Business News of 2014-05-01

‘Gov’t has abandoned economy to free market forces’

Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress wants the President to do more than just rely on IMF polices and neo-liberal market regime as the forefront of Ghana's economic governance.
Kofi Asamoah has observed government has retreated into what he called the "comfort zone" of policies while leaving the economy under the forces of free market economics.
His comments come on the celebration of May Day- a national holiday for all workers. Several workers gathered at the Independence Square on Thursday, to celebrate the 2014 National May Day Parade under the theme ' Ghana's economy: A concern for all".
But the celebrations were noisy with brass band activity interfering with keynote speeches by the President John Mahama and TUC Secretary-General Kofi Asamoah. Providing evidence for his view that Ghana's economy is too liberal, Kofi Asamoah said although banks are reaping a lot of profit, businesses they purport to support are suffering under huge interest rates.
He noted the "high and low profile cases of corruption" was also a reflection of Ghana's reliance on policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He advised government to use its "visible hand" to tamper the harsh effect of capitalism's invisible hands.
The visible hand is understood as moves by a government that restricts or supercedes the market's policies deemed harsh.
Fuel prices have increased at least three times this year as a result of an automatic price adjustment formula. This has left fuel - the strongest determinant of prices of goods and services - under the control of market forces.
Ghanaians have been reeling under the effect of consistent fuel price increases, Mr. Asamoah noted. Increases in utility tariffs last year, he bemoaned, has made matters worse.
He also used the occasion to warn government not to sign another neo-liberal policy such as the EPA in "its current form" because it will not augur well for Ghana development. He said history has no example of a country that has developed under a very liberal regime such as Ghana's economy.
His advice is that, government should take charge of Ghana's development instead of leaving it in private multinational hands.
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