BoG Governor calls for speedy approval of revenue bills to fast-track IMF deal

Ghana’s quest to secure an IMF balance of payment support may delay following the country’s inability to meet some of the conditionalities by the end of the month.

President Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta promised Ghana will get the IMF programme by the end of March.

Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison at a news conference says Parliament needs to pass a number of tax laws before the end of April for the IMF Executive Board to consider Ghana for support.

“The official creditors met last week, they are looking at a date in April, by which time they expect to give the necessary financial assurances. And once that is out of the way, once we have signed this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), once Parliament has passed these new revenue measures, we would have completed what they call the trial action”.

Dr. Addision added, “this is what is needed for the fund to set a date for the executive board meeting. So hopefully if things go as planned, by the end of April, we should see that executive board meeting taking place”.

He thus urged Parliament to prioritise the passage of the three new taxes before it.

The bills are the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty and Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bill as well as the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, earlier also appealed to the Minority in Parliament to support the passage of the revenue bills currently before the house in order to help the government secure the $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The bills, which include the Income Tax Amendment Bill, Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill, are expected to generate approximately GH¢4 billion per year to supplement domestic revenue.

The United States government has promised to intervene on Ghana’s behalf with the Paris Club as the country seeks debt forgiveness as part of the International Monetary Fund’s balance of payment support.

The US Vice President, Kamala Harris, announced this at a joint Press Conference with President Akufo-Addo.

According to Mrs Harris, the US will help Ghana with all the support it needs to ensure that it scales through its current economic crisis.

Ghana, which is struggling with its worst economic crisis in a generation, secured a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December for a $3 billion loan, though asking lenders to provide financing assurances is a condition for the IMF’s board to sign off the programme.

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