Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has asked the Finance Minister to immediately suspend the ongoing Debt Exchange Programme and conduct further stakeholder engagements.
Dr Ato Forson says the policy will affect households and livelihoods negatively, as such, it cannot be rushed through.
According to him, the government had an opportunity to learn from best practices on the issue but failed to do so.
The former Deputy Finance Minister said the two countries that have undertaken this exercise before – Greece and Jamaica had experiences the country could have learnt from.
Speaking at a press conference in Parliament on Friday, January 13, the Ajumako Enyan Essiam lawmaker said comparatively, the Jamaica exercise was better due to the proper stakeholder engagements that were undertaken.
He has therefore asked the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to engage the stakeholders involved.
“I think the matter is one that we should be interested in as legislators and learning from where it has happened before, it is obvious that this is the first time an African country is going through domestic debt restructuring, but it has happened in the last three years in two different countries, Jamaica and Greece.
“So we can learn from best practices. What surprises me most is that the Jamaican example has been touted as the best because of the engagements it went through before the final decision was made.
“Ghana had an option to learn from best practices where proper engagement was done but today in Ghana’s case, we are complaining of lack of engagement.
“So I think the time has come for us to call on the Finance Minister to immediately suspend Debt Exchange Programme and engage further. I think Ghana will need a proper stakeholder engagement on this matter,” the Ranking Member demanded.
Earlier today, the Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum hinted that bondholders will lose 88.2% of their investments at the current inflation rate if the government goes ahead to include individuals in the Domestic Debt Exchange programme.
According to the Forum, the bondholders will however lose 71% of their investments when discounted at current Treasury bill rates and 50% when the coupon rates face ‘haircut’.
In a press statement issued, it said, President Akufo-Addo’s promise of no loss or haircut has not in any form been honoured, adding that “great will be lost, too much is missing, everything is broken, you will not recover, your livelihoods shall be destroyed”.
It mentioned that the President was explicit that there will be no haircuts in his public address on the December 5, 2022, quoting 1 Samuel 30:19 saying “nothing was missing, small or great. I say to you, nothing will be lost, nothing will be missing, and nothing will be broken. We will, together, recover all.”
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