Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, has provided the strongest hint yet, that pensioners will be excluded from the revised Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
“As in any society, as I say, our key issue is that a society that does not protect the elderly is not the type of society we want,” he said in opening remarks prior to a closed-door roundtable session with the leadership of various individual bondholder groups, at the ministry of finance.
This comes after the older citizens, under the umbrella of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum, had registered, in very strong terms their displeasure about being included in the Programme, when terms were adjusted to incorporate individual bondholders, citing among other things their dependence on coupon payments and their ages relative to the duration of the proposed new bonds.
Mr. Ofori-Atta also sought to allay fears that the government would attempt to strong-arm stakeholders, stressing that the Programme was entirely voluntary.
“I think we should be very clear that this is a voluntary exercise. I have seen some very dramatic videos as if the Programme has already commenced and that is not true,” he said.
The finance minister was optimistic that the minimum 80 percent participation rate will be achieved by the new deadline – January, 31 – following the next round of stakeholder engagements.