Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Kweku Rickets-Hagan is wondering why the minority in Parliament have started painting a gloomy picture of government’s discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) even before it takes place.
Reacting to Minority’s claim that going to the IMF will not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians, the former Deputy Finance Minister said “going for an IMF program is good for the economy because it will also give us credibility on the international market”.
According to him, government is going to the discussion table with its own agenda on the table.
The MP for Cape Coast South further debunked the assertion that the IMF discussion could result in job cuts explaining that government is only seeking the Fund’s assistance to embellish its own home grown policies which are already yielding good results.
“Government’s own home grown policy has brought down the wage bill from 70% to 57% of tax revenue with the aim of further bringing it down to about 35%”.
Mr. Ricketts-Hagan also emphasized that pruning the wage bill does not necessarily result in job cuts as other measures being taken to control spending such as the biometric registration of people on government’s payroll have revealed over 2500 ghost names which amounts to over GH¢400 million loss to government.
He also described as flawed; argument by Dr Anthony Akoto Osei and Osei Assibey of the Minority that talks with IMF could affect the release of the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account, explaining that government of Ghana was implementing the first compact of the MCA at the same period it was negotiating the Chinese CDB loan and there was no problem.
Recounting some programs of the IMF with governments over the years, the Deputy Minister said Ghana started the Economic Recovery Program and the Structural Adjustment Program in the early 90s with the IMF; it also implemented the HIPC Program under the NPP with the IMF as well as the Extended Credit Facility between 2009 and 2012 under late President John Mills.
He further added that restructuring of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Company of Ghana (NEDCO) to ensure their efficiency are nothing different from government’s own home grown policies to be on the discussion table with the IMF.
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