ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a core condition of a $918 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid deal on Tuesday, breaching the terms of a three-year programme meant to fix an economy dogged by high public debt.
The lawmakers passed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Amendment Bill to allow central bank financing of the government’s budget deficit up to a ceiling of 5 percent of the previous year’s total revenue, instead of the zero financing demanded by the IMF.
Until now the bank was authorised to finance the deficit at up to 10 percent of revenue.
Implementation of the zero financing requirement is one of the targets the government was expected to meet in order for the Fund to conclude Ghana’s third programme review and disburse the next tranche of aid.
However, Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson told Reuters that, despite the law, the government will not finance its deficit with central bank funds.
“We have demonstrated enough that the government is committed to expenditure control and we will remain on course, irrespective of today’s decision by parliament,” he said.
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Aaron Ross and John Stonestreet)