A former finance minister Prof Kwesi Botchwey is certain the implementation of the Senchi consensus will save the country from its current crisis.
Ghana close to two years now has been facing some economic challenges including high inflation rate, rising budget deficit and increased cost of borrowing among others.
Inflation currently stands at 14 .7 percent the highest rate since February 2010.
While the local currency the cedi since the beginning of the year has depreciated by over 24 percent against major foreign currencies like the US dollar, British Pound and the Euro.
Last month as part of moves to deal with the crisis government organized a National Economic Forum.
The forum ended with the adoption of a communiqué, dubbed the “Senchi Consensus”.
The 22 point communiqué among others calls for the strengthening of public accounts and finance committees of Parliament to play their oversight responsibilities more effectively; and also the development of a mechanism for effective synergy and coordination between the Monitoring Units of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Office of the President.
It also calls for the establishment of a One-Stop-Shop for investments, electronic templates to simplify business processes, streamline the activities of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) and Free zones Board, and strengthen the capacity of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and other statistical reporting agencies to deliver reliable and timely economic and social statistics for planning, research and development.
The Ministry of Finance also as a matter of urgency is to review targets set in the 2014 budget.
The review must identify likely deviations and make proposals for plugging the resultant financing gap while the Bank of Ghana traces the implications of the revisions for monetary policy.
According to the consensus further efforts must also be made to improve the efficiency of tax collection as well as broaden the tax base and reduce recourse to the introduction of new taxes.
The incidence of discretionary tax exemptions should be reviewed and reduced.
While the Bank of Ghana must expedite work on the assessment of the recently announced foreign exchange measures and take speedy and appropriate action to restore confidence and relieve the unintended consequences of the measures.
For the purposes of encouraging high national productivity, government, labour and the private sector must collaborate to institute a management and labour productivity crusade including the introduction of a Service Charter that ensures that productivity is matched with remuneration among others.
Taking his turn at the Distinguished Speaker Series organised by the Central University College, Prof Kwesi Botchwey said the Senchi consensus will be useful if applied.
He says ‘If majority of the consensus reached at Senchi are implemented, current economic crisis will be dealt with’.
He urges president Mahama to ensure that the consensus is implemented
By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana