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Sunday, January 29, 2023

IMF bailout: Stop any attempt to shift blame on Minority – Haruna Iddrisu

Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has urged the government to take full responsibility for circumstances that led to Ghana’s resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic support.

Addressing the media in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Iddrisu said the Akufo-Addo government must accept the blame for mismanaging the economy.

He accused the President of profligacy which he says has forced the government to opt for an IMF bailout.

Top government officials and members of the New Patriotic Party have said the NDC’s opposition to the e-levy and the delay in implementation resulted in the failure of the tax policy to realise the projected revenue.

This, they claimed, is what compelled the government to seek a bailout from the IMF.

But, speaking to journalists in Parliament, Mr Iddrisu refuted the claim.

“They should stop any attempt to shift blame. E-levy remains an unpopular tax instrument and therefore the fact that it was passed does not mean it had the support of the Minority.

“President Akuffo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia should take full responsibility for incompetently managing the economy to suffocating debt level which has necessitated the retreat for us to request an agreement with the IMF for the restructuring of our debts,” he said.

The Tamale South legislator said Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta must resign for deceiving Ghanaians.

“In any civilised democracy where people take responsibility and have a premium and value on credibility, Dr Mahmudu Bawumia, I do not know whether he has any respect for the word credibility and its value and what to do with it, including the Minister for Finance, they would have done what is needful,” he stated.

On his part, Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson said Ghanaians must embrace the fact that there are tough times under a new IMF deal.

“This IMF programme will differ from all IMF programmes we have seen in the past. In fact, this would be the first time that we will do an IMF programme with debt restructuring. That means a lot. That will mean that Ghana is going to go through another phase of HIPC to the extent that we are going to look at our debt and restructure it. The government must come clean and tell us what the people of Ghana should expect instead of blaming Ukraine and Russia.”

Meanwhile, the highly anticipated meeting between government negotiators and officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commenced.

The Fund’s officials are led by Mission Chief for Ghana, Carlo Sdralevich as the fate of Ghana’s financial future is tabled for discussion amid hue and cry from the public over the ever-increasing cost of living.

The Finance Ministry earlier revealed that the engagement will be a 7-day activity with the IMF officials, the government’s Economic Management Team and the Presidency.

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