No SOS Request From Ghana Yet –IMF Reveals

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF), has said that it has not received any bailout proposal from the Ghana Government.

This was in reaction to demands by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) for the Government to suspend moves for an IMF bailout to help solve the country’s current economic challenges.

The Ghanaian economy for some months now, has been hit by critical challenges including; rising inflation, continuous depreciation of the Cedis and the Government is still struggling to reduce the budget deficit which is now over twelve percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Inflation currently stands at 14 .5 percent, the highest since February 2010.

Since the beginning of 2014, the cedi has depreciated by over 20 percent against the major foreign currencies, including the US dollar, British Pound and the Euro.

But the Director of IMF’s Communications Department Gerry Rice, has said “the Ghanaian authorities have not requested a new program from the IMF. The Board, discussed the Article IV review on Ghana on May 5, and we will have a press release on that in due course.”

The IMF says it will continue to consult with all major stakeholders in Ghana in developing country-specific programs.

Speaking at the IMF’s bi-weekly briefing with the press in Washington, D.C last Thursday, Gerry Rice added that “the IMF consults with a wide range of stakeholders, and in particular the Ghana team has had meetings with the Trade Union during its visits to Accra to exchange views on the country’s outlook and challenges.”

The Finance Minister, Seth Tekper earlier, had hinted that the country may seek an IMF cover if it becomes necessary to lessen the current fiscal challenges.

Earlier on, the Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, downplayed assertions that a bailout programme from them could see Ghana go through another phase of hardship, while the country tries to meet its strict conditionality in order to restore fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability.

A non‐partisan National Economic Forum under the theme, “Changing the narrative: building a national consensus for economic and social transformation,” organized by Government and other stakeholders will open tomorrow Tuesday, May 13, in Akosombo in the Eastern Region.

The four‐day forum to be held under the auspices of President John Dramani Mahama, is aimed at achieving consensus on policies, strategies and measures that are required to accelerate Ghana’s transition from a lower middle income nation to an upper middle income economy with a sustainable path of development that guarantees improvements in the quality of life for all Ghanaians.

Participants and major contributors, will include former finance ministers, former Governors of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), eminent economists, political parties and parliamentarians, business leaders, economic policy makers, as well as representatives of Traders Associations, development and social partners, civil society organizations, plus Members of Academia and senior citizens.

The forum, will also aim to institutionalize a regular consultative machinery that promotes economic dialogue between the public sector and social partners in order to develop common national positions on some of the critical economic policy issues confronting the nation.

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