Economy has seen marginal improvement but... — PPP
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has observed that the economy has seen marginal improvement in terms of the macroeconomic indicator.
It is, however, concerned that the structure of the economy still remains the same thereby denying it the chance to grow at double digit.
The party is, therefore, of the view that a re-focused vision and strategy were needed to transform the economy from lower middle income to a high income one.
Town hall lectures
In a statement signed and issued by the Communications Director of the PPP, Mr Paa Kow Ackon, in Accra yesterday, the PPP recounted that on Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4, 2019, Ghanaians were subjected to two Town Hall lectures organised by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) respectively, to let Ghanaians know how the nation’s economy had fared under their management during the last two decades.
But the PPP contended that many Ghanaians were of the view that they did not need to be told what the reality was on the ground by those political parties.
According to the party, the Ghanaian economy ought to be brought back home, explaining that that could only happen when Ghanaians owned and controlled the factors of production and reinvested the profits over and over again in Ghana.
Additionally, that Ghanaians are able to put food on the table, afford to acquire homes, have money in their pockets, travel on good and safer roads, have quality education, an efficient health delivery system and above all, want to stay, live and work in Ghana.
Changing the trend
To change the trend, the PPP insists on using the state’s purchasing power to create a ready and sustainable market for made-in-Ghana products and services, to ensure that “we eat what we grow and use what we produce in Ghana”.
“We further advocate support for indigenous businesses through low interest loans, tax incentives, technical assistance and priority access to the Ghanaian market as catalyst for industrialisation and export drives to guarantee stability for our local currency,” the PPP insisted.
According to the World Bank, the statement said, the sector that has absorbed most unemployed people in Ghana is the wholesale and retail trade, which depends solely on import from other countries.
“It is also the sector with the lowest productivity. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector, where prospects for scale economies are more promising, has seen a decline in employment and productivity levels. This has been as a result of harsh business environment for local enterprises, compounded by unstable and high cost of power,” the statement added.
On the re-emerging power crisis, the party said it was instructive to pay attention to the World Bank’s 2018 report on “Energy Sector Transformation Initiative Project” which maintained that although Ghana has connected 84 per cent of its population to electricity supply, high costs and operational inefficiencies had created serious financial difficulties.
According to the PPP, it is rather unfortunate that as a result of those factors, electricity sector revenues from tariff collection do not cover costs, stating that in 2016 the revenue gap was US$794 million.
“It is our considered opinion that the people deserve to be told the true state of the current power crisis and provide firm commitment for the reliable supply,” the party maintained.
The party also strongly recommended that special tax incentives were provided to enable the development of alternative sources of fuel such as biofuels and solar power, to reduce the cost of power which must be abundant and affordable to support the nation’s industrialisation drive.
Going forward, the PPP said the country needed tangible reforms geared towards effectiveness and efficiency.
A good place to begin, it said, would be to reform the public sector including reducing the public sector wage bill, to allow more fiscal space to respond to changing priorities and circumstances. That, the party said, would all be made better by tackling corruption seriously.
“What we need is a more diversified economic structure, driven by the indigenous private sector, to create millions of job opportunities for our people,” the PPP proffered.