Transforming the budget from political colouring to economic execution

It is my greatest delight to have access to the budget reading document of the Hon. Minister of Finance & Economic planning. I will not pretend to understand the whole chess game in the corridor of power that defines most decisions and actions, but humbly wish as a citizen of the Republic of Ghana, to request the Minister to tone down the political colouring of most of its acknowledgement that seems to take a lot of its introduction pages about 10 pages out of his 93 pages submitted “budget” reading documents to Parliament.

However, over the years, we have seen the conventional style of budget reading, which was just responding to statutory requirements to some extents, but highly irrelevant in understanding, and the realistic impact of such documents to the majority of  citizens that gives spirit to such statutory enactments as a constitutional government. As the future emerges, the hope of the majority of citizens per my survey has the belief that, as the years pass by, this current government will be a messiah emerging to present a budget that is very pragmatic and succinctly defining the pathway towards the future, devoid of wishful thinking and probability clauses, possibly defining it as an innovative driven budget of the destiny of the Republic of Ghana.

I seem to be impressed, on the developments so far and wish to justify my arguments with the following thesis questions, such that if the budget document presents a response to them, then, I remain confident that the future of our destiny, as a country is optimistic.

  1. How will the Flagship Project of Government, be realistically implemented, to attain the result expected, having a clear understanding of current microeconomic fundamentals of the Republic of Ghana?
  2. How will government achieve the agenda of unleashing creative abilities of Ghanaians under a justifiable module, such that, the action will facilitate an increase in economic activities in Ghana under our best understood microeconomic indicators prevailing
  3. What are the realistic structures established on the ground by government to improve local manufacturing, to add value and become internationally competitive?
  4. Since 2011 up to date, Ghana stock exchange composite index has remained in negative equity regime, what is government pragmatic actions to address the problem
  5. What is the Treasury action and pragmatic fiscal policy approach against popular external shocks to continue in sustaining the stability of cedi value against external currencies? However, if unable to achieve such a target, how do we turn that challenge to an economic advantage to Ghana?
  6. What has been the exact leading indicators that interrupt the smooth running of the fiscal policy programme as envisioned, the realistic module to adopt and curb the menace
  7. Those broad macroeconomic targets set by the Minister, has he considered all parameters in the area of behaviourial effects of actors and microeconomic fundamentals to be able to achieve such targets with no excuse of slippage exceeding +1 or +2 percentage point when he is to visit for his next reading of the budget?
  8. What are the modules adopted, in a pragmatic sense to monitor the statutory grants disbursement and corresponding productivity efficiency?
  9. What is the mechanism adopted by government to curb the deficit financing, exerting pressure on sound economic footing of our beloved country and frustrating the full potential and capability of private sector contribution to the economy?

If the Budget document of 2017 answers all these questions and more, then, I am with an optimistic and believe that the future is bright. 

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Article Written by Emmanuel Tweneboah Senzu (Ph.D.), Professor of Economics and Finance, Faculty Fellow Cape Coast Technical University. Head of Research Frederic Bastiat Institute.

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