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Business News of Thursday, 5 February 2004

Source: GNA

Govt To Make $285.2m HIPC Debt Savings

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister for Finance, said yesterday that the total expected debt service due for 2004 for both Government and Government guaranteed debt is about 440.8 million dollars.

Out of this, he said, the total Government debt due is 346.25 million dollars, made up of 255.43 million dollars and 90.82 million dollars for principal and interest, respectively. Of this total, only about 154 million dollars would be paid to the creditors.

Mr Oasafo-Maafo said the total projected Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief/saving for 2004 for both direct Government liability and Government guaranteed liabilities is therefore about 286.2million dollars. "It is also expected that after cancellation at completion point, debt service for both principal and interest will further reduce."

The Minister said the total projected debt service savings expected in the HIPC Account for the year 2003 was USD113.33 million, adding that as at the end of December 2003, total transfers into the HIPC Account amounted to 108.96 million dollars.

"The difference, together with about 145.96 million dollars will be lodged in the HIPC Account this year. The remaining debt service for this year, amounting to about 140.24 million dollars is expected to be cancelled."