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Thursday, December 9, 2021

IMF’s public debt figure for Ghana same as government’s – Finance Ministry

Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-AttaFinance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta

The Ministry of Finance has discounted media reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the government of Ghana stated different figures as regards the public debt stock.

The Ministry said in a press release on Tuesday, May 18 that “there is no inconsistency between the IMF and GoG position on debt computation”.

It explained that budget and debt classifications are based on international classifications known as central government or general government classification.

“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.

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“When you add local governments and SOEs to the central government classification, then you are reporting on general government classification.

“Ghana, as a country, reports on central government budgeting and not general government budgeting.

“Consequently, Ghana’s public debt stock is calculated as all the debt incurred by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and any other debt that the Central Government guarantees for any Local Government or SOEs.”

It, therefore, indicated that the 2020 public debt stock as a percentage of GDP was 76.1 percent.

“This corresponds at the same level to those from the IMF.”

It pointed out that IMF clarified that it included the ESLA debt of GH¢7.63 billion in its computation.

“Therefore, IMF and government computation are not at cross purposes.”

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