Together, We Can Salvage Ailing Economy - TUC
Deputy Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah, has observed that even though the country is currently undergoing some economic challenges, there is still hope the situation can improve with effective collaboration among stakeholders.
“It is a fact that the economy is not doing well as witnessed in all sectors; but it does not mean it has collapsed or failed,” he stressed, adding that, “together, we can turn it around.”
Dr Baah was speaking at a day’s workshop on “IMF bailout and its implications for public sector employment and pay”, in Accra yesterday.
It was organised by the TUC and sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German political organisation.
Dr Baah said for the past three years, the economy had stagnated to the level that the agricultural and manufacturing sectors for instance, were registering negative growth.
He noted that the situation had led to the rising cost of living in the country.
Dr Baah said in January this year, the inflation rate was 16.4 per cent and that as at the end of July (last month), the rate had risen to 17.9 per cent.
He recalled that in 2007 when the government embarked on the cedi redenomination exercise, a cedi was equal to a dollar, “but now a dollar is equal to GHC4.5.”
Speaking on the topic, “Analysis of the IMF bailout programme: Perspectives of labour,” Dr Baah said the extended credit facility (ECF) and other programmes under the IMF were not new in the country “because in the last 15 years, Ghana had had three ECF and over 40 technical assistance programmes from the IMF.”
He said even though the signalling effects of the programme could promote economic recovery by restoring confidence in the country’s economy, “IMF programmes, by their very nature, are short-term and do not deal with the structural rigidities it seeks to address.”
The Director of Research and Forecasting of the Ministry of Finance, Dr Alhassan Iddrisu said most of the measures stipulated in the IMF programme were part of the home-grown policies of the country.
“In other words, these are measures we ourselves were implementing even before we went to the IMF because there can only be one solution and the right answer does not matter whether it is coming from government or IMF, once it is the right answer, it is the right answer,” he explained.
He observed that so far, as the country remained an export-driven economy, external factors would continue to dictate the economic growth, citing falling prices in the international market for the country’s major exports.
For instance, Dr Iddrisu said in the 2015 budget, the government pegged the price of oil at GHC99 per barrel but that currently, prices had fallen far below that projection.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)