The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) is supporting government’s decision to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and seek assistance to restore the country’s macroeconomic stability, president of GEA Dan Acheampong has said.
Mr. Acheampong was addressing members of the Association at its 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra, and said the GEA believes the IMF programme will provide urgently needed policy credibility, restore stability and confidence, and reduce perceived risk and fears held by employers and investors.
He however suggested government should hold wide consultations with stakeholders, including employers, in the design and implementation of an Enhanced Domestic Programme (EDP) that will form the basis for engagements.
“Engagement with the Fund should centre on fiscal consolidation, restoration of debt sustainability, robust monetary and financial sector policies, as well as prudent exchange rate measures,” the president said.
The backing from GEA however contradicts the position of organised labour, who are not in favour of government’s decision to approach the IMF.
But Mr. Acheampong argued that the quest for a positive performance by the economy surpasses any other interest at this particular time.
According to him, though the scary health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic might have subsided, its ripple-effects together with global supply chain and security volatilities are taking a toll on the local economy.
Indeed, the cedi’s rapid depreciation against major trading currencies, especially the US dollar, as well as fiscal and inflationary challenges – currently at 33.9 percent – have triggered a rise in price of goods and cost of borrowing.
Recent data from the central bank indicate that from July 2021 to July 2022 the cedi lost 16.86 and 20 percent of its value to the US dollar on the inter-bank and retail markets, respectively.
This, Mr. Acheampong said, has had a significant cutting effect on the working capital of employers and businesses.
The Association recommended that government speed up implementation of the tax exemption bill that was recently passed by Parliament, so as to render efficient and effective tax exemption management. It also called for a review of the benchmark value policy to cover imported goods that are not produced locally.
Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Charles Wereko-Brobbey, explained that government is doing all it can to ensure collaboration between employers.
He said government has the interest of all employers and employees at heart, and has been fostering positive engagements in that regard.