Gov’t to meet IMF Board today to finalise exit plan for credit facility

Government is expected to meet the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today to formally present its decision to quit the extend credit facility it signed with the Fund.

The Executive Board of the Fund on April 3, 2015 approved the 3-year facility to Ghana under which the country was expected to receive 918 million dollars.

Ghana has so far received a total of 464.6 million dollars.

Among other things, the facility seeks to help Ghana restore its debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation through agriculture and infrastructure investment, while protecting social spending.

President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party criticised the John Mahama-led government for side-stepping parliament to sign the agreement and threatened to take the government to court at the time.

In February this year, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, claimed that government was seeking to extend the Extended Credit Facility programme to December 2018.

In July 2017, Civil Society Organisations’ Platform on Ghana IMF programme called for an extension of the package, which it said will best serve the nation’s interest.

It explained that such an extension will allow for better implementation of the structural reforms to improve the fiscal governance framework.

However, at his maiden media encounter at the Flagstaff House in Accra on July 18, 2017, President Akufo-Addo discounted the possibility of extending the programme, stating “The IMF programme is not going to be extended”.

President Akufo-Addo said the decision by his government to continue with the programme when he assumed office was driven by ensuring” stability and coherence to our country’s economic policy making.

“We’re committed to completing the programme,” he added, but said the 2018 budget to be presented to Parliament in November this year will be the last under the IMF programme,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.

The government is consequently set to meet the board of the Fund Thursday at which event government will make clear its decision to quit the programme.

Facility served its purpose

Economist and lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. John Gatsi, told 3FM BUSINESS the programme though has to be truncated, has contributed to achieving fiscal discipline.

“Ghana had a lot of reasons for going for the IMF programme. The first one was to restore policy credibility and to attract the confidence of the international community to our economy,” he said.

He added: “We also wanted to correct the imbalances in the economy expressed in the micro economic indicators of our economy.

“The process started and we saw some improvement is in our inflation rates and growth of our GDP. The programme has helped in some way restoring fiscal discipline”, he stressed.

By Grace Asare|3FM||Ghana

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