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Cabinet Meets To Discuss Budget - Ayariga   
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A cabinet meeting is underway to review the national budget proposals for presentation to Parliament next week, Mr Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Information and Media Relations, said on Thursday.

Although he could not provide the details of the budget, Mr Ayariga said it would, among other things, cater for job creation, skills development and the maximization of efficiency in the economy.

Mr Ayariga who announced this during the daily media briefing at the Flagstaff House, said the budget would also include the transition of the Ghanaian economy from lower middle income to the middle income level.

Mr Seth Tekper, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, would present the budget to Parliament next week and the cabinet meeting is therefore fine-tuning the proposals.

Mr Ayariga attributed the over running of last year's budget to payment of salaries and wages and gave the assurance that it would be adequately catered for in the current budget.

He said coming out with the budget before negotiating for salaries and wages was not helping and that is why President John Dramani Mahama earlier this year called for salary negotiations before reading of the budget.

The Minister also blamed the situation on domestic borrowing which resulted in higher interest rates, giving the assurance that government would subsequently go in for international loans which attracted comparatively lower interest rates.

"Government would ensure that this budget, as a programme-based one, lives up to expectation," he said.

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