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General News Tue, 9 Jan 2001

Keep eye on fuel drawing

By C.S. Buabeng

Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, has recommended to the Kufuor Administration to keep an eye on the drawing of fuel by public officials as a way of managing resources. He indicated that the economy is in difficulty and it is crucial that the scarce resources are well managed to show the effectiveness of the administration.

Speaking in an interview in Accra, Prof. Asenso-Okyere expressed the hope that the new government would resist the temptation of ostentatious display of false affluence. Also the misuse of vehicles should not escape the scrutiny of the in-coming government, said the director, adding that the expenditure for public functions must be critically looked at.

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On resources mobilisation, the director suggested that it should be possible for the government to reduce tax margin to ensure compliance. Perhaps the government could see if it is not possible to reduce corporate tax from 35 per cent to 25 . At the same time, it must ensure that those outside the tax net are roped in. Furthermore, organisations which withhold taxes should be made to render account when the time is due, said the director. It would also be necessary to look at the possibility of paying living wages to avoid intermittent strikes and the cumbersome effort to pay for extra duty allowance for doctors.

Professor Asenso-Okyere contended that nobody disputes that the export base must be expanded to ensure that enough foreign exchange is earned to stabilise the Cedi. The time has come for the country to select and support winners. It should be possible for a few entrepreneurs to be selected and given all the necessary support for them to perform for other people to enjoy their multiplying effect. In addition, strenuous effort to enable the public system and non-governmental organisations should create wealth at the local level.

Source: Daily Graphic
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