IMF programme, help to Ghana- Veep

amisah-arthur....The Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur yesterday described the IMF programme as helpful in advancing the country’s fiscal consolidation drive, saying it was yielding the desired benefits.

As part of the benefits, he said the IMF programme had so fare effectively contributed to the reduction of budget deficit and created conditions for the growth of the economy.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the  observation when a group of Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executives from the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra yesterday.

In April 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Programme for Ghana in response to government’s request for financial and technical assistance to support the economy.

A total of $918 million was expected to be advanced to Ghana as balance of payments support over period.

The amount is being disbursed in eight equal tranches, and the government was currently awaiting the third tranche after an IMF team visited Ghana to undertake an assessment.

According to the Vice President, the implementation of the programme was progressing as desired, and that more positive results were expected, which he said would benefit the business sector.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur stated that the country’s growth rate in terms of GDP was about four per cent and that efforts were being made to further consolidate the gains by introducing the petroleum levy.

He said despite the unfavourable external conditions in terms of its impact on commodity prices, compounded by the problems of the electricity generation that had created a lot of difficulties for the manufacturing and service sectors, the economy was still making strides.

He said the country’s inflation had also reduced from 19 per cent to 18.4 per cent and expressed the hope that the downward trend would continue in the next one year.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur also announced that the government intends to develop a secondary market for government debts in order to take the burden of financing it from the central bank.

Mr. Sunil Kaushal, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Africa and the Middle East Region, on his part, announced the intention of the bank to continue to invest significantly in Africa.

He said in spite of the very strong headwinds, the bank had a resilient performance from Africa.

He said as part of their meeting in Accra the bank would launch a targeted campaign to reinforce its commitment to the continent.

The Chief Executives were at the flagstaff House to brief Vice President Amissah-Arthur about the Bank’s CEO’s regional quarterly meeting as well as celebrate 120 years of the banks exceptional history in Ghana.

The meeting is being attended by CEO’s from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Bahrain and Kenya.

By Edmund Mingle

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