May 21, 2024

Government, on Wednesday, April 17, 2023, got the approval of the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the $3 billion bailout programme it requested.

However, details on the full agreement the IMF had with the government of Ghana have not been made public.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central and a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Isaac Adongo, has now given some details of the programme.

Speaking in an interview on Accra FM, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, monitored by GhanaWeb, the MP urged Ghanaians to prepare for more hardship because the conditions attached to the $3 billion loan will be unbearable.

According to him, as part of the loan agreement, the government has been asked to introduce more taxes and increase tariffs for services it provides.

He added that the government have also been tasked by the IMF not to employ beyond 0.5 per cent of the current labour force and has also limited the rate of increase of the salaries of public sector workers within the three years of the programme.

“The IMF has ordered the government not to go for a penny from the Bank of Ghana. And so who did Ken Ofori-Atta negotiate the bailout with on behalf of Ghana for them to come up with a programme that will make us starve?

“The IMF said that in the three years of the programme, the government can employ only 0.5 per cent of the current labour force – not even 1 per cent for the next three years, which means unemployment will increase. They have also limited the rate at which the government can increase the salaries of public sector workers.

“The IMF has also asked the government to increase the tax to GDP rate to 18 per cent within the three years of the programme which means that Ghanaians must prepare for more taxes,” he said in Twi.

He added that the government has been given a bad IMF programme because it failed to engage and Ghanaians are going to suffer for it.

The MP also said that the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will announce the measures in the bailout agreement during the presentation of the mid-year budget review.

Background:

The Executive Board of the IMF unanimously approved the $3 billion bailout for Ghana at a meeting Wednesday [May 17, 2023] in Washington.

$600 million out of the $3 billion loan was disbursed on the day of the approval of the bailout and $350 million would be disbursed every six months for the three-year programme.

Earlier, Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, had expressed optimism, that the swelling goodwill that Ghana was getting from the international community, including its creditors could guarantee the approval of the loan.

She added that her outfit was pushing the bilateral creditors to quickly provide the financial assurance needed for the board to approve the deal.

Prior to this, Ghana had completed all prior actions necessary to receive support for its economic recovery programme, the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

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