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Politics Thu, 20 Nov 2014

2015 Budget has a bright future for Ghana - Damongo MP

The Member of Parliament for the Damongo Constituency in the Northern Region, Mr Mutawakilu has stated that the budget statement and economic policy of the 2015 Financial Year presented by the finance minister on the floor of parliament yesterday is promising and has a bright future for Ghana.

He stated that the budget covers every critical sector of the economy on education, health, energy amongst others where government has embarked on several projects and allocated funds for its completion while

The MP expressed his views on the budget in an interview with The Republic after Seth Terkper, the finance minister delivered the budget statement in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.

He called on Ghanaians to embrace the budget and give the necessary support to the John Mahama-led administration in his commitment to fulfilling the Better Ghana Agenda.

On measures government have taken to address the erratic power supply, the finance minister disclosed that by first quarter of 2015, the Kpone Thermal Power Plant of 220MW would be in full operation as its first unit of 110MW is expected to be on stream by end of this year.

Apart from the Atuabo Gas project which would make Ghana a major gas supplier to feed its energy needs clearing away the $500 million expenditure on using fuel to power plants for electricity, an additional 770MW from thermal sources and 35.5MW from renewable energy sources will be installed

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The 100mw TICO expansion works which is 90 per cent near completion would be completed by the end of the year and other major interventions by GRIDCO,ECG and other stakeholders in the energy sector are in full swing, according to the minister

Mr Seth Terkper also disclosed to parliament that VAT will be removed on pharmaceutical products locally produced in Ghana and other raw materials used in their production will also be covered

As part of government’s policy in supporting local enterprises that produce machetes, exercise , and textbooks, import duties and VAT on inputs used for their production would be removed

In government’s commitment its promise of community day and progressively free SHS, it will absorb GES-approved examination,library, entertainment, SRC, science development ,sports, culture, and internet fees borne by secondary level students .

Government will also in 2015 continue to support the training of more teachers by expanding facilities with the view of meeting the target of 95 per cent of trained teachers at the Basic level in the medium-term

Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary,Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa told The Republic that government is committed in fulfilling its promise of building 200 SHS across the country as evident in the finance minister’s assurance that funding has been secured for the building of 133 which is being currently constructed across selected districts in the country.

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He also stated that government is committed to transforming polytechnics to technical universities and also the building of a university in the Eastern Region for which funds have been allocated.

Commenting on government’s intention of establishing Ghana Exim Bank with focus on export, Mr Ablakwa stated that it was very laudable and will go a long way to transforming the country

“We want to be an export-led economy instead of being an import driven economy which means that we are creating job for other countries and not your own people. It has an ambitious target that we want to be able to increase our exports from $2.5 billion to $5 billion”, he said.

The Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic told The Republic that the budget does not inspire hope for Ghanaians for any better future because the component of 17.5 per cent VAT on petroleum products will bring untold hardship on the people.

Source: The Republic