It’s Only Natural For The Minority To Rave And Rant - Fifi Kwetey

A Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Fifi Kwetey has downplayed concerns raised by the Minority Caucus in Parliament regarding a request by government for Parliament’s approval of a supplementary budget, saying that it is natural for them (Minority) to rave and rant. The sector minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor on Thursday read the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy and asked Parliament to approve an amount of GH˘1,463,123,559.00 as Supplementary Budget for the government for the year 2011. This follows developments since the last quarter of 2010 in the economy, which had resulted in some changes in the assumptions underlying the 2011 Budget and Economic Policy presented in parliament in November 2010. “Notable among these are the following, Madam Speaker; the passage of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, (Act 815). Key provisions in the law, Madam Speaker, have direct implications for the estimation of the benchmark revenue; determination of the annual budget funding amount, and transfer of funds into the Ghana Petroleum Funds Account…The passage and implementation of the Act, coupled with increases in crude oil price on the world market and production volumes have made upward adjustment in revenue projections.” “Two, the receipt of two major inflows from the World Bank, and the sales of AngloGold shares in lieu of royalties expected in 2010, were realised in the first quarter of 2011…And the last but not the least, increased revenue collections from tax administrative measures,” Dr Duffuor said in Parliament. Less than 24 hours after the reading the Finance Minister’s presentation, a former Deputy Finance Minister in the erstwhile Kufuor-led NPP Administration, Professor Gyan Baffour stated that Ghana’s economy is being run on auto pilot. According to him, economic indications under the current government show that the country is being mismanaged. "This government is one of the luckiest governments. Gold prices are up, cocoa prices have shot to the roof and oil prices are not doing too bad, yet it is not being felt…I suspect they have their priorities wrong,” he said. Prof. Gyan Baffuor expressed surprise that construction works on major trunk roads have stalled even though the NDC is boasting of having exceeded its targets for this year. He mentioned that the situation whereby government continuously cries that there is no money is no excuse citing that the NPP in 2008 financed major projects with government revenue."So I think the economy is on auto pilot and they are tinkering around mismanagement" But speaking in an interview on Radio Gold, Fifi Kwetey said the reaction by the Minority does not surprise him. According to him, they (Minority) know the government is gaining political points and so ‘obviously, they will not be happy’. “…naturally you don’t expect them to be happy. You will get them screaming and pretending that the economy is not being managed well and that what was presented was not a true reflection of the economy, however, they know we are gaining points ahead of them. They don’t take their time to study the document very well; they quickly jump to conclusions and start talking... They cannot appreciate it so they have to go on about something...” he added. He explained that the supplementary budget is to provide detail information about what the government has done so far in terms of managing the economy.