16th IMF programme our last – Finance Minister assures

16th IMF programme our last – Finance Minister assures
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | email: faustine.akwa@myjoyonline.com
Date: 03-04-2019 Time: 02:04:20:pm
“So I can assure you that never again would we go back,” Mr Ofori-Atta said

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has assured that the recent bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be the country’s last.

He said the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s declaration that the 2015 programme will be the final trip Ghana makes to the IMF has been taken seriously by government and measures are being put in place to ensure that is so.

Responding to a question during the government’s Town Hall meeting addressed by Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia in Accra Wednesday, the Minister said: “the president has declared that this is the 16th one and that never again are we going to do that, and never again are we going to do that.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said what transpired in March at the issuance of the bond market was an indication of the confidence in the economic management team and the resoluteness of where Ghana is going.

“But beyond that, knowing that it is a democracy and therefore you might or may not be in government, we went ahead to legislate this.”

Government’s since 1966 have always approached the IMF when the economy was in a mess.

The most recent which was in 2015 – a $925.9 million agreement - ended on April 2, 2019, after the Executive Board of the IMF completed the seventh and eighth reviews under the Extended Credit Facility support arrangement.

The completion made available to Ghana the cumulative amount of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) about US$185.2 million.

Debt accumulation

Mr Ofori-Atta said government is making ‘a never-to-return’ walk away from the IMF and this time for good.

He said the establishment of the “Fiscal Responsibility Rule, Fiscal Advisory Council and the Financial Stability Council so that we begin to anchor ourselves.”

“And in that has the limitation of 5 per cent for the deficit and a positive primary balance, to ensure the rate of accumulation of debt is reduced. It also means that we will not come into government in 2017 and inherit a deficit of 9.3 [per cent]. So whatever we do, you then operate within a band of reasonableness irrespective of the government that is in place. That is very important and crucial,” he stressed.

In addition to all that, government has also established the Economic Planning Committee at the ministry Finance which will be chaired by both the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and the Minister of Finance.

“It is also to ensure that we follow through with policies that we intend to keep and constantly give confidence to the market as to where we are going.

“So I can assure you that never again would we go back,” he stressed.