Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper, has announced that Ghana is expected to receive a total of $918 million within three years from the IMF to help support the country's economy.
Mr. Seth Terkper made this known on the floor of Parliament yesterday, when he presented the mid - year review budget and supplementary estimates for the 2015 financial year. He said the amount, which is the first trench, was expected to be disbursed in eight equal installments, adding that the second tranche would be released soon.
Mr. Tekper told Parliament that, "Ghana received an amount of US$114.75 million immediately after the Board's approval" as part of the "first tranche of the total amount of US$918 million expected to be disbursed in eight equal installments over the 3-year period as balance of payments support." He noted that the remaining seven (7) disbursements would be made after the observance of the performance criteria and completion of reviews under the Programme. "Following the anticipated approval by its Board, we expect the release of the second tranche by the IMF soon," he said.
Mr. Tekper informed members that, "at the conclusion of the first review of the Programme in June, the IMF Mission was satisfied that the Programme is on track." He explained that all performance criteria were met except for the ceiling on central bank financing to the government, "which was technically missed by a small margin,"
The Minister said, "government is keenly observing this particular programme benchmark, given its implications for the overall financing levels that have been recorded this year." Mr. Terpaker attributed the current improvement in revenue performance and foreign exchange inflows to bold measures taken since 2013. "Mr. Speaker the bold measures we have taken since 2013 have restored confidence in the economy resulting in the gradual and envisaged improvement in revenue performance and Foreign exchange inflows," he said.
He assured that the cedi was expected to remain relatively stable with inflows such as the second tranche of the IMF support, adding that additional development partner inflows from the Eurobond, proceeds from the cocoa syndicated loan as well as other inflows from crude oil and gold would also help boost the country's reserves and contribute to the stabilisation of the cedi.
The Minster said government would not adopt a passive approach to issues relating to the value of the currency but would continue to focus on short term and structural measures. He noted that government, as part of its short term measures, would focus on intensifying reporting and monitoring of Foreign exchange inflows, to ensure compliance and provide better information to the markets, continue with the Bank of Ghana SWAP and future arrangements as well as rationalise MDA /MMDA imports.
The review touched on the performance of the economy in 2014 and for the first five months of 2015, the macroeconomic targets and fiscal framework set in the 2015 budget estimates based on current information, Supplementary Estimates for 2015 and major new Government initiatives.
Source : ISD (Gilbert Ankrah & Raymond Kwofei)