Business News of Thu, 22 Dec 201628
I’ll strengthen fiscal discipline to protect public purse - Akufo-Addo
President-Elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that he will anchor fiscal and financial policies to strengthen discipline in the usage of public funds.
According to him, the current fiscal regime is weak, allowing public officials to mismanage the country’s scarce resource at the detriment of the poor and vulnerable in society.
Describing the Public and Financial Management Act passed by parliament as inadequate in addressing fiscal indiscipline, Nana Akufo-Addo assured that his administration will anchor fiscal and financial stability by establishing institutional guidelines.
He pointed out that even though there are institutional rules policing monetary policies, crucial areas such as fiscal and financial discretions of the government lack such oversight institutions to enhance accountability.
“To reinforce monetary discipline the Bank of Ghana Act 2000, Act 612 established the monetary policy committee (MPC) to guide the implementation of monetary policy. The other two pillars; fiscal discipline and financial stability have no such institutional anchors,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo who was speaking to the leadership of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) stated that “fiscal indiscipline has been the bane of economic management in the country”.
“To address this, IMF recently insisted on the passage of a Public Financial Management Act. However, the law as enacted is woefully inadequate because it lacks the key elements that will protect the public purse from abuse,” he said.
“Fiscal policy implementation as it stands now lacks three basic elements; the absence of a transparent institutional arrangement for providing quality fiscal information to the public, the absence of a mechanism for ensuring accountability in implementing optimal fiscal policies to guarantee the stability of the system and the absence of an institution to ensure the credibility of fiscal projections provided by the government, to address the problem of the current high public debt levels and the country’s high risk of debt distress,” he added.
He assured that the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) government will undertake major reforms to anchor fiscal policies to make public officials accountable to the people.
“Our government will adopt and implement rules to anchor fiscal policy implementation .For example there will be specific targets for the reduction of governments borrowing and debt,” he said.