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Parliament Approves 2012 “Kwashiorkor" Budget
Posted on: Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Parliament on Tuesday approved a 17. 5 billion cedis budget for 2012, which has been described by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a “Kwashiorkor Budget” – a budget suffering from malnutrition.

The composite budget is aimed at developing infrastructure in order to fuel economic growth and job creation.

Despite the negative tag given to the budget, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has touted it as the best so far in the history of the country.

The government has said the budget, which saw a 12. 5 percent increase from the previous year, will tackle poverty in a 2012 election year but will keep public finances in check with higher state revenues.

The budget, which was presented to parliament last month, titled the 'Infrastructure Development for Accelerated Growth and Job Creation' focused on key areas such as road and infrastructure development and agriculture.

However, the NPP Member of Parliament for Wenchi, Professor Gyan-Baffour, said the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor misled Ghanaians with the quotation in the 2012 composite budget statement that the growth rate of the Ghanaian economy stood at 13. 6%.

Buttressing his point, the Wenchi MP said the economy declined by 6. 8% rather than the 13. 6% figure captured on the budget statement. “What I meant by that statement is very simple, the Finance Minister came to Parliament to tell us that the economy was growing at 13. 6%.

“But he failed to tell us that out of this 13. 6%, half of it is due to the oil production: so if you take the oil production out of this 13. 6%, what you have is about 6. 8% growth in the non-oil economy,” he said. “This means that the non-oil economy is rather shrinking instead of increasing compared to that of last year when the growth rate was about 7. 7%” Prof. Gyan-Baffour explained.

He claimed the finance minister misrepresented the facts just to please Ghanaians as part of the government’s propaganda gimmicks.

“He didn’t tell us all the facts and chose to say what will please Ghanaians with the 13. 6% figure whereas the real growth rate which confers with sectors that you can employ people to improve their welfare is shrinking,” he stated.

Source: gna

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