General News of Tuesday, 20 January 2015
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission on payroll is expected in Ghana before the end of January to inspect and attempt to help Ghana clear the huge number of ghost names from its public payroll.
This was revealed by Finance Minister Seth Terkper on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday.
“The IMF is not just about programs, there is the wing of the IMF that is called the technical assistance departments (including the fiscal affairs department). The IMF provided the policy advice on which we are basing the reforms,” he stressed.
Government is in talks with the IMF for a bailout program after a difficult economic year in 2014.
The Washington-based lender, IMF, has demanded that the government adopt policies that support its program before its executive board gives an approval.
According to the Deputy Spokesman, Communications Department of the IMF William Murray, “The IMF team is working with the authorities, and is working with the authorities in several areas including issues related to concrete steps in cleaning up the government payroll…”
Already, Ghana spends more than 60% of tax revenue to fund the wage bill, however, some economists have criticized this as unsustainable and questioned the integrity of the payroll.
Policy think tank IMANI Ghana in a statement said, “If the bailout package is to be successful, it is absolutely imperative that the bloated government wage bill should be arrested and corrected.”
The President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe recently on Citi FM’s news analysis program The Big Issue, called for the closure of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CADG) because of what he described as its “poor record in managing the public payroll system.”
The European Union has insisted that it would only resume budgetary support to Ghana after the country effectively removes ghost names from the Public Payroll.
This is after the EU withheld £135 million budget support to Ghana due to alleged payroll corruption scandal it is investigating.