“We have the capacity…… We are not going to the IMF” – Ofori-Atta insists on E-levy

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says Ghana will not seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, despite the current economic challenges.

Mr. Ofori-Atta says government will consider home-grown solutions to deal with the difficulties because the country has what it takes to turn its ailing economy around.

Speaking at the third in a series of town hall meetings in the Northern Regional Capital of Tamale on the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy), Ken Ofori-Atta maintained that government will do what is best for the country.

The government despite harsh criticisms has said that the most prudent measure in the face of Ghana’s ailing economy is not to go back to the IMF but rather rely on the E-levy to raise revenue domestically.

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“I can say; we are not going to the IMF. Whatever we do, we are not. Consequences are dire, we are a proud nation, we have the resources, we have the capacity. We are not people of short-sight, but we have to move on. So let’s think of who we are as strong proud people, the shining star of Africa, and we have the capacity to do whatever we want to do if we speak one language and ensure that we share the burden in the issues ahead.”

Currently, the national conversation has been around the government pushing through the controversial 1.75% electronic transaction levy estimated to rake in some $1 billion annually or going onto an IMF program.

Some analysts have proposed seeking an IMF bailout as a better alternative amidst public disapproval of the E-levy, but the government has said it will have none of that.

Others have also brushed off calls for the government to go under an IMF programme insisting that the options left for Ghana to consider are fiscal discipline, a reduction in wasteful expenditure, and the sealing of revenue leakages.

We’re ready to support Ghana if contacted by authorities – IMF

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has stated that it is ready to support Ghana in any way deemed useful by the country’s leaders amidst the economic challenges.

It says Ghanaian authorities have not contacted it for any form of assistance yet.

In a statement published on Twitter by IMF’s Ghana country representative, Dr. Touna Mama, the IMF said Ghana’s current economic woes stem from its fiscal and debt situation.

“Right now, Ghana’s challenges stem from the fiscal and debt situation and less from the economic recovery,” it said.

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