Minority Wants Full Disclosure Of IMF Agreement


Finance Minister Seth Tekper may be compelled to disclose to parliament full details in the International Monetary Fund three-year credit agreement with Ghana, if the minority succeeds in pushing through an urgent motion.

Under the IMF extended credit agreement, Ghana is to benefit from about US$918 million.

The agreement aims to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability in the country to foster a return to high growth and job creation, while protecting social spending.

But the group say they have chanced on what they say are details previously unknown and are of the view, parliament must consider the agreement and approve it.

The Minority in the motion is also demanding government explains the circumstances under which it securitizes workers contribution to Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) without the approval of parliament.

Government at the end of 2014 was supposed to pay 914 million cedis to SSNIT as workers contribution. Government however asked SSNIT to pay the 914 million cedis on its behalf to be repaid later, the Minority alleged in October.

“As a result of the behind the curtain securitization of the arrears, the fiscal deficit of 2014 has been revised upward from 9.4 to 10.3 percent of GFDP,” Deputy Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah told the media last month.

Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah reiterated on Joy News Monday, November 2, 2015 that government has to explain to Parliament why it “chopped” workers money it should have paid to SSNIT, and decided to go to the same SSNIT to borrow money to pay its debts.

“So [Seth Terkper] would have to come and answer” to Parliament, he insisted.

He admitted that, in the past government did not send agreement with IMF to parliament, “but it is wrong”.

Also, the Minority says 500 million cedis dividend paid to government by the Bank of Ghana requires scrutiny.

“The Bank of Ghana had paid dividend to government amounting to 0.4 percent of GDP. Since this transfer was unanticipated, it has led to a larger than programmed total revenue for 2015. The spending of this unanticipated inflow has not been approved by Parliament.

“Meantime, the government plans to use up to half of the BoG dividend to cover the damage of the June 2015 flood disaster. Again! It also plans to use the remainder to clear part of newly identified arrears with the Bulk Oil Importers [BDCs]. Who authorized these spending? Which Parliament?”

Dr. Assibey Yeboah, who previously worked for the Bank of Ghana, told Joy News it is the “first time” he is hearing of the central bank paying dividends to the state.

The Finance Minister however appeared surprised by claims by the ranking member. He said the Bank of Ghana has for years been paying dividends to the state.

But Dr. Assibey Yeboah explained that what the bank paid to government was “unanticipated” and therefore was not captured under the budget. Government needs parliamentary approval to use unanticipated money from state owned enterprises, he said.

He was not happy that the government is “flouting” the laws but does not seem “bothered”, making it necessary for the Minority table the motion to get government to answer questions to the House

Source: Myjoyonline.com