Gov’t Will Decide On Potential IMF Programme By Nov. — Deputy Finance Minister

Mrs. Quartey PixGovernment hopes to reach agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by Novem-ber, on a potential programme, though which form the assistance could take is yet to be decided, Deputy Finance Minister, Mona Helen Quartey, has said.

Ghana decided in August to open talks with the IMF on an assistance package in an attempt to fix its fiscal difficulties, and the IMF team is scheduled to arrive on Monday, September 15.

Former Finance Minister, Kwesi Botchwey, is expected to lead the talks due to start on Tuesday, September 16.

“By November, we should have agreed on how we are going forward, if it will be a programme, what level of programme it will be — whether a two or three-year programme,” Mrs. Quartey told Reuters on the sidelines of an investment conference in London.

She said: “It would be nice to have the IMF in discussion on some of our short term challenges, the issues that we now have, and how to overcome them.

“Their technical advice and experience will be helpful, and if there are any areas that need financial assistance, balance of payments or so forth, that would be useful,” Mrs. Quartey added.

Gold, cocoa and oil exports have buoyed Ghana’s economic growth in the past few years, but the country has also been troubled by fiscal problems, with inflation stubbornly high at just over 15 per cent and the cedi clocking a fall of 40 per cent since the start of the year.

The government hopes to bring inflation, which hit 15.3 per cent in July, down to 11-12 per cent by the end of the year.

Mrs. Quartey also confirmed the government’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth outlook of 7.1 per cent in 2014 and for 8.0 per cent in 2015.

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