Before board approval, obtain finance guarantees from partners and creditors – IMF advises Ghana

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According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ghana must first get finance guarantees from its allies and creditors before submitting its program proposal for approval to the Executive Board.

After a recent declaration by President Akufo-Addo that Ghana is striving to submit its programme to the board by end March 2023 for approval, the Fund was asked about the progress of Ghana’s program at a news conference in Washington DC, U.S.A.

Julie Kozack, the IMF’s director of communications, stated that in order to present the program request to the IMF’s Executive Board for approval, “financing assurances from partners and creditors are necessary.”

She said that while the IMF is consulting with the Ghanaian Government on the status of its request, it is also requesting guarantees from Ghana’s partners.

“We’re calling on bilateral creditors to support Ghana’s effort to restore debt sustainability, form an official creditor committee, and deliver the necessary financing assurances as soon as possible”, Ms Kozack emphasized.

Government officials have stated that they are working to present their economic plan by March 2023.

The government still needs to fulfill all the prerequisites before the program can start.

The government is anticipated to approve a bill as part of the requirements that will guarantee that no finance will come from the Bank of Ghana.

According to rumors, Ghana’s program is unlikely to be authorized before the end of March 2023.

This is because the procedures required to obtain permission call for reports to be submitted to the IMF’s Africa Office before it travels to Washington, DC.

Some commentators are optimistic that Ghana would be able to start its program by the middle of May 2023.

In order to restructure Ghana’s debt of $1.7 billion, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is now leading a government mission to China. He is seeking to secure an agreement with the Asian economic giant.

The IMF programme aims to support Ghana’s efforts to restore macroeconomic stability, debt sustainability, while also protecting the vulnerable, maintaining financial stability, and laying the groundwork for strong and inclusive growth, according to the Staff Level Agreement Ghana reached with the Fund.

On December 12, 2022, the IMF and Ghana agreed at the staff level on a three-year program that would be supported by a contract under the ECF.

Ghana is required to restructure both its internal and external debt as part of the requirements.

In order to maintain openness and accountability of the COVID-19 Emergency Expenditure, the Government is also anticipated to release the Auditor General’s report on the audit of COVID-19 spending conducted from March 2020 to June 2022.

Also, an upfront weighted electricity pricing of 30%, excluding lifeline, is anticipated in Ghana. It is anticipated that this will lower the present recovery costs for energy tariffs and power sector shortages.

Three significant revenue-related measures are also anticipated from the government. These three bills are the Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill, the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and the Income Tax Amendment Bill.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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