24 January 2013

Ghana: Isodec, Others Call for Abridged Budget Document

The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) in collaboration with the International Budget Partnership (IBP), US-based NGO has called on the government to reduce the country's current voluminous budget into an abridged form.

According to the institutions, the bulky nature of the budget book turns away majority of Ghanaians from reading it. But, if the budget book is abridged it will attract many Ghanaians to read it or follow it.

This came to light at a programme christened 'The National Launch of Ghana's 2012 Open Budget Index' in Accra yesterday.

The Director of Operations at ISODEC, Dr. Yakubu Zakaria, described as a 'huge' document of the budget statement that the government provides to the general public, saying this does not encourage them to follow through the implementation of the budget(s).

He was quick to add: "You have sometimes a document that is about thousand pages, you can craft something just about three pages summarized version, If you go to countries like South Africa and others, they have done that. We want the public to have access to information budget so they can contribute immensely to the document".

Dr. Zakari, therefore, used the opportunity to call on the Ministries, especially the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to collaborate with them so as to achieve their aim.

Saying: "Ghana is scoring good marks compare to other countries in the sub region and there is the need for improvement. If we get the necessary support from the relevant institutions like the Ministry of finance and economic planning, Ghana can move far better in the ranking" he emphasized.

According to him, ISODEC, together with other organizations had been organizing the "Open Budget Index" to ensure citizens participation in the budgetary process of their country.

"In fact the Open Budget Index is about transparency, accountability and information sharing in every budgetary process globally, it helps to know where we are as a country in the ranking, and a good ranking helps to boost the number of investment that a country attracts," he disclosed

He added that the Open Budget Index Process (IBO) further evaluates the amount to which governments give the public access to participate in the budget processes for the development of Ghana.

The Director at ILGS, Dr. Esther Ofei Aboagye assured the general public of ISODEC support to ensure the accountability of the state to the citizens and promote economic literacy for the betterment of the people of Ghana.

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