General News Wed, 27 Nov 2019

ISSER challenges anticipated growth of the agric sector

The Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has challenged the 6.9 anticipated growth of the agricultural sector as stated in the 2020 budget pointing out that the figure is not achievable.

A Senior Research Fellow, Professor Peter Quartey said this at a news conference in Accra yesterday to express their opinions on the 2020 budget as read in Parliament by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta on November 13, 2019.

According to him, quite a number of factors must be considered but the government has not done much after pumping so many resources into the sector.

“It is not clear what the basis for projecting a 6.9 percent growth in Agriculture considering the past growth trends. It is important that subsequent budgets and economic policy statements provide cogent reasons for such projections.

“While the subsidies for boosting productivity in African and Ghanaian agriculture are not new, it is important not to lose sight of its potential effects. Also, the subsidy strategy tends to be unsustainable if the fundamental issue of poor investment incentives is not addressed,” he said.

Touching on the GHS 12.4 Billion which Mr. Ofori Atta said the government has placed in the pocket of every Ghanaian, Prof. Quartey said it depends on one’s status and position in society. He argued that if one was a parent and has his/her ward(s) in secondary school, the government is right since it has provided a free senior high education for all the students.

“And if one is a farmer, the subsidised fertilizers may be of a huge benefit to you.”

On revenue mobilization, Prof. Quartey gave a personal experience and also advised the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to equally adopt a smart means of improving upon its revenue mobilisation as well as eradicating corruption and other activities perpetuated by the GRA officials to reduce the amount of monies raked in annually.

On the issue of the government taxing the telecommunication industries who are dealing in the mobile money business in the country, he said it might have an adverse effect on the various network users because, just like the Communication Service Tax, the tax was not absorbed by the telcos, but given to the customer to pay.

Prof. Quartey explained that those in the rural communities who do not have a definite income and do not also earn much will suffer greatly.

He iterated that the government should do well to make sure that it negotiates well with the service providers for an amicable agreement to be reached.

If this is not done, in the end, the ordinary Ghanaian may bear the consequences of their decisions.
Source: thechronicle.com.gh