Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has described efforts by government to achieve fiscal stability, reduce inflation and cost of living as the best gift it can give to Ghanaians.
Speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on Joy News’ The Probe program on November 12, the Information Minister emphasized government’s commitment towards narrowing down the gap between revenue and expenditure by not expanding its fiscal expenditure ahead of next year, as it looks to receive the second tranche of the $3 billion bailout package by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Next year is an election year. The theory has been that during our election year government tries to spend their way to make the public happy so that they can win the election. But I can tell you on authority what Cabinet has decided is that the best approach is to ensure that stability is deepened, not necessarily to go for a fiscal expansionary module but to ensure that stability is maintained; the cost of living and inflation are contained,” he said.
He added: “That is the best gift that you can give to the people of Ghana in the midst of the global economic challenge like this as against going on a fiscal expansionary path. That’s what Cabinet has approved; that what we expect to find expression in the fiscal framework part of the document that finance minister would be reading before Parliament.
He further stressed that Government’s arrangement with IMF on the $3 billion bailout package is still on track, refuting reports which suggested that Ghana missed a November 1 deadline for the release of the second tranche of bailout package,
“The first review has been concluded and Ghana was successful in that review. I think at the end of that review, there was a joint conference between Ghana’s Finance Minister and the Head of the IMF team, and a staff level agreement was signed and announced to undergird our parts of the first review. And then it was mentioned that the staff level agreement would have to go to the IMF Executive board which board meets in the 3rd week of November to give its approval, and when that approval is given, then the second tranche would be disbursed.”
Actually, this is the structure for all the tranches. I think if I read the statement from the Ministry of Finance quite clearly, they made the point that once it is quite clear that the executive board meeting is in the third week of November, it will be incorrect for anyone to say that there is a timeline that has already been missed” he explained.