GEA Unhappy With Unstable Micro Economic Environment

The Ghana Employers Association has expressed worry about the unpredictable and unstable nature of the country’s micro economic environment.

The Association said the current rate of inflation of about 19 per cent has affected the cost of borrowing as interest rate hovers around 30 per cent.

Speaking at a media encounter on the Association’s outlook for the year, Mr Terence Darko, President of the Association, said access to credit is on the decline since businesses are competing with government for credit.

Mr Darko expressed concern about the depreciation of the cedi to other currencies, making business budgeting, planning and forecasting difficult and unpredictable.

He said a conducive environment for doing business is critical to the success of any business entity especially the private sector.

The Association said the effects of these developments makes doing business higher in the country and render business entities uncompetitive.

Mr Darko said counterfeiting and illicit trade in the country has heightened competition as legitimate businesses cannot compete with pirates who take a free-ride on the work of others without contributing to research and development.

He called on government to equip the regulatory bodies with the needed tools to strengthen their efforts in combating counterfeit and illicit trade in the country.

Mr Darko urged government through the Ministry of Finance to strengthen dialogue with business and industry to find strategies to improve the situation.

He said the Association is working hard to complete its permanent office accommodation and that the council has approved the architectural designs for the construction of the building due to start in April 2016.

Mr Darko urged employers, as the country prepares for the Presidential and Parliamentary polls, to ensure transparency in all their affairs.

This he said is critical because businesses need a stable and peaceful political environment to operate and partner government in national development

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has shared its policies, strategies, plans, and how it can contribute to the long-term development of the country at the technical consultation of the National Development Planning Commission in Accra.

Dr Bernice Welbeck, Acting Executive Secretary of NLC, told the Commission that the NLC anticipates a peaceful industrial relations climate where the parties in the employment relationship will see themselves as partners working towards a common goal and not adversaries.

She said the long term vision can be achieved through the establishment of regional and district offices nationwide to decentralize its activities in order to ensure the speedy resolution of industrial disputes and promote co-operation between Labour and management.

The Ag Executive Secretary made these statements when the Commission made an appearance at its policy hearing towards the long-term national development plan with representatives from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Dr Welbeck said with regard to the development agenda of the nation, there is the need to deepen social dialogue between the social partners to enhance the employment relationship, adding that all of these aspirations shall be met when NLC is adequately resourced with an appropriate office, equipment and logistics.

She also called for the increase of the commission's staff strength and the improvement of their capacity through training and development.

She said there is the need for Ghana to collaborate with international agencies like the International Labour Organization to promote best practices.

Representatives from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice at the policy hearing said they envisioned a society that will be truly free, just and equitable; where human rights and human dignity will be respected, power will be accountable and governance will also be transparent.

According to the Commission, to reduce labour agitations to its minimum, a nationwide campaign on good worker-management relationship should be intensified, and also inform employers and workers on their rights and responsibilities under the law.

The technical consultation began on February 4, 2016, kick-starting the second phase of consultations in soliciting views and inputs from all sectors of the economy to prepare the national development plan for the nation.

MDAs including the Ministries of Petroleum, Roads and Highways, Local Government and Rural Development, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Education, and Finance as well as the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, the Audit Service, Judicial Service and the Ghana Statistical Service also shared the state of their institutions and their operations including their plans and contribution to help achieve the national development plan with the Commission.

The Commission is also expecting contributions from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi, Microfinance and Small Loan Centres, the Ministry of Communications, the Ghana Police Service, and the Bank of Ghana towards the development of the plan.