July 29, 2010

Policy think tank Imani Ghana has criticized government’s decision to return the STX Korea Housing deal to Parliament.

The group says government’s insistence on passing the agreement could have far reaching consequences on the economy.

In a statement Imani noted that the revised deal will still leave behind a colossal $1.5 billion national debt in the next 5 years.

It says despite the huge financial cost, there is no plan by government to pay up the debt and fund the project.

A fellow at Imani Ghana, Kofi Bentil, said government must reconsider its decision.

The debt will have serious implications on the economy, Mr Bentil said.

“One of the things that could happen if the deal goes wrong is that the cedi is going to fall badly that the whole redenomination exercise is going to be nonsense,” he said.

Imani said the best alternative for government is to contract a loan “and properly build [these houses]. Why do we have to go into an STX deal?” he quizzed.

The revised agreement has been forwarded to the Finance Committee of Parliament for consideration.

Mr. Bentil said the committee must examine the true impact of the deal on the national development agenda.

Government has consistently justified the deal saying it is the best programme to address the country’s acute housing deficit.

Works and Housing Minister, Alban Kingsford Bagbin, told pressmen in Accra positions on the deal are taking partisan lines, a situation he said is not in the best interest of the country.

Source: Myjoyonline.com/Ghana