General News of Wednesday, 31 October 2012
President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday announced that the National Democratic Congress would harness the country’s economic potentials and increase access to social services and to eliminate poverty and illiteracy in the country.
This, he said, would be done by making maximum and judicious use of economic resources of the country to create more jobs, construct more educational facilities at all levels and by providing health facilities to reduce maternal and child mortality in the country.
President Mahama announced this in the fourth Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Presidential debate for four presidential candidates in the country.
The other Presidential candidates participating in the debate are; Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Michael Abu Sakara of the Convention People’s Party and Mr Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention.
President Mahama said as a post independence child of Ghana, he would also consolidate the gains of the post independence structures by creating economic opportunities, promote unity and a high sense of nationalism among all Ghanaians irrespective of the ethnic or religious backgrounds.
He said Ghana had over the years attained international recognition and admiration and his administration would continue to consolidate those virtues and gains to benefit from the international development cake.
On the functioning of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), President Mahama said the NDC government would coordinate the primary functions of the Ministry of Finance and the National Development Project to avoid replication and development disagreements.
He said NDPC is a constitutional body and every government needed to respect its mandate and synchronize it with the development plans of government to avoid confusion.
On revenue generation, President Mahama said the NDC administration would deepen tax reforms by expanding the scope of direct and indirect taxes to earn more in the coming years.
He said the NDC had the track record of initiating new tax systems citing the introduction of the Value Added Tax, which he said had increased the country’s revenue in the past years and hoped that more plans was being initiated to expand the tax system.
President Mahama said the bringing together of all revenue agencies under the umbrella of Ghana Revenue Authority would facilitate the synchronization of tax collection and eliminate tax evasion in the country.
He said the introduction of Information, Technology Communication would also help in tax collection and track down tax defaulters and evaders in the coming years.
“We will also need to step up and enforce our sanctions and penalties on tax evaders to save more revenue for government,” President Mahama added.
President Mahama said government had embarked on agricultural reforms by increasing agricultural mechanization and distributing more tractors to farmers, increasing the supply of improved seed varieties to farmers and to build on the one million ton mark cocoa production in the country.