The government is yet to conclude processes for debt restructuring with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has said.
He said the IMF and the government’s team were currently working to update the medium-term macro-fiscal framework to inform the designing of the programme.
Speaking at press conference in Accra yesterday, he said, “We simply have not reached any agreement with the Fund on the parameters of any debt operations as we are in the process of completing the debt sustainability analysis.”
The government he said, would continue to actively engage all stakeholders in a clear and transparent manner as it sought to fast-track the IMF negotiation process.
“Negotiations will be fast-tracked to ensure the key aspects of the programme are reflected in the 2023 annual budget statement in November 2022,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He said the government was finalising its post-COVID-19 economic programme as the domestic blueprint to engage the IMF.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the document had already benefitted from input from key stakeholders including Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), social partners (Labour unions, employers, and FBOs), academia, industry professionals, and the leadership of Parliament.
He said additional stakeholder engagements would be held to solicit further inputs for the programme, adding that “Our economic programme contains a set of time-bound structural reforms and fiscal consolidation measures to place our debt levels and fiscal accounts on a sustainable path over the medium-term.”
Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed that the programme was hinged on seven pillars, namely: debt sustainability, fiscal consolidation, strengthening monetary and exchange rate policies, building strong financial institutions, Macro-critical structural reforms, maintaining peace and security and economic growth and transformation.
He said Ghana needed a viable domestic financial system to support its development programme, especially in the next three years that the country would have limited access to the International Capital Market.
He said everything must, and would be done, to protect the financial sector; and there must be room for a win-win conversation through extensive stakeholder engagement with both our domestic and external investors.
Ghana, Mr Ofori-Atta said had always had a collaborative approach with its partners and was confident, the country would come out with an ‘historic arrangement’ with the IMF.
“This is a government that protected the savings of 4.6 million Ghanaian depositors with the reform of the banking and financial sector, ” he said.
He said the sanctity and the well-functioning of the financial system was sacrosanct and stakeholder support was to achieve that objective.
“A 5-member committee consisting of prominent financial services professionals will lead extensive stakeholder engagements across all the key segments of the financial sector – i.e. banking, asset, management, pensions, and insurance,” he said.
The Finance Minister indicated that the announcement of the committee members would be made in the coming days and they would immediately get to work to engage key stakeholders in the financial services sector, in addition ongoing engagements with CSOs, social partners (labour unions, employers, and FBOs), academia, industry professionals, and the leadership of Parliament.
“We welcome all contribution to this great public debate, but we must be careful to build and not to tear down our nation “Mr Ofori-Atta, advised.
He said the government would leverage the country’s strengths to rebuild the economy focusing on our productive sectors.
For instance, he said initiatives such as the YouStartprogramme that would help provide a million jobs for the youth.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE