As part of its contribution towards national discourse on the recently read budget by the finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta in parliament, the Department of Finance, School of Business of University of Cape Coast has held a post 2018 budget roundtable.The purpose of the discussion was to contribute some possible solutions to key policies and issues that were raised in the budget.
Panel members touched on areas such as the Macroeconomic target, fiscal management issues, job creation and policy statement regarding agriculture.
Giving preliminary comments on the 2018 Budget, the Vice Dean of the School of Business who was a panel member, Dr. Siaw Frimpong Said the budget statement faied to pay more attention to agriculture.
He explained, the projections made in the budget show that, contribution to agriculture was not encouraging. He added that since the sector employs a large number of the country’s labour force, government needs to commit more to the sector.
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“Any one can bare to the fact that agric perhaps is the largest or the chunk of our labour force . Then we expect that agric continues to contribute much more than we are seeing now . My worry is that it looks like we are not placing much emphasis on agriculture as a country because if you look at the projection of what we want to do, I don’t think that contribution of agriculture to the general economy improved or changed that much”.
On the financing of the agriculture sector, another panel member, Seyram Kawor, questioned government’s decision to use a new developmental bank to mobilize private capital towards agric and industry transformation when the GCB and NIB can perform the same functions.
“The Akuffo Addo programme for economic reforms in the budget talks about establishing a 400 million fund to derisk the agric sector. They’ve also spoken about launching a national development bank that will mobilize private capital towards Agric and industry transformation and the rest under the financial sector initiative.
But why are we going to launch a new bank , national development bank when we have the ADB bank and the National Investment bank to do some of these things? The financial industry is already in crisis and bringing another one when we have not corrected those wrongs will be another wrong that we will be creating for ourselves”.
By: ATL FM NEWS