Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has said the current administration under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo was confronted with a ‘’very difficult choice to continue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or completely abandon it.
Briefing Parliament on Thursday he said government chose the difficult path and resolved to move in the direction that was in the national interest.
The Minister said the economy was not in good shape when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over.
The microeconomic performance in 2016, which was an election year he lamented, was characterized by excessive fiscal dominance even worse than 2012.
He said, government has put in place measures to maintain fiscal discipline, debt sustainability and sanctioning of offenders to safeguard our gains and ensure irreversibility.
‘’This include Fiscal Responsibility Act which will among others cut the fiscal deficit at 5% whiles ensuring positive primary balance beginning from 2019.’’
He mentioned the Financial Advisory Council and Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Council and explained they were established to monitor the government budget for coherence and compliance.
Mr Ofori-Atta recounted how in 2014 the IMF called for urgent measures to restore microeconomic stability and by the end of that year, ‘’Ghana’s economy was characterized by rising interest rates and other challenges due to the incompetence of the previous government.
The Minister told parliament the Ghanaian economy as managed by Mahama, was under severe crisis hence his decision give the background in order for Ghanaians to understand where we were, how we got there and how the current government has managed to get us out.
The Minister insisted it has been tough but necessary for the Akufo-Addo government to fix the damage done the economy.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has approved the final disbursement of about US$185.2 million to Ghana.
Ghana is scheduled to complete an IMF programme with the fund in April 2019.
According to the IMF, its Executive Board completed the seventh and eight reviews On March 20, 2019, under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) supported arrangement.
A statement issued by the IMF said: “On March 20, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the seventh and eight reviews under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) supported arrangement. This will make available to Ghana the cumulative amount of SDR132.84 million (about US$185.2 million).
Considering the authorities’ resolved to tackle difficult reforms, the Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver of the nonobservance of a few program targets.
Ghana’s three-year arrangement was approved on April 3, 2015 (see Press Release No.15/159) for SDR 664.20 million (about US$925.9 million or 180 percent of quota at the time of approval of the arrangement). It was extended for additional year on August 30, 2017 and is to end on April 2, 2019. The arrangement aimed to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability in the country to foster a return to high growth and job creation, while protecting social spending.”