Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister
Ghana’s programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to be extended by eight months.
The three-year programme, which began in April 2015, was expected to end by April 2018 but challenges in meeting programme targets have forced the scheduled reviews forward, a development that would affect completion date for the programme.
Sources say an extension is automatic and does not leave government with the option of rejecting it.
Chair of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, who also confirmed this, maintained this might be good for the economy.
The planned 4th and 5th reviews to assess government’s performance under the programme, which should take place in April, have been put on hold for now.
Sources attribute this to current discussions with the Fund on the GH¢7 billion undisclosed arrears.
Another critical engagement is Article 4 consultations, which is a surveillance assessment by the Fund to test the health of the economy has also delayed.
For some analysts, this gives credence for the programme to be extended.
But Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, says they are looking at the options available to them when it comes to the programme extension with the IMF.
He, however, described recent engagement with the IMF as fruitful, saying that the Fund bought into most of its policies and was willing to work with government to stabilize the economy.