General News of Wednesday, 6 September 2017
New documents from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have revealed that government indeed requested for an extension of the IMF programme. However, there appears to some discrepancies on the actual date for completing the programme.
While government in a letter to the Fund is proposing December 2018 as end date the IMF is looking at carrying out its last program review in February 2019.
According to the letter of intent signed by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Bank of Ghana (BoG) Governor Dr. Ernest Yedu Addison, sent to the Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, government’s request was influenced by a weakened economy it inherited, making it difficult to meet program targets by the end of 2017.
The letter also added that the extension also “reflected the lag in policy implementation due to the change of government, “our budget”, although prepared and approved in record time, it was only enacted in late March”. This meant that the program had to be extended to meet the said targets.
Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde The letter also revealed that program would be completed through a budget cycle of January 2018 through December 2018, it is therefore, requesting for approval to modify the length of the arrangement by one year and reschedule disbursements evenly.
However, however going through the proposed scheduled of reviews and disbursement, showed the last review meeting for this program, would happen in February 2019, however subject to completing all the reviews before that this proposed date.
Government in the letter also outlined measures to improve revenue collections, check rising expenditure, to demonstrate its commitment to the program. Finance minister’s reaction But Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has justified the extension, describing as technical.
He maintained that program would end in December 2018, adding that, government is committed to stabilizing the economy and implementing programs that would improve the livelihood of Ghanaians.