NPP Minority Predicts Economic Crisis In 2015

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed to Parliament that the donor community will continue to withhold budgetary support to the government. Sixty percent of Ghana's annual budget is donor funded but financial indiscipline by the government has necessitated a decision by donors to withhold support. It was expected that discussions with the IMF for a possible bailout may see donors returning to support the country's budget but the Breton Woods institution says, not yet. This means that if government, makes any projections on the basis of donor support in the 2015 budget which Finance Minister, Seth Terkper is expected to present to Parliament Wednesday, they will not be realised. The NPP Minority is, therefore, warning that the 2015 budget will run into crisis without the donor support. Figures from the Finance Ministry show that over the last two years donors have withheld more than 700 million dollars in budgetary support mainly because of government’s failure to check spending and raise enough revenue. IMF officials today met with Parliament’s Select Committee on Finance as they finalized their work in determining whether to extend assistance to Ghana. Minority Member on the Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah disclosing details of the meeting told Joy FM’s Top Story they were made to understand that donors will not disburse funds when they are not sure that a government is fiscally disciplined. “The IMF will leave town in a day or two and return probably sometime early next year. So when the board meet in January I don’t think the programme would be concluded for them to submit it to the board at the IMF, and if you don’t have an IMF programme, certainly, the EU (European Union) will not come onboard, other donors, Japan, Canada and the rest, so that chunk coming from donors may be missing in the 2015 budget,” he explained. Negotiation between government and the IMF has dragged on since August, and Dr. Assibey-Yeboah is projecting that discussions may end somewhere April. It appears both sides have taken entrenched positions, he hints, the IMF is being “tough” and government too is “not ready to bend the rules”. For instance, the IMF wants government to add to its debts the ones owed by state institutions like the Tema Oil Refinery but government is not willing, he stated.