy.

Speaking at the first Alhaji Aliu Mahama Lectures on Wednesday, Dr. Bawumia said “the NDC government, in the face of growing labour unrest, has tried to blame the economic meltdown being experienced on the implementation of the Single Spine Salary System. The refrain from Government is that wages and salaries of government workers account for over 70% of government revenue so workers should endure economic hardships or pick the next available flight out of the country.”

He also blamed judgement debts issues on what he explains as the country’s lack of a proper procurement and fiscal responsibility law.

In an interview on Radio Gold’s current affairs programme, Alhaji and Alhaji with Alhasssan Suhuyini Saturday, the Minister of Finance said Dr. Bawumia’s analysis of the economy in relation to the Single Spine Salary pay policy, procurement and the fiscal responsibility law is not factual.

On the Single Spine Salary pay policy, the Minister noted that “what we said at Ho at the time was that, by the end of 2012, if you added arrears that were accumulated over the last two years to the compensation bill –which is different from wages because compensation also includes allowances, gratuity like pension that government pay to retired workers –that, together with the payment of arrears was what we said has hit 70 percent. We were not just looking at wages. Even then, the wages alone was close to 60 percent”.

With regards to Dr. Bawumia’s assertion that the country does not have a fiscal responsibility law to regulate how funds should be disbursed, Mr. Seth Terkpe said the country’s fiscal policy is highly regulated.

“We do have a fiscal responsibility law. Only that we don’t call it a fiscal responsibility law or act. We call it the Financial Administration Regulation. This law is so profound that it states in the constitution on how we set up public funds. Under public funds it has sections on the Consolidated Fund and how we use it…which is, all estimates has to go to parliament to be debated with government economic policy. This law regulates how the controller opens accounts, how statutory and public organizations are to keep their accounts, it establishes penalties, liabilities and a financial tribunal”, he revealed.

On the country’s procurement laws, he said “we also have a procurement law…and we have procurement agencies and that their processes are decentralized. We have the central review board and the public procurement agencies who are independent” in their activities.

Mr. Seth Terkpe further noted that the Public Procurement Act is due to be sent to parliament for review.

He debunked Dr. Bawumia’s allegation that the current government has increased the country’s debt toll to a whopping 20 billion dollars in five years.

According to the Minister, what Dr. Bawumia was referring to in his speech was the country’s accumulated debt by previous government including the opposition NPP and not what the NDC government has borrowed in the past five years.

The Minister of Finance urged “technical minds on economic issues” to refrain from misleading the public on the state of the economy and present the true picture to the public at all times.
Source: Myradiogoldlive.com/Ghana

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