Appear before Parliament over DDEP – Speaker tells Finance Minister

Finance Minister

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has said the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta must be scheduled by the business committee as early as possible over the Domestic Debt Exchange programme (DDEP).

The speaker said that must be done quickly as the issue is an urgent matter because the pensioners are picketing at the Ministry of Finance.

He prosed 14th February, 2023 for the appearance of the Minister.

“Honourable Members, my understanding is that both sides agree that the Minister be scheduled to come and brief the House on the policy statement and some details about the debt arrangement …Parliament has spoken that is the end of the case,” the Speaker said.

“Parliament is ever prepared to assist the government to get out of this quagmire. So, what I can say now is that parliament has spoken and that is the end of it. The Minister must be scheduled by the business committee as early as possible because this is an urgent matter because the pensioners are picketing at the Ministry.

“We need to do this as quickly as possible. Business Committee should schedule the Minister to appear before the house for a brief on the state of affairs,” he added.

There have been agitations of Pensioner Bondholders Forum. They picketed in front of the Finance Ministry on Monday, February 6 to demand an exemption from the domestic debt exchange programme.

They said most of them depend on their coupons to cater for themselves and their children hence want an exemption just as the Pension Funds

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But they said the government has not listened to their concerns.

The government has again extended the deadline to register for the domestic debt exchange programme to Friday, February 10, 2023.

According to the finance ministry, the debt exchange has officially ended, but an extension is needed to complete the online tender process for bondholders facing technical challenges.

“As a result, the government is providing bondholders an administrative window to complete processes for tendering their bonds, in response to the terms of Exchange as amended pursuant to the 2nd Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum. This administrative window ends on Friday, 10th February 2023 at 4:0pm (GMT),” a finance ministry statement stated.

The government is restructuring parts of the country’s total debt, estimated at 575 billion cedis, in order to access $3 billion in funding from the International Monetary Fund.

The finance ministry has struggled to implement the domestic debt restructuring as bondholders reject the programme due to a lack of clarity over the terms and profitability of the new bonds.

It is unclear if the government has reached its target of 80% participation to secure an IMF board approval for the much-wanted bailout to boost the economy.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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