Full year budget ready before year-end

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is working towards the  completion of  2013  draft budget before the end of the year.

The draft would be part of the handing over notes that will be handed to the transitional team, a highly placed source at the Ministry of Finance, has explained.

The source told the Graphic Business in a telephone conversation that a first quarter budget had already been approved by Parliament before it rose and that would hold the forth until the incoming team takes over.

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The source said that arrangement had been made to make it flexible for the incoming government to make changes if it may, especially on policy and project options and priorities.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaigned on quality education, job creation and stability, with pledges to build 10 new training colleges across the country and making basic education intrinsically free.

The party also focused on how it intended to create jobs through local content in the petroleum industry, particularly the building of a gas processing infrastructure to process gas from the jubilee oil fields.

Next year’s budget marks the last year of implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Strategy (GSGDA), which replaced the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II). The GSGDA made agriculture one of the central pillars of the development blueprint.

The framework outlines the development policies and strategies that will guide the management of the economy between 2010 and 2013.

MoFEP has issued guidelines to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to ensure that outstanding priority issues are given the needed attention in the 2013 Budget.

The agenda also has other pillars such as human development; transparent and accountable governance; natural resource development, particularly oil and gas; private sector development, information and communications technology (ICT), and housing.

The framework also envisages protecting the environment and minimising the impacts of climate change, which is wrecking havoc on the world economy with developing countries such as Ghana suffering the undue brunt; they did not cause it.

One of the main areas of focus for the Shared Growth agenda is the pursuit of accelerated industrialisation to transform the economy and deliver an average growth rate of eight per cent per annum in the medium term.

Underlining this industrialisation will be to build the foundation for an efficiency-driven economy from the current factor-driven economy, anchored by the conversion of raw materials into value-added products, with emphasis on agro-based manufacturing, down-stream

oil and gas and minerals processing and manufacturing, tourism and creative arts.

With a firm foundation of many of these programmes, the 2013 budget is most likely to focus on accelerating efforts to complete some of the uncompleted programmes and projects. GB

Story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey