Dr. Kwabena Dufour
The Government would focus on growth-oriented social intervention programmes as priority areas in 2011 to improve the lives of the citizenry, Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, announced on Tuesday in Accra.
The interventions which would be introduced in the 2011 National Budget and Economic Policy Statement, would focus on programmes in education, health, infrastructure, road, energy, housing and rail sectors to accelerate economic growth, he added. Dr Duffuor was speaking at a forum which was organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for stakeholders to make inputs into the 2011 National Budget Statement and Economic Policy. He identified continuous subsidies to utility companies, mounting wage bill and earmarking of funds which create rigidities in the budget as some structural challenges that threatened acceleration of the pace of development.
He described 2011 as a critical year that heralded the beginning of a new era marking the production of oil in commercial quantities. "It is our expectation that business will take full advantage of this opportunity and devise innovative ways of creating sustainable jobs and increased incomes which will act as a major catalyst for the much needed economic activities that spur sustainable growth and development.