The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the government to renew the 2020 budget and to prepare a new medium-term economic program to overcome the economic difficulties Turkey will face due to the impacts of the novel coronavirus.
CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu outlined a 16-article list of proposals that include economic and democratic reforms to overcome the economic crisis at a press conference on May 18.
“It’s not an economic crisis but an economic depression that Turkey is facing,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, stressing that making proposals to the government to tackle the growing economic problems is the responsibility of the CHP.
“A struggle against an economic depression is our mutual responsibility. The success of the prescription depends on the creation of a large consensus in undertaking structural reforms,” he said.
Something the government has to take urgent steps on are preventing wasteful spending, Kılıçdaroğlu said, calling on the ruling party to outline which areas it will encourage savings.
“Plus, the government should submit a new budget for 2020 to parliament and a new medium-term economic program. Turkey cannot solve its economic problems with the current budget and program,” the CHP leader said. The new budget should be designed to address the needs of the workers, farmers, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs so that it could start a normalization process for the economy, he added.
New balance between local, central authorities
Kılıçdaroğlu’s proposals also included a need for a new balance between the central and local authorities so that the state’s capacity could be utilized more efficiently when helping those in need. The government should not block the initiatives taken by the local governments and it should increase their budget, he recommended.
Meritocracy should prevail while the government should cease politically-motivated interventions in independent bodies, such as the Central Bank, he suggested, underlining the need for more transparency in public tenders.
“A national tax council with the task of controlling the tax collection process and to where these taxes are being used should be formed. Its annual reports should be published in the Official Gazette,” he stated.
New order on ties with IMF
The CHP chair also called on the government to assure that it will respect the fundamental freedoms, judicial impartiality, separation of powers as economic development is totally dependent on high democratic standards.
“The government should make assurances that press freedom will be exercised under universally accepted norms. In a good will gesture, the release of the imprisoned journalists should be considered,” he stated.
The 10-percent election threshold should be lowered and the law on political parties should be amended in line with the democratic standards, Kılıçdaroğlu also said.
“The government should set a new order on its ties with the [International Monetary Fund] IMF. If Turkey isn’t going to use any loan from the IMF, then it should withdraw its contribution to the bank,” he added.
Hurriyet Daily News