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Business News of Monday, 17 April 2017


Government won't extend IMF programme - Ken Ofori-Atta

The government will not extend the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Economic Credit Facility programme signed between the government and the IMF beyond its April 2018 end date, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the decision to end the programme on the due date April 2018, though difficult, gives an indication where government’s direction is with its deficit and what is expected in the 2018 budget.

The Minister of Finance’s comment comes as a contrast to earlier suggestions by some government officials, including the Senior Minister that the Akufo-Addo government is considering an extension of the IMF deal beyond.

When the Akufo-Addo government took office in January 7, 2017, it has been suggested that they will be seeking an extension to the IMF deal.

But responding to a question on whether or not the government was going to go ahead with its decision to extend the programme at a press briefing as part of an IMF mission to Ghana, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the government will end the programme come April 2018.

“We are still expecting to end in April [2018] which will lead to some very tough decisions with regards to where we want to go with our deficit in the coming budget and how we build up the stock of private sector savings or infusion of investments from outside and be able to project that.”

Ghana in 2015 entered into a three-year agreement for $918 million to, among others, restore macroeconomic stability.

Meanwhile with some eight months to end 2017, the fund has projected a more promising economic prospect for the country’s economy.

According to IMF, increased oil production, declining inflation, plus other economic indicators are expected to inch Ghana’s economy towards achieving an end of year growth target of about 6 percent.