Former finance minister, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei has revealed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is influencing government’s plans to review the budget, two months after it was approved.
He further rejected a claim that presenting a reviewed budget to Parliament on Tuesday is because of plummeting oil prices.
President John Mahama told the Ghanaian community in Botswana, during his three day visit to the country, that the current fall in oil prices means the country will suffer a revenue shortfall of nearly $700 million necessitating the adjustments to the budget that was presented in 2014.
But in an interview with Citi News the Old Tafo Member of Parliament says government is presenting a reviewed budget at the insistence of the IMF as part of staff level agreement.
He argued that ‘If it’s just a review, then you will review after July, who knows if the prices of oil will up again. To review after two months and say its because of oil prices, it cannot be true.’
The MP explained that government is reviewing the budget with the view of ensuring that the new budget is not in ‘variance with their negotiations with the IMF.’
‘The president already hinted in the State of the Nation Address increase in the energy fund levy as well as one pesewa increase in electricity so that is obvious but he also said that cabinet has also agreed on some cash.
I don’t know in which areas but if you read the IMF press release we expect about 1.2% of GDP cut in government expenditure.
Where it will come from, I have no idea,’ he added. Meanwhile, the IMF has agreed to give Ghana $940 million to salvage the nation from its economic woes.
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