Ghana likely to receive IMF money…after visit

terkperGhana has made progress in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and could receive the next disbursement under its $918 million aid deal next month, three sources close to the talks told Reuters.

The IMF staff evaluation mission, led by Joel Toujas-Bernate, is leaving the capital Accra broadly satisfied that Ghana remains on track with agreed fiscal and institutional reforms aimed at restoring economic stability by the end of the three-year programme, they said.

However, some fiscal data need to be agreed on, one source said, adding that negotiations would continue.

“The IMF team raised some concerns about Ghana’s fiscals and impressed upon the government to do more to keep the numbers on track,” it said, declining to give details.

“Broadly, there is progress and each side is satisfied. We believe this clears the way for the (IMF Executive) Board to conclude the third review successfully,” another source told Reuters.

Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer, which also exports gold and oil, signed an Extended Credit Facility deal with the IMF in April last year to bring down deficits, public debt and inflation.

The staff assessment mission was called to discuss updates of macroeconomic projections and firm up the fiscal outlook for the rest of 2016 after Parliament passed a law allowing Bank of Ghana financing of the deficit, contrary to IMF’s restrictions.

The IMF said in a statement that understandings were reached on many of these issues and that discussions would continue on outstanding issues.

“Outstanding questions remain with regards to certain elements of the legislations recently passed by Parliament and discussions will continue,” it said in a statement signed by Toujas-Bernate.

The meeting also discussed Ghana’s public debt and debts owed by state enterprises, “and the Fund is fairly assured that the government was taking the right steps to resolve them,” one official said.



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