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Business News Wed, 17 Jun 2015

Civil society holds forum on IMF programme

The second National Civil Society Forum on Ghana’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme opened in Accra on Tuesday to formulate strategies for the effective monitoring of government activities.

The Forum, organised by the Civil Society Platform on the IMF Bailout, focuses on the: “National Conservation on Implementation and Monitoring of the Ghana-IMF programme.”

Mr Joseph Winful, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on the IMF Bailout, called on government to maintain a high sense of fiscal discipline and good governance which are central to the successes projected under the programme.

The Platform, he said, is an initiative that seeks to advocate civil society inclusiveness in major public financial management issues and in particular the bailout negotiations, as well as implementation of the final arrangement.

Mr Winful said once an agreement has been reached and the implementation process started, effective monitoring and review of the process are key to instilling the needed discipline in the public financial management system.

This, he said, underscores the essence of the national conversation involving civil society actors, academics, religious bodies, identifiable groups, and citizens across the country to come together and share ideas on how best government could effectively implement the agreement and also have civil society monitor the programme’s implementation.

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He urged government to be more engaging and accessible by showing commitment to ensure the early passage of the Right to Information Bill into law.

Mr Winful blamed the country’s current financial situation on the lack of prudent fiscal management and the constant budget overruns, particularly during the electioneering year; the current energy crisis which is affecting the output levels of businesses as well as the high cost of debt servicing.

He asked government to design sustainable programmes and incentives for farmers and also follow the arrangements under the IMF Bailout.

Mr Winful said similar bailout programmes in the past did not yield the expected results because there was no effective monitoring.

He said IMF bailout is to among other things support government out of the present financial challenges, reduce inflation and strengthen the monetary policy of the Central Bank.

Source: GNA
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