Various policy interventions implemented by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the last 18 months have indirectly put GH¢5.4 billion into the pockets of Ghanaians, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President, stated in Kumasi on Tuesday.
He said the free senior high school, planting for food and jobs, restoration of teachers and nurse’s allowances, subsidy for Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates had taken huge financial burden from Ghanaians.
Speaking at the opening of the third National Policy Summit, underway in Kumasi, the Vice President said the implementation of the social intervention programmes had brought relief to the beneficiaries, thereby keeping their monies for other expenses.
He said government during the period had also reduced over 15 taxes and abolished others, describing it as a massive scale of tax reduction, which had never been witnessed since independence.
He said the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO) which sought to employ 100,000 unemployed graduates would further bring relief to a lot of families while addressing the perennial unemployment rate.
Government, he noted, was determined to move the economy from that of taxation to production, stressing the need to add value to agricultural commodities to stimulate growth in the sector.
Dr. Bawumia indicated that government was working hard to restore monetary discipline to create fiscal space to grow the economy.
He said the Cedi had been relatively stable since the NPP took over power, saying that, its rate of depreciation had been the slowest for the first 18 months for successive governments since 1973.
He attributed the feat to the implementation of stronger macro-economic policy through prudent management.
The Vice President therefore called for the support of Ghanaians as government pursued sound and prosperous policies to improve their lives.
Dr. Mustapha Hamid, the Minister for Information, said the summit was aimed at bringing together all shades of opinions from various sectors of the economy to interrogate issues that would inform implementation of government policies.
He called for dispassionate discussions and gave the assurance that suggestions from participants would be considered in policy formulation.
Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, in his welcome address, lauded the initiative which he said would promote social accountability and harness varied expertise for enriched policy implementation.
This year’s Summit, the first to be held outside Accra, is on the theme. “Assessing growth, jobs and prosperity”
The goal includes promoting social accountability in public policy cycle; mainstreaming development communication across the public sector to improve transparency and public access to information.
The two-day event is being attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, traditional rulers, Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), heads of corporate institutions, Business leaders and civil society organizations among others.
It is receiving sponsorship from the Universal Merchants Bank (UMB).