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Business News Wed, 28 May 2003

Third National Economic Dialogue Ends

The Third National Economic Dialogue (NED) ended in Accra on Tuesday with participants calling on government to focus on implementing the recommendations made to it by the various stakeholders.

They noted that when taken seriously, it was possible to ensure a smoother and more agreeable development process that would make Ghana a better place to live in.

Dr Boeh-Ocansey, Director-General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), said they accepted the process of dialogue and expressed the hope that, " we can build on this to develop our democracy.

"We are committed to the NED and hope that our partners, especially government would work within the parameters so agreed at this meeting."

He asked government to take another look at the review and monitoring process to make the outcomes more acceptable to all.

Mr Kwesi Adu-Amankwah, Secretary-General of Trades Union Congress (TUC) urged government as the lead agency, to promote the items noted in the final document and ensure that it was made available to all Ghanaians.

This, he noted would ensure that all the stakeholders moved along with the programme.

He said he hoped that the dialogue would not become a shot in the dark, but a continuous affair that would become a cardinal source of information to be tapped for development.

Mr John Mahama, Member of Parliament for Bole, representing the Minority in Parliament, declared support for the process and expressed the hope that with time all groups in the society could be represented.

He said the Minority was, however, not happy with the spate of waste in the system and asked government to halt it.

"It is important to note that the dialogue not only aimed at increasing revenue generation but to stop the huge waste in the system from the Presidency to the District Assemblies.

He said the economy was too donor driven and called for the setting up of a potent internally generated source for financing development.

Dr Nii Noi Ashong, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said the NED had come to stay and would ultimately complement the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy and later be included in the national budget so that poverty could be eradicated.

Closing the event the Senior Minister, Mr Joseph H. Mensah called for a new approach to the management of the country's resources and impressed on the private sector and indeed all others to lend a hand to make Ghana a better place.

"We must aim at expanding our resources, services and make conditions more appealing to our people," he said, adding that the current situation even in Accra was scandalous.

Source: gna