The Mission Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) currently in Ghana has said the main objective of the Mission was to engage with the new government on their policies and programmes.
Joel Toujas-Bernate stated that they are would also take stock of the latest developments and apprise government on how the IMF program implementation has gone so far.
He said although the Fund knew the risks involved when entering into the programme with Ghana, especially those relating to election year overruns, they were quite concerned about the current fiscal deficit situation, hence the need by the current government to restore macroeconomic stability and entrench fiscal discipline.
Mr Toujas-Bernate was speaking when an 11-member IMF mission, currently in Ghana paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta Wednesday.
The IMF Team was led by Mr Toujas-Bernate and Natalia Koliadina, who is the IMF Resident Representative in Ghana.
Mr Ofori-Atta welcomed the team and assured them of government’s commitments to the Fund programme.
He said government was seriously concerned with the high deficit as it does not allow enough fiscal space to undertake growth projects and create jobs, two key priority areas of government.
The economist reiterated government’s resolve to ensuring fiscal discipline and protecting the public purse adding during the recent budget hearings, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA's) were briefed and given copies of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act.
He added that government was committed to undertaking reforms in revenue management, exemptions regime, statutory funds and removal of nuisance taxes to propel growth.
Senior Minister, Osafo-Marfo stated that Ghana’s current economic problem was solvable and expressed governments commitment to work together with the IMF to put Ghana on the right path adding, “the problem is solvable and doable”.
He debunked erroneous impressions of election year budget overruns as untrue since, in 2004, Ghana’s deficit was less than 5%.
Also present were the Chief Director of Ministry of Finance (MoF), Mr. Patrick Nomo; Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku; Kweku Kwarteng, MP; Mr. Charles Adu Boahen, a member of the Transition Team and some Directors of MoF.
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