The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says returning to the International Money Fund (IMF) will not auger well for the country.
Speaking at the government’s town hall meeting to discuss the E-Levy on Thursday (27 January), the minister said the passage of the E-Levy will prevent the country from going for financial assistance from the IMF, which he said will be disastrous.
He said, “When we were in the IMF program, we couldn’t pay for nurses and teachers, we couldn’t hire anymore because there were restrictions on that, I mean it’s just really thinking you can go back to Egypt in a way we have forgotten how difficult and tenacious how that master from Washington was.
So, we can deal with them for them to give us advice but we need not ever get into an IMF programme. So, if we don’t do this E-Levy, we’re just pushing ourselves in a way that would potentially end up in such a disaster,” he stated.
Seek IMF financial support
Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie, a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana, suggested to the government to return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support.
However, Dr Sarkodie said that the decision on whether or not to return to the IMF will depend, among other things, on the government’s ability or otherwise to borrow from multilateral institutions, pass the E-Levy Bill and reverse the new benchmark value and road toll policies.
His comments come after the international ratings agency Fitch downgraded Ghana’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) to B- from B with a negative outlook.
IMF? A thing of the past
Last year, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance said the government is determined not to return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for any sort of bailout programme.
There have been reports that government is in the process of going to the IMF for some support to address the current pressures on revenue, rising debt stock and “troubling budget deficit.”
But speaking to Asaase News, Ofori-Atta stated that the government has no plans to resort to the IMF for support.
According to him, seeking help from the IMF will retrogress the government’s efforts of developing the country “Beyond Aid.”
“We have to confront the fact that we can be masters of our own destiny and why do I need the IMF to tell me what to do? We came out of the IMF quickly when we came into power in 2017.
“They (IMF) remain trusted advisors, but whether that instrument of being under the IMF is the only way for a country to grow, I beg to differ. I’m not sure that, that’s the path in emancipating one’s economy.”