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General News of Friday, 16 May 2014

Source: peacefmonline.com

NEF Consensus cannot save Cedi – Atik

The depreciation of the cedi against some major foreign currencies has had a telling effect on local businesses and the economy as a whole.

The government of Ghana in a bid to save the cedi, rolled out several measures; however, the measures appear not enough to arrest the downward trend of currency.

Just this week (four days ago), Government decided to hold a National Economic Forum to solicit for ideas to put the economy including the cedi back on track.

However, a policy Analyst of the People’s National Convention (PNC) has indicated that no amount of suggestions from the forum will halt the downward spiral of the cedi.

“Whatever recommendations that will be made will not be able to stop the cedi from further depreciation. Government knows what it is supposed to do,” he said on Thursday’s edition of ‘Kokrokoo’ a few hours before participants at the forum which was held at Senchi near Akosombo in the Eastern Region reached a consensus and penned down a 22point communique expected to enhance the Ghanaian economy.

The forum brought together heads of institutions and organizations, former Governors of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), former Finance Ministers, government officials, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), political parties excluding the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some policy think-tanks.

The participants, among other things, tasked the Ministry of Finance to “as a matter of urgency review the targets set in the 2014 budget. The review must identify likely deviations and make proposals for plugging the resultant financing gap while the Bank of Ghana traces the implications of the revisions for monetary policy”.

Atik also stated that he does not believe any of the recommendations will be implemented by the Mahama-led administration because the 2014 budget has already been formulated.

“What will come out of this forum that has not been said before? The forum should have come before the formulation of the 2014 budget; with that there will be space for new ideas in terms of managing our exchange rate regime, rise in inflation and so on. Bear in mind the budget captures government economic policies…meanwhile, the economy is on a cruise control; free,” he asserted.

According to him, he listened to some of the speeches during the forum and he realized that “some of them were a rehash of existing notes…that is why I said from the beginning that nothing will come out of this forum”.

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