us as a Government, that we made minimum and humble contributions to the social and economic development of our country.
Mr Speaker, may I refer you to page 197 of the Budget Statement and you would appreciate that when it comes to matters of the financial insurance sector, you would see negative growth yet they want us to say that all is well. This Government must assist the private sector to create jobs.
Mr Speaker, again, they promised the people of Ghana One District One Factory. We were here when the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry appeared before this House and reduced the Hon Minister's promise of -- but I made my point on financial insurance and the figures thereon.
Mr Speaker, I am now on Trade and Industry. We were in this country when they promised that as part of their quest to address unemployment, there would be One District One Factory. In the 2017/ 2018 Budget Statement 1D1F, we were told that 129 of them were ready.
A few weeks ago, the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry appeared before this House and said 79 -- and out of the 79, we have zero for the Upper East Region. Is that to suggest that there is no district in the Upper East Region which is entitled to address their poverty, especially as a deprived region of our country as established statistically? In the Upper West Region, he mentioned four. We expect more than that.
Mr Speaker, if this Government does not know where to find money to finance 1D1F, they should go to the Ghana EXIM
Bank established by the NDC. They have more financial resources to assist them to finance their 1D1F, but on condition that they are assuring us that they would give opportunity to deprived regions and districts.
Mr Speaker, we need to support the President to have a hand on unemployment. As he appropriately said in one of his addresses at the United Nations, it is the ticking time bomb of our country - the growing unemployment — graduates, SHS leavers. We need to do something about it as a country.
Mr Speaker, even as we do that, again, the Hon Minister ought to be candid to the Ghanaian people. May I refer you to paragraph 310 of the Budget Statement?
Free Senior High School - nobody can take it away from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as a noble and worthy initiative. We have questioned its sustainability and we would continue to question it. We have questioned the adequacy of its financing and we would continue to question it. We cannot question investment in human capital, but we would question prioritisation of expenditure.
The Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Roads and Transport and the Ministry of Railway Development are not getting adequate resources. I would take you back to page 214. You would see that the allocation of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) is skewed to the disadvantage of the infrastructure Ministries. That is not acceptable.
They cannot allocate GH¢141 million to the Ministry of Railway Development, Ministry of Roads and Transport and the Ministry of Works and Housing, and allocate GH¢675 million to one other Ministry.
Mr Speaker, I am on paragraph 313. Sometimes you can swallow words outside Parliament, but you cannot swallow words that you submit to Parliament, because this is a House of record.
The Daily Graphic newspaper reported a Government policy tying Tax Identification Number (TIN) to Free Senior High School. Let me read.
Mr Speaker, we would support Government, as we were advised by the resource person, Ali Nakyea, to raise revenue. Our problem -- and that would be my conclusion when I come to IMF. It reads, with your kind permission:
“Mr Speaker, Government will then broaden the tax net by simplifying payment of taxes through different routes under the guidance of GRA to include the elimination of paying for Government services with cash, Requiring that citizens show their TIN before accessing social services like free health care under the National Health Insurance Programme, free secondary school education under the Free SHS programme . . .”
The exact words -- So why is the Ministry running away from this? They announced to the Ghanaian people that in order to encourage payment of taxes, this is what they intend to do. It is a good thing to do, but as soon as the Daily Graphic reported it, another statement was issued by the Hon Minister that there is no policy.
So what is this? They say their economic and financial policy, in it is TIN tied to enjoyment of social services, including Free Senior High School, so they should come again.
Mr Speaker, the theme of this Budget statement “Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity” is one based on borrowing, and borrowing in the name of barter. Borrowing US$648 million from Sinohydro -- Yet the Hon Minister says in this Budget Statement that they are out of IMF. They would be out in April, not December; so they are not out yet. They have to wait for the final review -- We should not forget that I was a member of the IMF negotiating team. We negotiated three years; they added one year.
Mr Speaker, in this Budget Statement, the Hon Minister promises zero per cent financing from the Central Bank. That went into our thinking with the IMF, and that was one of the conditions we agreed with the IMF. If it is not good, why do they promise that they would continue with it? I say zero per cent financing. I was in Washington, and they were saying they will continue with it in future. It means they have inherited some worthy economic policies going forward.
Mr Speaker, today, we can borrow for infrastructure. I have my list here with the Hon Deputy Minority Whip. I would go through it.
When you have a Government which says that it would keep in line with the IMF -- Mr Speaker, two positives. Ghana exiting the IMF, indeed, was the wish of the former President Mahama when he constituted the technical and negotiating team for the purpose of achieving fiscal consolidation and policy credibility.
Mr Speaker, today, they may hide in the name of projected revenue and promise that you can achieve a fiscal deficit. We would monitor them closely.
Mr Speaker, the governance institu- tions; is it not intriguing that the Office of Special Prosecutor, the President's quest