An Economist at the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER), Prof. Peter Quartey, has asked Government to target its COVID-19 interventions towards those who really need it in order to ease pressure on the public purse.
According to him, government can achieve this by relying on accurate data to determine low income earners.
Government has offered support like free water and reduced electricity by 50 percent for three months, whiles lifeline electricity consumers paid nothing for power.
That for water has since been extended for another three months, whiles only lifeline electricity consumers will not pay for power till end of the year.
Commenting on these packages, Prof. Peter Quartey told Citi Business News even though the initiative is laudable, it could have been targeted at the poor.
“As a country, we need data and I am very excited that National identification cards are being issued. We should continue this process and ensure that almost every Ghanaian has a national identification card and a TIN number. Once we have that information, if you want to target it, it is easy to know who can be targeted.”
“An example can be cited from the LEAP initiative. When we accessed LEAP a couple of years ago, the people believed so much in the LEAP process because of the computer selection that was done and there was no human intervention. So when you are working with data, you find that it is easy to select the right people and target them very well so government can save some resources and invest in other areas that are also important other than free for all policies,” he said.
Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in the country, government has had to move rapidly to cushion individuals and businesses.
Track COVID-19 expenditure to prevent corruption and misuse – ISSER to Gov’t
Already, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, ISSER, has asked government to track its expenditure occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Institute says funds disbursed to support businesses affected by the pandemic, must be monitored to ensure that they are going to the right targets to prevent corruption and misuse.