General News of 2014-08-04

IMF bailout a stabilising anchor – Kwame Pianim

Economist and investment consultant, Kwame Pianim has described the government’s decision to apply for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as "a stabilising anchor’’ that will re-position Ghana’s economy for growth and macroeconomic stability.

According to him, the decision to go back to the IMF only suggests the country is faced with a structural problem that has not been addressed.

"It seems there are some structural issues that we as a country have not adequately addressed; the issue now is a lack of policy credibility,’’ he reiterated on the Citi Breakfast Show.

The founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) also noted that Ghana needs the IMF support to grow the economy.

He said Ghana must move away from the constant political busy cycle and allow government to govern.

"I think that we have to become politically matured and move away from the electioneering; now Ghana is involved in almost four-year electioneering period…’’ he mentioned.

Mr. Pianim warned that in matured economies, it takes only three months to focus on electioneering and "the rest of the time they allow government to govern.’’

He called on Ghanaians to mature and vote against any politician who "come to spend their way through an election’’.

"This is the time when everybody who is interested in the welfare of the average Ghanaian should be involved in coming up with policy alternatives for us to be able to help the government to govern.’’

I think we should move away with playing politics with the economy; that is the livelihood of the people; if the young people move onto the streets, all of [us will suffer],’’ he said.

Mr. Pianim added that once the economy is stabilised, the business environment will become normal. "Confidence is 50 percent of all economies; if people don’t have confidence, it doesn’t matter what the realities of the economy is, perception turns to rule…’’ he said.

President John Mahama after a meeting with his Economic Advisory Committee, “directed that immediate initiatives be taken to open discussions with the International Monetary Fund and other Development Partners” in support of the country’s “programme for stabilisation and growth."

Finance Minister Seth Terkper, who spoke on the Citi Breakfast Show from Washington, said “[Ghana] is a member to the IMF and the doors to the IMF are open to us and the IMF does not only come in when we [Ghana] a programme with them’’.

Mr. Terkper said Ghana has never closed the door to an IMF bailout.

‘’Yes we did do the homegrown policy, we submitted it to the IMF, …they accepted it; The IMF task monitored programme allows countries develop their own programme in consultation with them, ‘’ he explained.

He opined that what Ghana was doing was not alien to the IMF.

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