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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Government did not misquote debt stock figures – Finance Ministry

File photo of the Ministry of FinanceFile photo of the Ministry of Finance

• The Finance Ministry has said the IMF’s public debt figure for Ghana was the same as government’s

• It pointed that the disparity in both figures was as a result of the data reporting processes

• The Finance Ministry however urged the media and the general public to clarify issues first as it operates an open door policy

Ghana’s Ministry of Finance has reacted to media reports suggesting that the Government of Ghana had quoted different figures to that of the International Monetary Fund pertaining to the public debt stock.

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The Fund in its May 2021 Article IV Consultation paper following a visit by a team of experts from April 28 to May 12, 2021 revealed that Ghana’s debt ending December 2020 was 78% instead of 76.1% as quoted by government in its 2021 budget statement.

But the Finance Ministry in a statement issued on Tuesday May 18 explained; “the 2020 public debt stock as a percentage of GDP was 76.1%, up from 62.4% recorded in 2019. This corresponds at the same level to those from the IMF. In other words, the 2019 Public Debt Stock as a percent of GDP was 62.4% and 64% for the MoF and IMF respectively.

“IMF explained the variance indicated above by categories stating in their press release that they included ESLA debts of GHS7.63 billion which relates to the debt of energy SOEs and are therefore excluded from the central government classification used by Government.”

“Governments all over the world report at least at the central government level – which means the activities that the central government is involved in for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies but excludes Local government, State-Owned Enterprises or other investment interests of Government, apart from debts guaranteed by Central government,” the Ministry disclosed.

It added that the ministry operates an open-door policy and urged the media to further clarify issues first.

Read the full statement:

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