Government, on Wednesday, April 17, 2023, got the approval of the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the $3 billion bailout program it requested.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central and a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Isaac Adongo, have now given some details of the program.
Speaking in an interview on Accra FM, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, monitored by GhanaWeb, the MP urged Ghanaians to prepare for more hardship because the conditions attached to the $3 billion loan will be unbearable.
According to him, as part of the loan agreement, the government has been asked to introduce more taxes and increase tariffs for services it provides.
He added that the government has also been tasked by the IMF not to employ beyond 0.5 percent of the current labor force and has also limited the rate of increase of the salaries of public sector workers within the three years of the program.
“The IMF has ordered the government not to go for a penny from the Bank of Ghana. And so who did Ken Ofori-Atta negotiate the bailout with on behalf of Ghana for them to come up with a program that will make us starve?
“The IMF said that in the three years of the program, the government can employ only 0.5 percent of the current labor force – not even 1 percent for the next three years, which means unemployment will increase. They have also limited the rate at which the government can increase the salaries of public sector workers.
“The IMF has also asked the government to increase the tax to GDP rate to 18 percent within the three years of the program which means that Ghanaians must prepare for more taxes,” he said in Twi.
He added that the government has been given a bad IMF program because it failed to engage and Ghanaians are going to suffer for it.
The Executive Board of the IMF unanimously approved the $3 billion bailout for Ghana at a meeting Wednesday [May 17, 2023] in Washington.
$600 million out of the $3 billion loan was disbursed on the day of the approval of the bailout and $350 million would be disbursed every six months for the three-year program.
Earlier, Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, had expressed optimism, that the swelling goodwill that Ghana was getting from the international community, including its creditors could guarantee the approval of the loan.
She added that her outfit was pushing the bilateral creditors to quickly provide the financial assurance needed for the board to approve the deal.
Prior to this, Ghana had completed all prior actions necessary to receive support for its economic recovery program, the International Monetary Fund (IMF).