Mr Peter Bismark, Executive Director of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI, a policy think-tank has contended that the Government started the engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November 2020.
He hinted that one of the conditions to why the IMF would come and administer the economic antidotes was for the Government to introduce the E-levy.
According to him, after looking through the books of the Government, the IMF prescribed some reforms to take place and that include freezing the creation of new institutions, reduction of the ministries and abolishment of NABCO, and restoring of the benchmark tariffs among others.
He said the Free SHS program was equally discussed for abolishment but was the only trump card of the Government to sustain the regime hence, maintaining it.
He indicated that the Government was advised to diversify its revenue and then brought in what he called the “Borla levy” and others.
He divulged that timelines were set for the IMF to come with its surgery tools in April and May 2022, however, the back and forth of the E-Levy delayed the IMF.
He mentioned that the E-Levy was the first on the plate to determine the IMF’s readiness to support Ghana.
“It is now that the Government has succeeded to implement the E-levy and IMF is satisfied to walk in to perform the economic and development surgery on Ghana’s economy”, he pointed out.
He noted that the Government started failing to grow the economy right from July 2018.
He opined that the IMF antidotes to economies have not changed since 1960 and that Ghana for the 17th time was going to embrace the same conditionalities of the IMF for the same economic challenges since 1960.
Meanwhile, Professor Peter Quartey, Director of the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana has hailed the Government’s decision to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout in the face of rising economic challenges.
He says the move is a giant step in the right direction, describing it as one that is not a ‘bad option’.
“Let me say that IMF is not a bad thing because it is the second-best option after our home-grown solutions. But if that is not happening, we need to seek support from the IMF. So, I don’t think it’s a bad option”, he stressed.
He said concerns about whether the country dragged its feet before heading to the Fund are neither here nor there.
He urged the Government to use the opportunity to seal the country’s revenue shortfalls to boost investor confidence, given the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
In March 2022, Ken Ofori-Atta announced that the government will not go to the IMF but rely on a domestic economic recovery plan, however, being unable to meet its growth targets with the plan, the government is now going to the IMF for support.
The Information Ministry explained that this decision was taken at a meeting on June 30, 2022.
The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support 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.