Wale said the Minister of Finance and Treasury Harry Kuma has stated that the government has taken three steps in its fiscal policy response to COVID-19, namely: Revision of budget projections, Reprioritization of 2020 budget and the Ring-fencing of key government growth initiatives.
He said all the three responses are common sense and laudable, however, the third response is inadequate.
“All growth initiatives should also be revised for their strategic and growth potential and impact on employment and economic opportunities in the short to medium term, except perhaps for projects that are already advanced in the implementation process,” he said.
He said in some initiatives, more resources ought to be allocated to them to increase their catalyst impact and capacity to sustain jobs and maybe even creating employment opportunities.
Wale said he is also pleased that the government has set two overriding objectives in this 2020 SAB 2020 which include the Health safety of our people; and the Economic stimulus.
He said Economic Stimulus Package aims are:
i) Business continuity/prevent the economy from deterioration;
ii) Immediately boost economic recovery; and
iii) Promote medium to long term growth
“I fully support these objectives and wish to congratulate the government and the ministry of finance for articulating these clearly and garnering the political support for it. It is not easy in our context.
“As I have said earlier, the health safety of our people is critical to our nation and society building efforts. It would be absurd in the current situation if the government was not focused on the health safety of our people – it would be the worst form of dereliction of duty,” he added.
He said health safety is an essential part of growing a sustainable economy.
“Government must keep its eye on this objective and not be constrained in its responses in this matter,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI