IMF programme not solution to economic difficulties – Kwaku Kwarteng

The Member of Parliament of Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, says he disagrees with suggestions by some analysts, urging the government to pursue an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme to address the challenges facing the economy.

According to him, the government opting for an IMF programme would not address the current difficulties but would rather worsen them.

Mr Kwarteng, who is the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament’s view follows call by the Member of Parliament of Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency, Cassel Ato Forson, for the country to go for an IMF programme to save the economy from collapse.

According to Mr Forson Ghana’s economy would soon crash if the government did not seek IMF support.

But Mr Kwarteng said the impact of IMF programme would be worse than the reliefs the country would be seeking.

“I don’t believe in an IMF programme, the evidence is so clear we should focus on those discussions that will help us to do the things that the IMF will compel us to do and then we will have the credibility we need,” he said.

He said the indicators which the IMF programme in 2015 were supposed to improve rather deteriorated and thus government needed to delay the programme before exiting in 2018.

Mr Kwarteng said the credibility the country would be seeking for through an IMF programme would not be realised.

“I don’t think the investor community will look upon Ghana signing up an IMF programme with any respect,” he said.

He said “If you are a country and in just 2015, you were in trouble, you came for the programme and the time you were supposed to have ended the programme your economy had deteriorated and so the IMF had to delay your programme, you wait till late 2018 before you properly exited IMF and just three years you are back and you think the investor community will respect Ghana?”

“The only way we can achieve that credibility is for government to demonstrate clearly how we are going to exercise the discipline that we need, so that going forward the investor community will have the confidence that this is internal to us, that it is self-conviction that this is the path to go, that is the only thing that will give us credibility,” Mr Kwarteng said.

For his part, the former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Forson, said government must as a matter of urgency go for IMF to save the economy from collapse.

According to him, the “Government should go for an IMF programme now or die why trying,” fruitlessly to prop up the economy on the back of rising debt and inflation.

He said the country’s debt was eating every other single tax revenue to the extent that the country is borrowing to buy paper for administrative duties of government agencies.

“Your country has been downgraded to triple C. In fact also every single rating agency you have contracted yourself have downgraded you and you are telling me, you will still wait for a government policy that has failed and continued failing,” he queried.

Mr Forson asserted that “there is going to be a major disaster for the Republic of Ghana,” saying the government should “stop that empty pride and immediately take actions that will preserve the country.”

He called on the government to “Secure a proper medium-term plan” to save the country from collapse.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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