Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has expressed concern that the GHS22 billion fiscal offset in the 2023 budget could hinder progress under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme if not handled carefully.
Terkper, who is a former IMF economist, highlighted the issue of arrears that the government owes suppliers, contractors, and employees, stating that it is as important as the ongoing debate on domestic and external public debt.
He warned that the offsets and bailout footnotes that appeared in the 2016 budget and have resurfaced in the 2023 budget could distort the effort to improve the method of compilation and reporting.
The former minister said that if the issue is not addressed, it could have implications for a new government in the future.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, assured investors at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington that the government is taking steps to ensure that the challenges with the nation’s finances are tackled, including debt restructuring as part of efforts to secure a deal with the IMF.