Amend Transition Act to curb future challenges - Terkper

Seth Terkper Icu Former finance Minister, Seth Terkper calls for amendment of transition Act

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 Source: thebftonline.com

Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, has called for an amendment of the Presidential Transition Act (845) to curtail the anxiety about the economy after a change in government and to help solve future challenges.

“We now have the transition Act which is good, so you see the handing over notes and other things, but am of the firm belief that having gone through three transitions, two of them from one party to the other and the other party succeeding itself.

Either the transitional Act or Public Financial Management (PFM) should be amended to give an orderly transition on the economy, Three transitions have been received with anxiety from both public and private institutions in the country,” he said.

Mr. Terkper, speaking on wide range of issues about the economy, said: “There is the need for proper transition, either the Transition Act or the PFM Act (921) ought to be amended. The current Act predominantly focuses on the political aspect of the transition process and less on the economy.

He added: “Anxiety about whether my contractors will be honored and anxiety of public servants not being sure about what they have to do during the transition. Often the argument about post-election expenditures has nothing to do with expenditures before or after elections.

“I realized some of it is the rush by contractors, suppliers and everybody who want to be paid. A party that is succeeding itself, as witnessed after the 2012 elections, would find nothing wrong with it, but not when there is a transfer from one party to another.”

He emphasised that the previous government worked with a very conscious plan to solve the myriad of economic challenges facing the country. “We came in facing significant challenges from power, and through the emergency power the problem has been solved.

He observed that the Mahama-led administration is leaving behind a well-stabilized economy with bright prospects, adding that the numbers shows that the Ministry’s fiscal consolidation programme has worked resulting in inflation reducing significantly, a fairly stabilised Ghana cedi and a budget deficit which has reduced from 12 percent to 6.3 percent in 2015.

Mr. Terkper said the current account deficit has also been going down. “Over the last four years we have been following a path of fiscal consolidation, which has led to an economy that has turned around, and the economic indicators points to a clear stabilized economy”.

Mr.Terkper indicated that but for the challenges with commodity prices as well challenges on the jubilee field, things would have been better than what the country witnessed.

He said an instance where due to some measures put in place to build up the country’s strategic stocks, the country has not paid any forex loss for petroleum imports for this year.

Mr. Terkper explained that the Sinking Fund, created for the payment of debts, has a balance of US$300 million and that it has enough money to refinance maturing debts and bonds.

“As I speak to you now, we have about 300 million dollars in the Sinking Fund. The first major achievement that we chalked with the Sinking Fund was to use the money that accumulated to buy-back US$133 million of the bond that was issued in 2007,” he said.

Mr. Terkper explained that the debt management strategy of the government has proved productive.

“The buffers we are creating are the stabilization fund, and I did mention that we have spent US$250 million. As we speak I believe there is about a US$100 million still in the stabilization fund.

“The sinking fund because we paid part of the 10 year bond, it also has some funds. We are building buffers through the stabilization fund, heritage fund, and through the sinking fund and debt service reserve account and others, in essence the country is not living from hand to mouth,” he stated.

He thanked former President John Mahama for giving him the opportunity to serve the country after leaving the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2009.

Debunking the rumor that, he has a secured job with the Fund, he explained that he resigned from the IMF to take up the appointment in the country.

Source: thebftonline.com
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