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06 July 2017

Govt to meet IMF board this month

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed that government is preparing to meet the board of the International Monetary Fund later this month.

A team from the IMF led by Joël Toujas-Bernaté, earlier visited Accra on the 10th of February this year to welcome the government’s intention to conduct a full audit of outstanding obligations under the External Credit Facility (ECF).

Ghana entered into the ECF facility with the Fund for a total of 918 million over a three year period in 2015.

The fund in January 2016 approved a third disbursement of $114.6 million for Ghana.

Speaking at partnership programme for growth with officials from the American Embassy, Mr. Ofori-Atta was optimistic the meeting will be fruitful.

“As you know in the last years both the IMF and ECF facility have [presented] various challenges that we have had to contend with but we are now in good shape. We expect to be able to go to the board at the IMF in July to look at the way forward,” he observed.

Mr. Ofori-Atta was pointed out that the government’s economic team has so far had a cordial and fruitful interactions with the fund since the government came into power.

Statement after IMF last visit

A statement released by the IMF after its last meeting with government in February this year stated that “The new government has expressed its intent to continue with the current program with the IMF. Officials outlined bold policies to restore fiscal discipline and debt sustainability and also to support growth and private sector development. The large fiscal slippages observed last year will, indeed, require strong efforts of fiscal consolidation to support debt sustainability. The new government’s intentions to reduce tax exemptions, improve tax compliance and review the widespread earmarking of revenues should help in this regard”.

It added that “Significant public spending commitments that bypassed public finance management (PFM) systems were reported. We welcome the new government’s intention to conduct a full audit of outstanding obligations, its commitment to transparency and its readiness to take strong remedial actions to ensure the integrity of the PFM systems going forward”.

“The large financial imbalances of state-owned enterprises in the energy sector also need to be addressed with urgency to avoid the buildup of contingent liabilities for the new government. We welcome the new government’s commitments to encourage its departments and agencies to implement growth-enhancing reforms in a fiscally sustainable manner,” the statement said.

At the time, the mission met withVice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo; Finance Minister Hon. Kenneth Ofori-Atta; Minister of Food and Agriculture Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto; Bank of Ghana Governor Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku; other senior officials; and Ghana’s development partners.

 

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