IMF, Ghana Talks Inconclusive Over Budget Concern, Says Lawmaker

(Bloomberg) -- Talks between Ghana and the International Monetary Fund over a review of a $1 billion debt facility program ended inconclusive after the lender raised concerns about the country’s ability to meet revenue targets and plans for the issuance of a Eurobond, according to an opposition lawmaker.

The IMF ended a visit to Ghana this week to evaluate the government’s progress in reaching fiscal and monetary targets under the program, which was agreed to in April 2015 and is due to end this year. The visit entailed both a fourth and fifth review and carries a potential disbursement of $230 million.

The IMF is requesting that Ghana limit a planned issuance of as much as $2 billion in Eurobonds to no more than $500 million, Cassiel Ato Forson, a lawmaker of the opposition National Democratic Congress and member of the parliamentary finance committee, which met with the IMF, said by phone on Friday. Ghana should also raise another 1 billion cedis ($224 million) in taxes or cut spending after it missed revenue targets in 2017, Ato Forson said.

“The fund was concerned about Ghana’s debt sustainability,” he said. “Government missed revenue targets for 2017 but did not present any credible revenue policies in 2018 either.”

The IMF didn’t immediately comment when contacted by email.

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