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General News
Prof Gyan Baffuor takes on Minority Caucus 11/11/2005
A Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning says the description of next year’s budget by the minority group as vague is misplaced.

Prof Gyan Baffour told Joy News that it is the government''s vision to create a vibrant private sector and an enabling environment to reduce the cost of doing business in Ghana.

According to him the main thrust of the four-year programme would be to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty by assisting the private sector to grow and generate employment.

The minority in parliament says without clear information about progress on achieving this year’s targets the projections for next year will remain a mirage.

But the Deputy Finance Minister Prof Gyan Baffour in a reaction told Joy News that Government would buttress its desire to create jobs with programmes and incentives.

“No budget has ever worked with final figures. Everything is based on projections. About the salaries for instance the wages, assuming that we pay people up to September and we use the September figure to do a budget in October. What we are trying to do here is annualize the nine months figure to the end of the year

It is from these projections that we derive how much we spent in the nine months. We can always project and tell how much we are going to spend at the end of the year. If we are looking at the growth rate, we will also know how much the economy has grown and at what rate it is growing.

So to say that because we read the budget in October, we wouldn’t know what figures are and therefore it is not a good idea to do it, I think my friend MP from Bole Bamboi is missing the point,” he said.

Prof Gyan Baffour also says the monetisation of non-cash benefits to be introduced in January next year will achieve a lot for the nation.

“ A lot of us are paid the basic salary of let’s say ¢2 million, and we are saying that okay, you have government bungalow and we are taking a proportion of your salary to pay for that maybe by 10 per cent of ¢2million and its only about ¢200,000. But of course you see that the house on the open market on rent would be higher then ¢200,000.

So if we say we are monetising housing, what it means is that we will not give you that free house but rather see how that house will go on the open market and add that to your basic salary, so that you are not in a free house, you have a basic salary that includes how much that rent will cost and that becomes monetisation of your housing facility,” he said.

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