The Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, has beseeched Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the House to speed up the approval of the Revenue Bills to enable Ghana to clinch the three billion dollar International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.
Addressing the media at a news conference, Dr. Addison emphasized that Parliament needs to pass several tax laws before the end of April for the IMF Executive Board to consider Ghana for support.
“The official creditors met last week, they are looking at a date in April, by which time they expect to give the necessary financial assurances. And once that is out of the way, once we have signed this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), once Parliament has passed these new revenue measures, we would have completed what they call the trial action.”Dr. Ernest Addison
The BoG governor further noted that the approval of the revenue bill is needed for the fund to set a date for the executive board meeting concerning Ghana’s $3billion IMF bailout.
“So hopefully, if things go as planned, by the end of April, we should see that executive board meeting taking place. Parliament needs to urgently prioritize the passage of the three new taxes before it.”Dr. Ernest Addison
Oppong Nkrumah Calls For Collaborative Work To Pass Revenue Bills
More so, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has appealed to the Minority in Parliament to work with the Majority to pass the three revenue bills that are currently before the House.
“To our colleagues in the Minority, I think it is clear that we need to work together to achieve a certain objective for the country. Sometimes we are whipped up but let’s look at the country’s interest at this point in time.
“The world is ready to help us, China, the Paris Club and external creditors are all with us in a good place now and are looking at us to see if we can help ourselves. My appeal to those in government, Minority, economic groups is that, we must ensure that these revenue bills are passed to close this GH¢4 billion gap.”Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Ghana’s quest to secure an IMF balance of payment support may delay following the country’s inability to meet some of the conditionalities by the end of the month.
President Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta promised Ghana will get the IMF programme by the end of March.
The bills, which include the Income Tax Amendment Bill, Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill, are expected to generate approximately GH¢4 billion per year to supplement domestic revenue.
The United States government has promised to intervene on Ghana’s behalf with the Paris Club as the country seeks debt forgiveness as part of the International Monetary Fund’s balance of payment support.
The US Vice President, Kamala Harris, announced this at a joint Press Conference with President Akufo-Addo.
According to Mrs Harris, the US will help Ghana with all the support it needs to ensure that it scales through its current economic crisis.
Ghana, which is struggling with its worst economic crisis in a generation, secured a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December for a $3 billion loan, though asking lenders to provide financing assurances is a condition for the IMF’s board to sign off the programme.
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