Thursday , 9 February 2023

Lack of transparency on debt restructuring can affect investors’ confidence – ISSER to Government

Director for Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Prof Peter Quartey

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) is worried about the manner in which the government communicated the debt restructuring programme in the wake of Ghana’s economic crisis.

ISSER believes there has not been adequate stakeholder consultation with regard to the debt restructuring programme.

According to ISSER, keeping the citizens and investors in the dark will fuel more speculation that their funds are not secured.

Presenting the ISSER 2023 budget analysis report on Tuesday, the Director of ISSER, Prof. Peter Quartey said, “we did so well with Covid, we communicated so well with Covid, but when it came to the IMF program and this debt restructuring, I do not think we have communicated very well in a very timely manner.”

He further stated, “finance does not like noise, you need to feed people with information. We have not done this very much as we did with Covid.”

ISSER’s comments follow government’s announcement of a debt restructuring programme to put the country’s debt level on a sustainable path.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said the Debt Exchange Programme is part of a key requirement for the government to obtain economic programme from the International Monetary Fund.

Labour unions have already begun opposing any attempt to reduce the value of workers’ investment as part of the debt restructuring process.

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah has assured that pension funds will not collapse under the debt exchange programme.

According to him, while there have been some fears about the government’s debt exchange programme adversely affecting funds in the trust of pension fund schemes, government has put in place measures to cushion the workers on the various pension schemes.

“Let me take the opportunity to calm the pension fund teachers and other unions who are concerned about the impact of the debt exchange programme on pension funds. The truth is that in the short term they may be hit, the pensions fund may be hit by this exchange programme in terms of the interest and returns that they were expected to receive.

“But in the long term, they know that government bonds have been a trusted partner all this while, but we’re in a very difficult situation that if we don’t work together to redeem the market, we may all crash, and that is where we are.”

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