Ghana’s Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Monday gave the assurance that Government would break the circle of fiscal indiscipline that characterise government expenditure during elections.
“We the politicians must be kept in check because for political expediency a lot of the time as election approach fiscal discipline is lost and we hope we can break that particular circle and I’m sure we’re going to break that circle,” he assured.
He said: “If we don’t take the issue of fiscal discipline seriously, the whole issue of macro-stability that we desire will not take place, therefore, we have to find a way of entrenching fiscal discipline.”
He said the Executive would create irreversibility by enacting Fiscal Responsibility Act and re-enforce the Public Financial Act to maintain and entrench fiscal discipline.
This, he said, would ensure discipline by the executive arm of government and ensure transparency and accountability.
Vice President Bawumia said this at the opening of the maiden National Policy Summit, organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra.
The two-day summit was held on the theme: “Building Partnerships for Growth and Jobs,” that brought together captains of industries, government officials, diplomatic corps and Members of Parliament, as well as civil society organisations and the media.
It provided a platform for them to dialogue on key government policies and programmes and solicit feedback from the public.
Vice President Bawumia said Government would ensure low fiscal policy by maintaining a sustainable and stable inflation, interest rate and currency,
He said Government would also establish Fiscal and Stability Councils that would provide good guidance on fiscal discipline as well as monitor and evaluate weaknesses in the financial sector.
He said the Executive considered the promises it made to Ghanaians as sacred contract and would work to make the Ghanaian dream a reality since it had been entrusted with their future by voting them into power.
He said the ruling New Patriotic Party would continue to engage with the various stakeholders as it roll out various policies and programmes to achieve the set objectives.
The Vice President said it was Government’s priority to create jobs and wealth as outlined in this year’s budget statement by growing the economy from the dwindling 3.6 per cent to 6.5 per cent this year.
He said in order to achieve the objectives there was the need to be transformational in the implementation of policies and programmes by maintaining and sustaining macro-economic stability.
The Vice President noted that the private sector would play a critical role in creating jobs and wealth and, therefore, the Government would create the enabling environment in realising its vision.
Against this background, the government abolished 15 taxes in this year’s budget to serve as incentive to the private sector to increase production.
Vice President Bawumia said although it would result in revenue losses to the state in the short term but in the long term it would yield fruits.
According to him, there were three key elements that would help in the formalisation of the economy and mentioned the issuance of the national identification system, which would commerce hopefully by August or September this year as one of them.
The other two elements were the issuance of unique digital addressing system, which would be rolled-out in July and financial inclusion where all telecommunication companies would be linked in terms of transfer of money, otherwise known as interoperability.
Dr Bawumia disclosed that it would organise Port Efficiency Conference to bring key stakeholders both home and abroad in the port sector to discuss ways of ensuring efficiency in the port operations.
He said Ghana had many assets that were not properly registered therefore Government would establish Ghana Asset Management Corporation that would leverage on the country’s assets to raise funds to finance other projects.
Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Minister of Information, said the summit would provide a platform for the citizenry to express their views in governance issues and ensure holistic implementation of Government programmes and policies.
He said the Ministry had translated key government instruments into six languages to facilitate easy understanding among the populace and solicit feedback from them.