IMF declares stance on Govt, Minority debate on bailout

2548385890459_458447990162The International Monetary Fund has indicated it would not meddle in a raging debate, whether Ghana’s deal with the IMF requires parliamentary approval.

Government has said it does not need parliamentary approval to access the 918-million dollar loan from the IMF. This is in sharp contrast with what the Minority in Parliament say.

The Minority had accused the Mahama administration and the International Monetary Fund of violating the country’s laws by approving and disbursing monies without parliamentary approval.

It has therefore asked the IMF to as a matter of urgency stop any further disbursement to the government.

But government has described Minority’s position as ignorant and ill-informed.

Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson says the three year extended credit agreement is between the Bank of Ghana and the IMF and does not require parliamentary approval.

But in an email response to Joy Business’ George Wiafe, the Fund maintained that it is not in position to determine what the law stipulates in a member country concerning such an agreement.

Below is the full email sent to Joy Business’ George Wiafe

·         As a general rule we do not comment on domestic legislative processes. In a similar vein, it is a matter of domestic law as to whether an IMF arrangement requires parliamentary approval, and we defer to the member authorities to make this determination.

·         The Ghanaian authorities issued a press release today (September 10) confirming that, under Ghanaian law, no such parliamentary approval is required. The government statement indicated that the ECF loan is disbursed directly to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as balance of payments support and is used accordingly by the BoG, without supervision or interference by the Minister of Finance or any other governmental authority. It therefore does not constitute government borrowing and would not require parliamentary approval.

·         Let me also remind you that as a member of the IMF Ghana requested for a program that was then approved by the IMF Executive Board in April 2015. This approval and the related disbursements since then have been done in accordance with the Fund’s own rules, including the emphasis on a member’s commitment to implement the program. Ghana’s three-year ECF-supported program is anchored on the country’s very own Shared Growth and Development Agenda.