Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, is concerned about the state of the country’s economy and what it will take to revive it.
According to her, the alternatives on the table do not make the situation any less biting as they will all come at a bitter cost.
“The harsh sacrifices required, themselves, have become a source of instability and an invitation to malign actors,” she said in New York.
The Finance Ministry is currently engaging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with the hope of securing at least, $3 billion to salvage Ghana’s ailing economy.
Considering this and a locally developed framework geared towards alleviating the situation, Mrs Botchwey insists the impact on the citizenry remains problematic.
“The road back to robust growth, which Ghana and a number of African countries experienced successively in the years before Covid-19 struck, is currently a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea,” she explained on Thursday.
The Minister was speaking in the US after Ghana assumed the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of November.
According to her, “We have to either impose IMF-guided austerity, potentially leading to labour retrenchment and accompanying social instability, as witnessed in Argentina and elsewhere, or home-grown yet equally tough decisions to satisfy the markets and, hopefully, pave the way back to a functioning economy.”
The effects have already triggered widespread agitation among the citizenry, with many projecting worse times ahead.
The Foreign Affairs Minister is not oblivious to this.
She later chaired a UN Security Council Ministerial open debate on the topic “Integrating Effective Resilience-Building in Peace Operations for Sustainable Peace”.
At the moment, Ghana’s Budget Statement and the Economic Policy for 2023 is not likely to be read on November 15, as earlier scheduled.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Thursday revealed that the current negotiation with the IMF may delay the budget presentation.
The Public Financial Management Act mandates that the budget is presented next two weeks.
However, as negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Fund for a bailout continue, the deadline now appears improbable, according to the Majority Leader.
“But if you want to do tidy work, you may be required to have some space to be able to do a tidy job. Because as you all know, these are not normal times,” he said on Thursday.
For him, the circumstances surrounding the deal may place too much pressure on the process if the House is to go ahead with the stipulated date.
The Suame legislator says he will consult the Finance Minister on the possible new date and revert with a communique on whatever conclusion is reached.
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Source: My Joy Online
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