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Constitute a ‘solid team’ for IMF negotiations; not the ‘solid team’ that has evaporated – Economist

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The government is being urged to put together, a masterfully crafted formidable team that would interface with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an attempt to get the best of deals from the Bretton-Wood institution.

The team is to be made up of competent minds in the area of economics but should be devoid of the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, and other members of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s much-touted ‘solid’ Economic Management Team (EMT).

These sentiments were shared by Economist and Financial Policy Analyst, Dominic Anarigide. He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Monday, July 4, 2022.

He said the government must also be ready to consult all sectors of the economy that may be affected by conditions of the IMF for mitigation measures to be put in place.

“What I would expect the government to do is call a stakeholders’ forum that would comprise, CSOs, TUC, AGI and all other sectors of the economy. Whatever prescription that the IMF is going to give will affect these areas.”

“People are talking about layoffs and freeze on salaries. If there will be things like that, that means it will affect labour. You cannot go there without TUC. Government has to engage them; come out with a blueprint similar to what was done in Senchi and then present same to the IMF.”

He said the current government’s biggest problem is the lack of consultation, a situation that drives the government to make and implement unpopular, ill-thought through policies.

Read Also: Investors regain slight confidence in Ghana’s economy after govt’s shocking u-turn to IMF – Dominic Anarigide

“Government has not been big on consultations. What has been the outcome? The recent one is the E-levy. Poor consultation; what is the outcome. There is a prescribed way of policy formulation. You cannot run away from it. You cannot move from P1 and go to P6 and sit down. Would you understand anything?”

“They would definitely bring you back and that is what we were saying,” he said.

Amid protests over spiralling prices and the rising cost of living, the government of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has reneged on its pledge not to borrow from the IMF after hitting the wall with its domestic economic recovery plan.

On 1 July President Akufo-Addo announced that he has instructed Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to open negotiations for a programme.

“The engagements with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia-Ukraine crises,” a government statement said.

Until now, the government had ruled out the option of an IMF programme, settling for a homegrown economic recovery plan that included the introduction of a 1.5% tax on electronic financial transactions (E-levy) which sparked widespread protests.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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