President of IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Franklin Cudjoe, says the measures by government to address the current economic challenges are “baby steps”.
According to him, due to the magnitude of the economic setbacks, there’s a need for government to implement more robust measures, to address the crisis. In his view, the country’s debt profile requires stronger policies to tackle the shortfall.
“To the extent that they’re baby steps, I think we should be grateful for small measures. [But] I don’t see them as deeper enough, because if you look at the reasons for which we are where we are, it’s because our debt levels have become an iceberg and our debt levels are due to what we have been applying the debts to. Which is essentially, a lot of the flagship programmes.
“Now, if you’re not reviewing the flagship programmes, as in cutting back or rationalising some of them, you’ve actually done not much. Maybe the Finance Minister knows something better than the rest of us. As I said, we are grateful for small measures, but they’re not larger enough; they’re not deeper enough”, he explained.
Mr. Cudjoe made these comments in an interview with JoyNews on the sidelines of a national civil society forum organised by Star Ghana. The forum was on the theme: “Reflections on conceptual and developmental issues of CSOs in Ghana and the sustainability challenges”.
It will be recalled that, on March 24, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced a raft of measures by government to deal with the fiscal hurdles in the country.
The measures were therefore presented in two folds. That is, measures to mobilise more revenue for government as well austerity measures, aimed at reducing government’s expenditure.
Following the announcement of the above measures, scores of individuals, including the Minority in Parliament, described the interventions as insignificant in tackling the country’s economic woes. Mr. Franklin Cudjoe’s comments add to the criticisms against the measures.
Meanwhile, government is determined to pass the controversial E-level Bill, as a revenue measure to salvage the economy. Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, March 29, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, explained that, revenue measures are generally unpopular especially in hard times.
He, however, called on Ghanaians and his colleagues on the Minority side to welcome the E-levy, in the spirit of ‘self-determination’ and ‘self-responsibility’.
But in response to this, NDC MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Abdulai Jinapor, reiterated the stance of the Minority against the passage of the levy. According to him, the NDC will stand with the thousands of Ghanaians who have opposed the levy, since it was first introduced by the Finance Minister on November 17, 2021.
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