The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has voiced its reservations regarding the $3 billion IMF bailout package, saying that they are not too pleased due to the stringent conditionalities attached to the deal.
Ghana has received an amount of $600 million from the IMF, the first tranche of the $3 billion bailout package.
In an interview, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, expressed that they are not overly excited, fearing that the conditionalities could collapse businesses if the government fails to put measures in place to deal with them.
“We can say that we are happy that the IMF deal has come through, but we are not overly excited, because of the obvious, the conditionalities and what is not known to us. So we are yet to brace ourselves for any eventuality that the IMF deal brings. It’s not an end in itself, the IMF $600 million that has come means that it’s also going to bring the conditionalities that we have to also contend with.
“We are waiting to talk with the government to see if they can bring some mitigating measures that can also deal with these conditionalities. Otherwise, businesses will collapse under the IMF programme. And I don’t think that is the reason why the IMF deal was approved,” Dr. Joseph Obeng stated.
He remarked that the IMF deal brings the confidence and credibility that the business community seeks.
“Our businesses are going to be affected positively for now. If you have seen the speculations around the $600 million and all that, it has actually given the Cedi some strength. That’s all that businesses seek, businesses seek stability, and we say that the IMF deal brings confidence and credibility. Apart from the fact that it is bringing this physical money and all that, the credibility alone that the IMF is bringing, you cannot put a value on it. For me as a businessman, it’s very valuable,” he stated.
The President highlighted the crucial role that the deal is expected to play in bolstering key pillars of the business sector that have been adversely affected in recent times.
“We are expecting that if the deal has come through, the other indicators that make businesses strive but were broken before the deal will be resurrected. We are talking about the exchange rate, inflation and interest rate,” he envisaged.