Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, Country Director, CUTS International Ghana, an NGO, has appealed to Government to set up a National Science and Technology Fund to strengthen research and scholarships in the field of science and technology. Mr Appiah was speaking at a media briefing on inputs into the Government Budget Statement and Economic Policy for 2019 in Accra.
“They should be allowed to spend time to develop and nurture the business idea under the mentorship programme of the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan, a government flagship programme and be given a monthly stipend equal to the national service allowance,” he added.
He was of the view that all interests could be paid from the tax liability at the end of the year once the person started working, adding that, those who qualified should apply to the Ghana Revenue Authority and the banks, and they should include the original bank statements of the loan account for verification.
He was of the opinion that, this would free funds spent on key priority areas such as strengthening of education and the health sector at the rural and deprived cities.
“To ensure constant food supply to towns and cities, government could consider investing in food distribution companies. Their operations should be date driven to ensure constant supply of food across the major cities in the country. This, when implemented will drastically reduce the impact of market queens and food aggregators and control price hikes”.
He suggested that sources of funding could include the consolidated fund, GET Fund, 10 per cent of tuition fees collected from Ghanaian and international fee paying students, levy on lottery winnings among others.On entrepreneurship, he proposed that, students graduating from the University with relevant project ideas for start-ups, should be excluded from the mandatory national service programme.
According to him another way to support students who took loans to study in the country, was for them to pay back such monies from the interest of the loan from tax liabilities.On teacher and nursing trainee allowances, Mr Appiah call for the scraping of the teacher and nursing training allowances, and rather pay for the cost of boarding and lodging.He proposed a Pension Scheme for Cocoa and Coffee farmers across the country to serve as income security to farmers in their old age, stressing that the scheme should be based on the contributions from the farmers for government to withhold part of the producer price to fund the scheme.