Government has been cautioned against embarking on developmental projects only during election years.
“It’s very important that the government remains firm in its commitment and not to get carried away by the pressure to spend. This attitude of only seeing development in the year of election is something that as a country we should move away from,” Director of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Felix Asante said.
Ghana, has consistently in every election year, overspent its budget, leaving the country in difficult economic times the subsequent year.
The country’s debt usually increases during election years due to the commissioning of many infrastructure projects as well as other unbudgeted expenditure during the period.
There have been calls from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as some economists and civil society organizations for government to stay within its budget during this period.
President Mahama as well as Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, have assured that government will not incur a budget overrun in this year’s election.
Professor Asante who was speaking at the Graphic Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday further said government must move away from overspending this year.
“If we are able to spread these developments over the four years, we will avoid the case where six months to elections we have a lot of commissioning of infrastructure. Let’s also have it in mind that when these commissioning take place, they come along with a whole set of payments.”
“Just imagine a school being commissioned; you need teachers, and a whole lot of things and this has implications for your personal emolument in the following year so we need to find a way of spreading development …I think that is one area that is hurting the nation,” he queried.
This year’s breakfast series was on the theme, “Election year budget deficit; implications for macro-economic stability.”
By: Vivian Kai Lokko/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana