General News of Saturday, 21 February 2015
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it does not know when the bailout program with Ghana will be finalized.
This is despite assurances from President John Mahama that a bailout program with the Bretton woods institution will be concluded before close of next month (March).
“I don’t have a time on securing the program nor do I have the funding”, the Director of the Communications Department at the International Monetary Fund Gerry Rice said at a press briefing in Washington, D.C. on February 19.
There have been several failed timelines to finalize negotiations and start the implementation of the program in the past. An IMF team is currently in the country to finalize discussion with the government in 7 days.
Mr. Rice said,” what I can say is that the IMF team plans to be in Ghana from, February 19 until 26 with the objective of finalizing discussions with the authorities in several areas”.
The IMF team is expected to help develop best policy responses to the recent decline in oil prices and other issues related to the Ghanaian economy. The finalized bailout program will be presented to the IMF’s board after negotiations.
“We expect to be finalizing the details of the program at the end of this mission. And then, it will be proposed to the IMF’s board as expeditiously as possible. So the mission is 19 to 26 and then, we would hope to move to the board fairly soon after that”, he added.
A four member IMF technical assistance team was recently in Ghana to help the Central Bank improve the monetary policy making process including the governance and communication issues.
The team was present at a press briefing on February 18 at the Central bank, when the BoG Governor Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah announced the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee, with respect to the Bank’s Policy Rate (maintaining it at 21%).
Gerry Rice on February 5,2015 described as good progress efforts to clean up Ghana’s payroll before a bailout program is finalized.
In a press briefing in Washington D.C., he said “I can furthermore say that we believe good progress has been achieved in recent weeks on the plan to clean up the payroll, finalize the remaining details of the government’s medium-term reforms, as well as firm up financing assurances for the possible program.”