$1bn loan: You gave advise, we can take or reject it; we don’t take orders from you – Minority tells IMF

Casiel Ato Forson (left) AND Carlo Sdralevich who led the IMF team to Ghana

The Minority in Parliament has raised fundamental issues with the $1billion loan agreement that is currently before the House, an agreement which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked Parliament to approve.

Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam lawmaker, Casiel Ato Forson said there are disparities with the currencies in the document that was presented by the government. At one point, he said, the document quotes the loan in dollars, in another instance, it states Euros in the same document.

Parliament, he said, will have to correct this disparity.

Mr Ato Forson further indicated that no decision has been taken to approve the loan yet despite the call by the IMF to do so.

He said they are now deliberating on the proposal before them.

The team from the IMF advised Ghana’s legislature to approve a $1bn loan that is before the House in order to prevent economy from grinding to a halt.

The team met the Finance Committee of Parliament on Tuesday July 12 as part of its initial discussions with the government for a potential programme.

Speaking to journalists in Parliament on Thursday July 14, Mr Ato Forson who is also a former Deputy Minister of Finance said “We have met as a committee, what was before us was for us to consider and approve two tranches of loans. We have considered them in good faith, we have lingering concerns.

“We have actually brought them out because first of all, we believe that the document before us has some fundamental defects because what is in the memorandum to Parliament and what is in the loan agreement has some differences. In the sense that in one breadth, we were called upon to approve a loan of 750 million but what is in the agreement has two legs, tranche A and tranche B, one is in Euro and one is in dollars, so that will mean that Parliament will have to amend what was brought to us.”

He added “It called to question the competence of the people that sent the document to us, it looked as if they were not prepared before they brought the document to us, that is the first concern and we need to address.

“We have said that we are going to have engagement going forward on whether we should accept it or not to accept it. We will have further deliberations on the matter in the coming days maybe next week before a decision would be made. At this point, I cannot say that we have made any decision but we have done the consideration, we are yet to take a decision on the matter.”

Regarding the advise from the IMF, he said “Parliament does not take instruction from our foreign partners, we take advise, so advise can either be accepted or be rejected depending on the circumstance of the day.

“Yes, we have the document and we have to do justice with the document. A major concern to us is, what is in the budget is significantly different from what they are asking us to do. The budget is saying that in the course of the year they will be taking a term loan of 750million dollars, so why do you ask us to approve 1billion when your own budget says 750million?”

By Laud Nartrey|3news.com|Ghana