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‘IMF is antidote to Ghana’s economic challenges, not e-levy’ – Ato Forson

Ato Forson

A former Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson has backed calls for the government to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance amid Ghana’s economic challenges.

Mr. Forson argued that Ghana’s economic situation will deteriorate further if the government fails to seek financial support from the IMF.

Rather than resorting to the IMF, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it will focus on generating revenue domestically through the implementation of the e-levy.

However, Mr. Forson indicated that the government’s intended plan is not viable, as the revenue expected from the tax will not be enough to revitalize the economy.

“Our debt levels are not sustainable. Our credit levels are going down. If care is not taken, Moody’s is going to downgrade Ghana further. The very IMF that they are running away from is the same institution that gave us the 2 billion US dollars in the spate of two months. We are surviving as a country because of the same IMF. The government should not think that implementing the e-levy will solve our problems. The debt levels are so high. The antidote is to go to the IMF,” he argued on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

Dr. Forson said calls for Ghana to resort to the IMF for assistance is justified as it provides the country with a chance to return to sustainable debt levels.

“Ghana is in a mess and I can assure you that every single minute that they delay in placing that phone call [to the IMF], our economic situation deteriorates, and it is going to deteriorate further [without it]. The government must heed that advice and make that decision [to go to the IMF]. It has been long overdue.”

A former New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, and a one-time Chair of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah had made a similar call for the government to reconsider its decision not to go back to the IMF.

He maintains that the government’s insistence on passing the Electronic-Transaction Levy to shore up its revenue target is not right given the existential economic challenges.

“There is nothing wrong with going to the IMF. Ghana is a member of the IMF so what is wrong going to ask for support when we are in difficulties to go and pool resources. If I was the finance minister, I will be convincing the President that it is about time we went back,” he said in a Citi News interview.

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