The approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme has started yielding positive outcomes, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has stated and called on all Ghanaians to put their shoulders to the wheel to implement far-reaching reforms.
He cited the positive outcomes to include decreases in the rate of inflation and treasury bills, improvements in foreign reserve and current account positions, but stressed that “the real work of adjustments, re-alignments and the return to a path of steady economic growth has just begun”.
“Let us brace ourselves for the needed reforms,especially in expenditure control, non-arrears accumulation, revenue growth, ECG collections and Energy Sector reforms, in order to rebuild the walls of the republic with urgency, ”Mr Ofori-Atta added.
The Finance Minister said the reform programme, the Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG), now supported by the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with the IMF, was built on clear targets, strong policy and structural measures.
He pointed out that the programme was to promote a credible fiscal consolidation programme, anchored by strong domestic revenue mobilisation and high spending efficiency.
Mr Ofori-Atta said securing the IMF programme was not an end to the current challenges, though it had significantly paved the way for the implementation of an ambitious and a well-thought-out programme of reform for the economy and country.
Targets of the programme through to 2028 include taming inflation expectations firmly and preserving financial stability; restoring public debt to sustainable levels by 2028 by observing the two binding constraints of Public Debt (in present value terms) to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 55 per cent or less; and an External Debt Service to Revenue ratio of 18 percent or less.
The programme also aims to enhance economic competitiveness, with exports surpassing 37 per cent of GDP in the medium term, while safeguarding social protection and enhancing targeting to ensure effectiveness of key interventions.
Over the medium term, he said the PC-PEG-backed IMF programme sought to promote a credible fiscal consolidation programme, anchored by strong domestic revenue mobilisation and high spending efficiency.
He said the government was targeting a primary surplus on a commitment basis — the critical fiscal anchor under the programme— of 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2025 through to 2028.