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Govt Starts External Debt Programme

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Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says the completion of the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) program will provide momentum for the external restructuring program, which has also begun.

“As part of this process, Ghana has officially asked its bilateral creditors for a Debt Treatment initiative under the G-20 Common framework,” he stated in Parliament yesterday during a statement on the DDE programme.

The minister also disclosed that they had started the process of negotiating in good faith with Ghana’s commercial creditors.

“Two preliminary discussions and exchange of information have started on a good footing with representative committees and advisors. The members have indicated their commitment to establish a Creditor Committee to assess Ghana’s request for debt treatment under the Common Framework by end February, 2023,” he said.

He added, “We hope our commercial creditors will understand our desire to negotiate with our bilateral creditor’s softer terms than the ones we anticipate to propose to them, as a speedy process with the bilateral creditors is needed to pave the way for the discussions with private creditors.”

He intimated that the government had also initiated discussions with the representatives of the country’s international bondholders and their advisors, noting that substantive discussions are due to start.

“The government recognises the continued importance of the DDE programme in closing the financing gap and enabling the government to meet the debt sustainability target of 55% of debt-to-GDP in present value terms by 2028.

Post Debt Operations

He said while they continue to secure an IMF programme to boost confidence in the economy, the government was complementing its response strategy by enhancing Ghana’s domestic mobilisation efforts.

“These efforts would be greatly enhanced if the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty & Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills as well as the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, which are outstanding in this august House could be prioritized and passed.

Mr. Speaker, the passage of these Bills will enable Government to complete four (4) of five (5) agreed Prior Actions in the Staff Level Agreement since Tariff adjustment by the PURC, Publication of the Auditor-General’s Report on COVID-19 Spending, and Onboarding of GETFUND, DACF and Road Fund on the GIFMIS have all been completed,” he added.

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