Business News of 2014-05-03

TUC cautions political commentators

The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr Kofi Asamoah, has cautioned political commentators to desist from maligning people who express their views on the state of the economy.

He observed that it would not be helpful if government officials and commentators adopted a ‘hawkish’ posture and descended on people and institutions that expressed their views and offered suggestions for the way forward for the country.

“We must give practical meaning to the call on all Ghanaians to put their shoulders to the wheel. We cannot expect people to do their bit for Mother Ghana when their views are treated with contempt,” Mr Asamoah said when he addressed this year’s May Day parade in Accra on Thursday. It was on the theme, “Ghana’s Economy: A Concern for All”.

Economy

Touching on the state of the economy, the TUC boss said organised labour had, over the years, drawn the government’s attention to the flaws in the fundamentals of the country’s economic policies, adding that it had, on many occasions, also drawn attention to the need for a paradigm shift away from the ultra-market and neo-liberal economic policies.

He stated that in a country characterised by features of under-development, the thrust of Ghana’s economic policy should be radically different from the policies pursued by countries that had achieved the basic necessities of life for their people.

“The IMF-sponsored neo-liberal economic policy framework will never work at this state of our economic development,” Mr Asamoah pointed out. He expressed organised labour’s conviction in the belief that overcoming the development challenges required a skilful interplay of both the visible hand of the government and the invisible hand of the market.

Institutions

Mr Asamoah said in the last three decades the country had only succeeded in weakening the institutions of state and that there were many aspects of national development for which market incentives did not exist.

He averred that in all successful cases of economic transformation, markets were tamed for a period for the purpose of reaching a defined goal and in such cases, the state was a developmental, purposeful one, with efficient institutions created purposely to design and implement relevant rules and regulations to address market failures.