Business News of Friday, 10 October 2014

Source: GNA

Private sector unhappy with implementation of govt policies

Ghana’s private sector has stated its displeasure at the way the government implements policies that affect the sector.

Speaking on behalf of private businesses in the country, Mr James Asare-Adjei, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), said the private sector was not happy about the way policies such as the Private Sector Strategy II and the Industrial Policy were being implemented.

He wondered whether it was due to the lack of funds, or whether it was the strategies or the policies that were not well-understood.

“Policies are developed with the objective to address one problem or the other, and if eventually they are not implemented, then the problem continues to linger on and the private sector suffers, and eventually the country loses,” he said.

Mr Asare-Adjei made the statement at a workshop on Ghana’s competitiveness on the theme “Rising to the Challenge: Re-aligning government policies to meet key national policies”.

The workshop was organised by the AGI for private sector associations in Accra, as part of a project to monitor the implementation of government policies, to ensure they were followed through as indicated.

It also served as the launch pad for the commencement of engagements with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) on the implementation of government policies.

Known as the policy monitoring project, the venture is being undertaken by the AGI, in collaboration with the Ghana Employers Association (GEA), the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF), with the assistance of the BUSAC Fund.

Delivering his welcome address, Mr Asare-Adjei said the project was to assess the extent to which policies relating to private sector development were being implemented in the country, especially after they had agreed with policy makers and sometimes captured in the government budget statement for a particular year.

The AGI president assured that the private sector was prepared to partner government in its policy implementation, through a system of keenly following the implementation policies in the national budget and other strategic policies, after which it would share the results with the government.

In an address read on his behalf, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Kweku Rickett Hagan, said the government was implementing policies and programmes, to build a strong economic foundation that would significantly transform the economic landscape of Ghana.

According to Mr Hagan, it was in the light of this, that policies such as the National Medium Term Strategic Plan, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda and the Private Development Strategy II had been formulated to address national economic issues and other related economic and social challenges.

He also said the government was setting up an SME Fund to boost support for SMEs, while a pilot programme to mobilise and deploy about GH¢50 million from sources such as EDITA, as well as loans and grants was in the offing.

In his presentation, the Executive Secretary of AGI, Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, said the main challenge of the private sector had always been with the non-implementation of policies by the government.