Business & Finance

Ken Ofori Atta Blames Covid, Russia-Ukraine War For IMF U-turn

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta has premised his government’s decision to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

The decision to seek the IMF bailout was despite the New Patriotic Party’s assurance of a Ghana beyond aid while in opposition and their entrenched stance of using a homegrown panacea for Ghana’s economic downturn a few months ago.

While delivering the mid-year budget review in Parliament on July 25, 2022, the Minister for Finance sought to justify the change of mind.

“Yes, I know this Government assured the nation of a Ghana beyond Aid and our plans and programmes for economic transformation have been designed to achieve just that, and indeed, I did say that Ghana would not embark on an IMF programme.

“We did not just say it. We also took measures towards the attainment of that objective including the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and instituting a number of irreversibility measures, and also launching the Ghana CARES “Obaatan Pa” programme for economic revitalisation and transformation.

“Unfortunately, unprecedented global developments over the past two years, especially in these last six months, have really and truly disrupted our efforts. Governments across the world have had to change course to tackle the current crisis.

“Governments that less than a year ago were busily talking about energy transition and green and cleaner fuels have gone back to firing their coal plants. Governments that are known for low taxes are now raising taxes to tackle growing deficits. These are not ordinary times; not for Ghana, not for Africa, and certainly not for the whole world”, he said.

He indicated that even with the return to the IMF, the government is creating an Enhanced Domestic Programme to complement the GhanaCARES “Obaatan pa” programme in order to return the country to a path of macroeconomic stability, debt sustainability, robust growth and a Ghana Beyond Aid.

This, he said, will be featured in the negotiation with the IMF. Fuseini

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