Business News of 2013-12-19

ISSER boss deplores major budget cuts for MDAs

An economist with the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) Prof Peter Quartey has deplored the drastic budget cuts for the Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs).

He says the proportion of the cut must be a source of great worry to the nation. Ministries Departments and Agencies have seen major cuts in their budgets for the 2014 financial year. The austere allocations to these institutions seem to have been a big problem for some time now and have been no respecter of roles.

The National Development Planning Commission, NDPC which has a crucial task of planning with government to develop the country could meet only once instead of six times last year due to financial constraints.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ has also complained of lack of funds to run its activities. Often allocations to these institutions are just a fraction of what they really need. The National Council for Tertiary Education for example received only 17 percent of its requested amount for 2014.

The military has not been spared. Defence Minister Mark Woyongo is said to be putting in place urgent measures to address the shortfall in budgetary allocation to his ministry. This is because government has been unable to release funds to provide food, clothing and health care for Ghanaian soldiers.

A member of the defense committee of Parliament Seth Acheampong says the problem must be addressed immediately. Speaking to Joy News on the matter, Prof Peter Quartey said the country must begin explore ways of resolving the matter.

Whilst he admits there is pressure on government revenue, he said some of the cuts to key institutions could prove costly. He said government should find better ways of resourcing these institutions as well as challenge some of the institutions to be vigorous in improving on their internally generated funds.