Ghana is expecting 300 million dollars from development and donor partners this year, to shore up the budget, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terkper has said.
The country’s development and donor partners, among others withheld, their support to Ghana following the country’s attainment of a middle income country status.
Briefing the media on the activities on the IMF review team which is in the country to assess the performance of the economy in Accra yesterday, the minister said the donor partners had started releasing funds to support the country.
“Government has seen some shift in donor inflows this year,” Mr. Terkper said.
He explained that partners like DANIDA, had started disbursing some funds to support the country’s budget.
The EU a couple of weeks ago, announced that it would start disbursing some monies it withheld to the country.
Turning his focus on the IMF review team, he said, the eight-member team would stay in the country up to June 30.
He said the team would hold discussions with the Bank of Ghana, Parliament, the Ghana Statistical Service and other state agencies and divisions such as the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Budget Division of the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Terkper explained that the team was in the country to review the structural reforms being pursued by the government and some benchmarks, which were agreed with the Fund.
Ghana entered a three-year bailout programme with the IMF to raise about 940 million dollars to address the financial challenges facing the country.
Under the programme, the government is enjoined to make some reforms such as promoting transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s financial resources, clean-up and removing ghost names from the government payroll, reducing inflation and government debt as well as reduce the wage bill and prioritise government expenditure, to bring back the economy on the path of stability.
“The government has started implementing the reforms which were agreed upon with the IMF, some of which were started long before Ghana went to the IMF to address the budget overruns which were incurred in 2012,” he said, adding that the government had also developed a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy which had been approved by the World Bank.
Asked to give some details of the review, Mr. Terkper responded “it will be on issues that have been agreed with the Fund.”
“The team will provide an assessment of the economy after it has finished its review,” Mr Terkper said.
Quizzed if the Fund would not shoot down the second Euro Bond government intends to issue to retire the 2007 Euro Bond which would mature in 2017 and also fund some capital projects, the minister said the “Bond was part of the issues discussed with the IMF under the bailout programme to finance the budget.”
On the deregulation policy, which was part of the IMF conditionalities, he said, it was “part of measures to stabilise the economy.”
To address the impact of the deregulation, he said the government had brought in a lot of buses to augment the public transport system.
He said, the Metro Mass Transport was installing an electronic ticketing system in the new buses to do away with the cash payment of transport fares for the government buses.
By Kingsley Asare & Felix Akaho Jnr.