2015 Budget Must Spell Out How Oil Monies Are Used— TUC

KOFI  ASAMOAH   TUC  BOSSThe Trades Union Congress (Tuc) Says It Expects The 2015 Budget To Shed Light On All Monies Accrued From Oil, And How They Have Been Utilised.

In Its Proposals For The 2015 Budget And Economic Policies Expected To Be Presented To Parliament Later This Month, It Said: “This Is What We Need, To Restore Public Confidence In Government And In The Economy.”

A Copy Of The Proposal Made Available To Times Business In Accra Yesterday, Said The Tuc Was Still Concerned About The Management Of The Country’s Petroleum Resources.

For Instance, It Said In 2012, An Amount Of Gh¢232,403,269 Out Of The Oil Revenues Was Committed To Road Infrastructure But The Country Was Yet To Be Told Exactly Which Roads Have Been Constructed With The Funds.

“Again, In 2012 While An Amount Of Gh¢72,471,824 (14%) Was Committed To Agricultural Modernization, Gh¢111,959,738 Was Used For So-Called Capacity Building. In Its 2012 Annual Report, The Public Interest And Accountability Committee (Piac), Called On Government To Show How The Funding For Capacity Building Was Utilised. Government Has Failed To Provide Answers,” It Said.

The Tuc Said Reports From The Piac Indicated That Government Had Thinly Applied The Allocations On Roads To Over 180 Roads, Making It Almost Impossible To Assess Compliance With Petroleum Revenue Management Act Or To Determine The Value For The Money.

 

Fiscal Policy

On Fiscal Policy, The Tuc Said At The Time The Economy Was Reeling Under Multiple Crises, Fiscal Policy Becomes Extremely Important.

Fiscal Policy It Said Remained The Most Important Tool In The Hands Of The State To Leverage Economic Growth And Social Development.

“We Cannot Escape From These Economic Troubles And Potential Social Unrest If Government Continues To Deny Its Already Weak Institutions The Needed Financial Resources To Provide Basic Services To The People Of Ghana,” It Said.

It Said “What We Need In This And Subsequent Budget Statement Is Counter-Cyclical Fiscal Policies That Can Help Address The Social And Economic Challenges Facing The Country. Government Should Use Its Fiscal Policy Prerogatives To Support Businesses To Create More Jobs For Ghanaians.”

 

Trade And Investment Policies

The Tuc Said Building A Strong Domestic Private Sector And A Manufacturing Base Required A Radical Shift In The National Trade Policy And Practices.

“We Cannot Build A Strong Manufacturing Base When Our Trade Policy Encourages The Importation Of The Very Products We Seek To Manufacture Particularly When The Countries We Import From Have Both Natural And Artificial Levers That Allow Them To Produce At Far Cheaper Costs,” It Said.

The Tuc Said Ghana’s Trade Policy Was Too Liberal For Its Level Of Development, Adding, “We Need A Trade Regime (Policy And Practices) That Encourages Domestic Manufacturing And Penalises Imports. This Does Not Mean That We Close Our Borders.”

It Said The Current Regime Of International Trade Rules Under The Wto Officered Ghana And Other Developing Countries Enough Safeguards To Shield Their Domestic Enterprises From Unsustainable Competition.

“We Just Need To Take Advantage Of These Safeguards To Ensure That Our Trade Policy Is In Line With Our Employment Policy Objectives And The Imperative To Develop The Domestic Private Sector,” It Said. Ghana’s Investment Policy Orientation It Said Appeared Too Focused On Attracting Foreign Investment In Areas Or Sectors That Do Not Create Enough Jobs.

“We Reiterate The Point We Have Made Over And Over Again That The Only Way We Can Create Decent Jobs For Ghanaians Is For Government To Offer Direct Support To Struggling But Promising Domestic Firms To Make Them Competitive Especially At The Time Interest Rates Are So High,” It Said.

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